Five horrifying facts about unhappy customers and how you can fix them

“Unhappy customers” are the scary words which no business wants to hear. Here are some spooky facts which are sure to give you the creeps, but the treat of this trick is to tell you how to fix them.


  • A single unhappy customer usually signifies many more. For every customer who makes a complaint there are 26 who won’t say a word (Lee Resources International). To hear the voice of more customers, create surveys. Keep them short and sweet; only ask questions that you’ll actually use and try to make them closed questions as this creates less work for the customer to fill it in. You can ask customers to complete these surveys in store before they leave, which will maximise the amount of feedback you receive. You should regularly monitor social media for mentions of your business as this is a likely place for customers to declare their frustration.


  • Two thirds of customers switch companies due to poor service (Accenture). It is vital that you build good relationships with your customers, so that if they are unfortunate and happen to receive poor service, they are more likely to be forgiving of you. If you are incredibly busy and customers have to wait, it is essential you give them as much information as possible, as no one likes to be left in the dark. Lastly, if they do make the decision to leave, always ask them to tell you exactly why. This can be done with an exit questionnaire and ensures that you never make the same mistakes again.


  • To make up for one unresolved negative experience it takes 12 positive experiences (Ruby Newell-Legner). To resolve a bad customer experience, you should first show genuine empathy as this will immediately make the customer feel at ease. When offering the customer a solution give them multiple options to make them feel as though they are back in control. Follow up with the customer, asking if they are satisfied with the resolution and if there is anything else that you could have done. The customer will appreciate that you have remembered and taken the time to think of them, even after the incident has happened.


  • An unhappy customer will tell between 9-15 people about their poor experience (White House Office of Consumer Affairs). You can’t please everyone, so you are bound to have a few unhappy customers. The worst part is that customers are twice as┬álikely to share their bad experiences than they are positive ones. It is your job to encourage the positive reviews. If you have happy customers they are likely to want to shop with you again, so offer a discount voucher for completing a feedback form. Respond to all negative reviews as professionally as possible; this is ensures that potential customers can see that you care about your existing ones and are always concerned with putting things right.


  • 88% of consumers are less likely to buy from companies that leave complaints on social media unanswered (Conversocial). This one is pretty straight forward. Ensure that you reply to all complaints, checking your social platforms at least twice a day. When you do respond make sure that your replies are genuine and personalised to each complaint; this shows that you care and are not just sending out automated responses.


These stats may give you a fright, but if you accept that mistakes happen and do your best to resolve them, then the majority of the time they will not have such a damaging effect on the future of your business.

Written by Hayley Lloyd

Published 19th October 2017