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How Angry Customers Can Help Your Business

A successfully run business and unhappy clients are inherently indivisible. This may shock you but if there are several complaints piled up at your customer services’ desks, then this may just be a fortunate stroke of serendipity for you! Everything has its pros and cons and angry customers can help your business if you are willing to see the other side of the picture.

No matter how dutiful and dedicated you are, negative responses will always exceed the positive feedback you and your teams receive. Customers are more inclined towards highlighting your minor incompetencies than admiring and praising your stellar services. Inbox inundated with emails, voice mail flooded with customer complaints, and even face to face disapproval and objection on your services are a few aspects that come as a package deal with your business. It may seem chaotic and disadvantageous to the optimum functionality of your business, but angry customers can actually help you a lot.

Don’t Want Angry Customers?

Avoiding unhappy customers is not really a possibility, but reducing their number is quite likely if you act rationally and strategically.

If you are available for your customers and can give them your undivided attention and uninterrupted time, then it will do wonders for your customer service and business’s marketing. This will be worth the dollars that they are expending on your business.  

Reach out to your customers regularly and develop an amicable relationship with, but don’t compromise in professionalism. Try to resolve their issues at your earliest convenience and assure them that you will devote yourself to their service.

Utilize tools like social media platforms to connect with customers outside the boundaries of business and take an interest in their likes and dislikes. This will minimize the disparity between the customer’s expectations and what you are delivering and offering.

Make sure you maintain a balance in this critical relationship. Just to please the customers you cannot make unachievable promises that will disappoint the customers greatly when not fulfilled. It is always smarter to over-deliver than to over-promise.

How Should You Handle and Respond to Customer Complaints?

Let’s explore how you can effectively deal with angry customers and please them:

Keep Calm:

If the customer starts yelling or transcends the boundaries of professionalism and respect, make sure you remain calm and don’t respond in a similar attitude. Your aim should be to eliminate the element of hostility and animosity amongst each other.

Emphasize on Why:

As a worker, your initial instinct would be to get defensive and delve into a realm of denial. You probably wouldn’t digest the fact that there is an issue or inadequacy on your part. But this is the defining moment of the whole process that can either salvage your relationship with the customer of completely dissolve it.

Make sure you identify the root cause and investigate why there was an issue in the first place. This overarching question will solve half of your problem and you can begin taking indispensable actions.

Sympathize and Listen Keenly:

The basic skill of active listening can save you a lot of trouble in this challenging time. The reflective listening approach can also be very beneficial if exercised in this regard. This practice urges you to closely understand the context of what the customer is conveying and interpret his words to derive a meaning out of them. Then you must respond by reflecting on what you have garnered and felt through all that customers mentioned and complained about.

Don’t Take it to Heart:

Make a mental note that anger is natural and kind of inevitable in this case. Not all customers are going to be completely satisfied with your product and services. Some might find them obnoxious to have genuine complaints. The customers don’t bear any malice against you, they are just displeased, so, don’t take it personally.

Acknowledge the Issue and Take Required Actions:

Take sufficient time to probe the issue and then think of ways how can you rectify the mistake or issue faced by the customer. Correct the situation yourself, if you believe it falls under your expertise, otherwise consult someone proficient in this discipline. Make sure you consult the customer and consider their opinion. 

Apologize When Needed:

Whether you believe that the complaint is legitimate or a bogus claim, you have to treat it with utmost concern and respect. You must apologize decently and show that you genuinely care about them.

Are Unhappy Customers Really Beneficial For Your Business?

If a customer took time out to express their disappointment or anger towards your products or services, then it means that you matter to them and they want to continue to engage in business with you. So, this is good news for you!

If you ignore the complaint or provide weak and subpar customer service, then you are opening the door for customers and are compelling them to leave. So, this is a major NO for you.

Make sure that the customer feels heard and acknowledged. If you provide attention and grant special treatment to customers, they will feel valued and respected. This will keep them riveted to your business and they will remain your loyal customers.

Encourage customers to share their feedback and mention if they felt like the issue was dealt with concern and competence. Keep a documented record of the feedback and ensure that the customers are satisfied after their issue has been resolved.

The best business isn’t the one with the least number of unhappy clients; it is the business with the greatest number of clients who were angry at first but their complaints were resolved efficiently and they were satisfied.


All of this may seem like a lot of tedious work and effort but once you get a hold of this strategy you will turn all the frowns into smiling faces in no time. They are your customers and a complaint means that they had expectations from you.

Turn this trust to your benefit and prove to the customers that they matter to you. If you play your cards right and incorporate the above-discussed tips and tools to build a strong customer relationship, you will grow into a family from a business!


Developing and Understanding Organizational Culture

Managers and HR professionals must have a thorough understanding of what organizational culture is. They also need to understand what their specific organizational culture is. The culture of an organization is based on values that are derived from assumptions about the following.

  • The relationship of the organization to its environment- This is how the organization defines its constituencies and business.
  • Human nature- it is crucial to understand whether people are inherently bad or good, whether they are immutable or mutable and whether they are reactive or proactive. The basic assumptions lead to beliefs about how the customers, employees, and suppliers should interact and how they can be managed.
  • Appropriate emotions- these are the emotions that people should be encouraged to express and the ones they should suppress.
  • Effectiveness- these are the metrics that show whether the organization and its components are doing good. Organizations will only be effective when culture is supported by the business strategy and an appropriate structure for both the desired culture and the business.

Culture is an undefined aspect of organizations. It is a nebulous concept. There exists extensive academic literature that relates to the topic of organizational culture, but there is no universally accepted definition of organizational culture. Instead, the literature has numerous views as to what the culture of an organization is.

There are many ways that the culture of an organization can manifest itself. These ways include communication styles, leadership behaviors, corporate celebrations, and internally distributed messages.

Culture in a business compromises a lot of elements, so it is not surprising that the terms that define culture vary widely. Some of the commonly used terms for describing cultures include customer-focused, aggressive, fun, innovative, ethical, technology-driven, process-oriented, family-friendly, hierarchical and risk-taking.

Now that we have seen that it is difficult to define culture, organizations may have trouble when it comes to maintaining the consistency in creating and spreading their messages about culture. Employees also find it hard to communicate and identify perceived cultural inconsistencies.

Factors that Shape Culture

Leaders in organizations often talk about the unusual natures of their organizational cultures. They see their domains as special workplaces. Organizations that are known for their unique cultures are not many.

Most organizational cultures are not very different from one another. Companies in disparate industries such as health care and the manufacturing industry also share common core values. Nearly all the private sector companies want to increase their revenues and grow. Most of them try to play teamwork and demonstrate their concern for others.

The companies are driven and not relaxed because they compete for the market share and the money. Some of the characteristics that differentiate most organizations include:


There are commonly shared business values at the heart of the cultures of an organization. There is none that is wrong or right, but organizations should decide on which values they want to emphasize. The common values include:

  • People orientation- this is insisting on tolerance, fairness, and respect for all individuals.
  • Outcome orientation- this is emphasizing results and achievements.
  • Team orientation- this is valuing precision and dealing with problems and situations analytically.
  • Stability- following a predictable course and providing security.
  • Innovation– encouraging risk-taking and experimentation.
  • Aggressiveness- encouraging a competitive spirit among the employees.

Hierarchy degree

This is the extent to which the values of an organization traditional channels of organizational authority.

We have three unique levels of hierarchy which are high – having a defined structure in an organization and expectation that people will work via official channels.

The second level of the hierarchy is moderate – having structures that are defined but accepting that people work outside their formal business channels.

The third level of the hierarchy is low – having job descriptions that are loosely defined and accepting that individuals challenge authority.

Organizations that have a high level of the hierarchy are more formal and move slowly compared to organizations that have a low level of hierarchy in an organization.

Degree of urgency

This defines how fast an organization needs or wants to drive innovation and decision making. Some businesses choose their degree of urgency while other businesses have it thrust on them by the nature of the market.

Organizational cultures that have a high level of urgency have a need to push projects through quickly and the high need to respond to the marketplace that is always changing. Moderate levels of urgency move projects at a pace that is reasonable. Low level of urgency in an organization means that people work consistently and slowly and value quality over efficiency.

Organizations that have high urgency are fast-paced, and they support a decisive style of management. Organizations with low urgency are more methodical, and they support a management style that is more considered.

Task Orientation or People Orientation

Businesses have a dominant way of valuing tasks and people. Organizations that have strong people orientation put people first when it comes to making decisions. Such organizations also believe that people drive the performance of the organization and productivity.

Organizations that have a strong task orientation put process and tasks first when it comes to making decisions. Such organizations believe that quality and efficiency drive the productivity and performance of the organization. Some businesses may get to choose their task and people orientations. But other organizations may have to fit their orientation to the historical issues, nature of their industry and operational processes.

Organizational subcultures

Apart from the dominant culture in an organization, organizations can have a mix of subcultures. Subcultures in an organization exist among individuals and groups that may have their own traditions and rituals. Although the subcultures may not be shared by the rest of the people in an organization, they can get deep and underscore the core values of the organization. The subcultures in an organization can end up causing a lot of problems.

You can find that in one department, there is a subculture of aggressiveness. The subculture will spread gradually throughout the organization as the employees interact with people from other departments.

Employee Needs and Organizational Productivity

Both employers and employees have needs to meet within an organization. Employees have got families, outside work activities and events they consider important. Businesses have services and products to deliver to customers and different obligations to stockholders and investors.

It is crucial to recognize this tension. Employers implement creative approaches to make employees happy because they understand that unhappy employees are not creative and productive.

How to Identify the Needs of Employees

Running a business means that you are responsible for managing employees in a way that every member of the team perform and delivers to his maximum potential. The best way you can do this is to set up the workplace so that every staff member has the proper tools to perform his or her job.

This may be a computer, fax machine or even proper training. It is crucial for business managers to learn these employee needs to know their industry, their workplace, and the procedures. It is also very important to understand the needs of the employees which can be unique in nature.

Employers or managers should design a performance review for the employees in an organization. The reviews should be based on the position of the employees. They should include the skills and abilities to perform the job.

The second step is to fill out a performance review for the employees every year. Managers should meet with employees to discuss their performance review. You also need to explain the strengths and weaknesses of the employee at the meeting and listen to concerns, questions, and suggestions.

A training regimen should then be implemented for each division in order to increase the knowledge of the employees. Assign the highest performing employee to run the training sessions. All employees should attend the training classes to help them improve in the needed areas as you had indicated in the performance evaluation.

It is crucial to talk to your employees continuously throughout the year. This will encourage the employees to be honest and open about their suggestions and concerns. You should let the employees know when you are available and let everyone know that you will meet with any employees to discuss their needs and performance.

Instruct your supervisors and trainers to implement an open door policy. Meet with them every week to discuss the needs of the employees.

How to Meet the Needs of Employees in an Organization

Employers and managers have an obligation to provide their staff with a good work environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, and unsafe conditions. They should also be responsible for meeting the needs of the employees in other areas. The areas may include employee recognition, job satisfaction, financial needs, and job stability. Organizations should employ common sense to know what the employees need and how they can meet the employee needs.


Before the relationship between the employee and the employer is cemented; organizations anticipate their future employee needs to provide job descriptions that are straightforward and accurate.

The job description should clarify the roles of the employees, the expectations of the company, and the qualifications and skills that the employee needs to be successful in doing their job. Without the job description, the purpose of the employee is unclear, and this makes it impossible for the organization to start an evaluation of their performance.

When you provide the employees with a job description, you meet the needs of the employees to define their purpose in the organization. It is crucial to give the employees a sense of purpose.


Employers need to provide employees with a job description because it is important to provide feedback on the performance of the employees. However, when the supervisors interact with the employees frequently, it provides the needed feedback to help run the business.

Employees should know that they are doing their duties according to the expectations of their employers. Feedback from the supervisors is important to correct deficiencies early in case the employees are not meeting the expectations. Feedback also satisfies the needs of the employees for constructive input and helps to reinforce performance and improve weak performance.


It is crucial for employers to assure employees that they are entitled to fair treatment at work. Workers who don’t feel like they get equity in the promotion, hiring, training, and retention may end up losing faith in the company. They become dissatisfied, and this can harm performance and productivity. It can also kill their morale.

It is therefore essential to meet the needs of the employees as you treat all the employees equal. Also, all the employees should adhere to the laws enforced by the government and the business rules for them to be treated equally.


Workers have pecuniary needs. This means that they need to earn salaries or wages in exchange for their services. It is crucial for employers to assess their benefits practices and compensation to ensure that they are paying competitive staff salaries and providing financial rewards for special services offered by the employees.

Workers have the desire to feel like they are making substantial contributions to the organization. However, satisfying their intrinsic desire is not enough to sustain the lifestyle of the employees. Therefore, businesses should do more than following the laws that apply to mere salaries. They must also create structures that let the employees know that the organization values their talents and their contributions to the business.


Sometimes, gossips and hoaxes may come through the organization and make the employees think that the business is not stable or not being managed well. It is crucial for business owners and managers to address such issues before they become out of hand.

It is crucial to make the employees feel that their jobs are safe and stable and that they will continue to work for the company. This will help them to bar any misconduct from their part. It is important for managers to gain the confidence of their employees by creating a clear communication path and addressing employee issues as soon as they identify them.

Rewarding Attendance

This is actually quite an interesting topic – should you hand out an additional reward to someone for coming into work?  Basically give them a reward for just doing their job – something that they are getting paid for anyways?

Well to answer the question I’m afraid this time I’m going to have be a bit ambivalent so … Yes and No … or it depends would be my answer.  Allow me to explain.

What is the structure of your company?  Do you have a forward thinking organization that allows remote working or does everyone have to be “in the office” everyday?  If you do allow remote working, then lets be honest – what possible reason is there for someone being late?  They need to roll out of bed and sit down at a computer!  There should not be any tolerance for people taking advantage in this situation.  If however you do have an office based culture you are going to have to take into account weather and other travel disruptions – while all of your staff should be expected to be in the office 10-15min before the start of their shift (after all they will need time to grab that first coffee or smoke and get their computer setup prior to getting started with their job) there are sometimes issues that are outside of your employees control that will impact them.  Make sure that you are able to track these instances and also allow/disallow based on the circumstances appropriately.

Sickness and Absenteeism – well people get sick … you should really not be considering this as a measurement UNLESS you see a definite pattern – for example the employee is ALWAYS sick on Mondays or Fridays OR they are sick for a couple of days just before they go on holiday.  If this happens it must be dealt with and immediately.  Otherwise follow your standard guidelines – probably something like 3days+ of sick in a row require a Doctor’s note etc…  One important point – if someone is sick and you do offer remote work as an option … they should not choose to work from home (if they are scheduled to be in the office) and claim that they were sick.  If they are truly sick they should not be working.  If they are not sick – they should be in the office!

Now hopefully you are capturing lateness and absenteeism as part of schedule adherence and rewarding it appropriately in your end of your reviews or something similar.  However there is no harm in having an employee rewarded for good behaviour and something small that is made public to the rest of the team is a great incentive.  Heck even a gift certificate to Amazon or the equivalent for a not too large sum is something that people will strive for.  A friend mentioned in passing that he had heard of one company that had problems with absenteeism introduced a free lottery for staff – however tickets were only provided to employees that made it into work on Fridays – if you think about it … this is more of a carrot than a stick and as they say “you’ll catch more flys with honey than … “

Time Management 101

Time Management is generally assumed to refer to the development of processes and tools that increase productivity and efficiency. However, this does not always have to be the case. Good time management is about knowing what to do and when.

The first step in this process is determining what your end goal is – what is it that you are trying to accomplish and what is the shortest path for you in reaching that goal? Once you know this then you can plan the steps appropriately that are achievable and realistic to realize this objective in a timely and efficient manner. Along the way the things that are taking you away from this achievement should be removed or reprioritized so that they do not impact your target negatively.

In addition it is extremely important that one of your goals includes focusing on your personal life. Having huge business objectives and targets is all well and good, but without an equal amount of focus on the people that care and nurture you, the real underlying reason for your business goals just does not make sense.

A good post on Time Management unrelated to business but still applicable is available here.

Remember – the only thing that you cannot get back again is time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone so make sure that you are using it wisely and well.