Xenia Kingsley

What can we learn from the furious few?

Posted on 25th July 2013 by Xenia Kingsley

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Bad days. We all get them. It feels like everything and everyone in the world is conspiring against you. On days like that, it can take a lot of self-control to stop yourself boiling over.

Some people, of course, don’t quite manage to contain the anger. It’s then that we see someone screaming their heads off in the Apple store, or people taking their horses into McDonalds in slightly misguided acts of protest.

Sure, it’s entertaining – it gives the news their ‘… and finally’ story of the day – but should we dismiss these amusingly random acts of rage? What if they have a valid point? What if the screaming woman, who was promised the parts she needed by Apple support, is representative of a larger group of equally disgruntled customers?

Ok, it’s less likely with the people trying to take their horses into the drive-thru, but who knows, they could be the tip of the Big Mac loving equestrian iceberg. 

While these extreme outbursts are the acts of a small handful of pissed-off individuals, their frustration could be an outrageously expressed indication of something bigger. At the very least, in the age of consumer journalism and media immediacy, businesses must be prepared to deal with these situations quickly and in a personal way.

On the train this morning, along with the rest of my carriage, I was privy to a passenger having a particularly loud and angry rant at his broadband provider. I don’t use said provider myself, but should I consider switching soon, the overheard gripes will be fresh in my mind and will definitely make me think twice.

Businesses, take note: word of mouth is an incredibly powerful tool. Sometimes the joke is on the customer (A horse! In McDonalds! What were they thinking?!), but brands need to be careful that the last laugh isn’t on them.

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