Passionately Angry People

Working in support you’ll find no shortage of frustrated people. Less common, but not uncommon, are the people who are frustrated and passionately angry.

The people who express passionate anger are frequently the same ones who spend unbelievable amounts of time with your product. Your best customers can be your most vocal critics.

For these people, your product is central to their ability to complete a certain task. Compromise their ability to effectively do that and you’ll see frustration boil over.

The thing is, these people love your product. Many use it for hours every day. Your product’s bugs and unwelcome changes tarnish that love with unmet expectations. They make these people want to scream at you.

If you work in support, this also means a passionately angry person is rarely angry with you, personally. It’s the product that is frustrating them. You’re just the closest thing they have to that. Welcome to the front lines. Time to grow some thicker skin.

The upside to all of this is that if you can find the task someone is trying to accomplish you can solve their frustration. Find the task they want to do. Eliminate the roadblocks to getting it done. Make everything about it faster. Walk away with a happy, and no longer frustrated, customer.

The next time someone writes to you in all caps calling you unspeakable things, take a moment to step back. Do more than just answer the question they’re asking. Think of the task they’re trying to finish and help with that. Nothing solves anger quite like getting things done.


Luc De Brouwer says:

Great post and great insight! The last sentence really is spot on.

I normally schedule Sunday morning for plugin support and in some cases I get some very upset emails from people why I haven’t answered their email from the Tuesday before that yet. And I’ve had death threads from ‘passionately infuriated’ people. But my golden rule has always been, everybody gets a reply.

Now if there only was a better way of showing/explaining to people that a current problem is not caused by your plugin but by another, that’d be great 😉

Comments closed