Bad customer service: Definition, consequences and how can you correct it

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Table of Contents

What is bad customer service?

Businesses often talk about delivering the best possible customer experience to their customers on every step of the way. Most of them also put high end efforts in developing efficient products and services that will please the customers. But for some reason, they still don’t seem to achieve that “ideal customer experience” goal that they set. The reason is, they are not focusing on the main ingredient of a great customer experience, which is good customer service.

Customers will stick to your business not just because they like your products, but also because you provide them with better quality customer service. Studies have proven that customers will just walk away from your brand even after just one bad customer service experience. And this excludes the fact that you provide good products.

So what exactly is bad customer service? Bad customer service is when the needs and expectations of customers are not met. And this generally happens when they have to wait for a longer period of time just to get their queries solved, dealing with messed up automated machines which makes them repeat their problems again and again, and even worse is when they have to interact with an uptight customer service agent.

The products and services that you provide, already have loads of competition in the market. There are tons of businesses providing similar products as you are. So, when this is the case, customers tend to judge businesses based on how they treat their customers. Honestly, as good as your customer service is, there will still be competition. So it is advised for the businesses to invest in delivering good customer service along with exceptional products if they want to retain their customers in good numbers.

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What are the consequences of bad customer service?

  • Disrepute in the market

Customers these days are pretty vocal about their opinions and views. And with increasing platforms to share that with, one bad word against your business can spread like a forest fire. 

As Warren Buffet tweeted once, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” It is very important to look after where your customer service is being headed. One bad move and your brand reputation could be ruined for a larger period of time.

  • Lesser conversations 

When a customer calls on the customer care helpline for some issue clarification, he/she hears an automated message saying the executive is unavailable at the moment. There are high chances they will get frustrated due to all the waiting time, and even worse if they have been put on hold for several tries in a row.

  • Customer retention

It has been proven statistically that acquiring new customers is 5-25% costlier than retaining the existing ones. Customers tend to stick to your brand highly based on the quality of customer service they are being provided. Your products alone cannot do better if you are providing bad customer service. So even if your product is exceptional, consistent bad customer service experience will make the customer re-think about their commitment to your brand. 

  • Decreased employee morale

When you serve the customers badly, you make them frustrated and angry. And a bad customer service pattern has not only external but also internal damages. Your employees have to deal with frustrated and angry customers all the time which makes them feel bored and unhappy about the place they are working. The employees that are good with customers will have to put up with the work of the employees that are not. This drives a burden on one set of employees and lifts down the spirit of all of them.

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How can you correct bad customer service?

  • Do no make the customer wait 

The long waiting times we discussed above can be really frustrating, adding more to the bad books of the customer. You can make use of call center software that helps you manage all the incoming calls from the customers. It will direct the call to a relevant customer care agent who is capable of handling that sort of customer query.

  • Customer feedback is important 

Customers feel special when they are being listened to. As a business who develops new products and services, make sure you involve your customers to be a part of your process. Ask them for their ideas and suggestions on the new product, ask them for feedback on the launched one, get to know how they feel about your customer service experience and whether they need something updated or changed. 

Doing so will enhance your customer interaction, strengthen business and customer relationships and get you closer to what customers want from you.

  • Omnichannel support 

Customers love to have choices. Especially when it is for communication. Omnichannel customer support will allow you to spread your communication channel over various platforms which include all sorts of channels like phone calls, SMS, in person visits, emails, social media platforms, mails, etc. 

Customers can reach out to you through any of those platforms and it is your responsibility to serve them equally over all those platforms. 

  • Train your agents 

Your customer service agents are the face of your company. The way they interact with the customer, tells them a lot about your organization. So you need to train your agents on their conduct and soft skills so all of them are able to deal with all sorts of customers at any time. 

Handling a frustrated and angry customer is a trick. But this is when your customer service credibility is being tested. Along with soft skills training, train them to use various software and tools that are the core of customer service support. 

  • Showcase your wins

Apart from correcting your bad customer service, make sure you celebrate your wins too. Include your customers in your success and make use of various social media channels to share it with them.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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