In today’s competitive business markets, most people understand that customer service is a major factor impacting the majority of consumer decisions. Service representatives are taught how to properly address customer issues and concerns, yet there is also tremendous value in learning what NOT to do or say. With that in mind, here’s our pick for the top ten worst customer service experiences, as told by Sandy, our “secret shopper” and “anonymous caller”:
- The use of foul language. Sandy relayed her experience of being told off after requesting to speak with a supervisor – an interaction that resulted in the representative being relieved of his position.
- Insulting the customer. Instead of being met with a smile, Sandy was told that the dessert she ordered was too fattening for someone who obviously needed to lose a few pounds.
- Failure to take responsibility for the problem. After experiencing a three day lapse in cable service, Sandy requested a credit for that portion of her bill. Instead of taking responsibility for the error, the representative told Sandy that the company would never be willing to lose that much revenue!
- Using sarcasm. After waiting several days for an important prescription, Sandy inquired about the reason for the delay and explained the new symptoms she was experiencing in the absence of her medication. Instead of offering compassion, the pharmacist rolled her eyes and suggested that Sandy visit her doctor to discuss these new issues.
- Overly scripted responses. Sandy called to cancel a credit card previously held by her recently deceased uncle but was told that the card holder would have to be on the line. She explained that she was the executor of his estate yet kept hearing the same scripted response over and over!
- Reluctance to help the customer. After an item rang up for more than the advertised price, Sandy asked the cashier to credit her the difference. The cashier rudely told Sandy that this was not her problem and directed Sandy to the customer service desk.
- Empty promises. Sandy called around to get catering bids and gave each company a deadline for the bid. Despite insistence that they were the right group for the job, the representative for the forerunning company failed to submit a bid on time and made excuses for why it wasn’t possible.
- Incomprehensible English. Outsourcing is a highly viable solution for many organizations, provided the representatives speak clear, fluent English. Sandy relayed her experience dealing with a foreign representative and explained that she was literally not able to understand a word the person was saying.
- Blaming the customer. When Sandy attempted to receive a replacement blender part that cracked during the initial use of the product, she was told that the issue was her fault and was the result of misuse, even though Sandy explained she had only used the blender to make the same frozen drink that was pictured on the packaging!
- Refusing to transfer the customer to a supervisor. After dealing with a belligerent customer service representative, Sandy asked to be transferred to a supervisor. Instead of honoring the request, the rep outright refused to transfer Sandy and argued that Sandy’s reason for calling was invalid.
Honor the Needs of Your Customers!
Treating your customers (and potential customers) with respect while honoring their need for answers and efficiency is arguably the best tactic for building, growing and maintaining a thriving organization. Outsourcing your customer service needs through a reputable third party organization can be a cost effective way to enhance customer relationships while building trust in your brand name.