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7 Examples Of Bad Customer Service (And How To Fix Them)

Customer Experience, CS Management, Team Development, Team Leaders, CS Tips

No business can afford to underestimate the importance of positive customer experience. Poor service can make a significant impact on a brand’s retention rates, causing would-be buyers to look elsewhere. In fact, bad customer service costs businesses a combined $62 billion each year.

What is Bad Customer Service?

Bad customer service can be defined as when a business fails to meet the customer expectations in terms of service quality, response time, or overall customer experience.

Your call center has to be built on a foundation of great customer service to ensure agents are performing at their highest standard. Delivering a basic training session at the start of their employment and expecting them to give outstanding service over subsequent months and years could end up costing you.

Instead, stay on top of your agents’ performance, identify potential issues and help them find a solution. First, you need to know what to watch out for — join us as we look at seven examples of bad customer service calls (and how to fix them) below.

1. Putting Customers on Hold for too Long

This is one of the most common examples of bad customer service calls. The prospect of being placed on hold for several minutes is enough to inspire a sense of dread in even the most upbeat caller.

It’s vital to get your queue times down as much as you can. In Playvox, you can upload your customer service variables and create dashboards with your most relevant KPIs, such as response time and identify the average length of a customer’s wait. Your custom QA scorecards allow you to create your own call center metrics with which to measure your team’s performance, and if callers wait on hold too long, you’ll know.

Maybe you don’t have enough bodies to accommodate all of your calls — in which case, there’s a simple solution! Otherwise, consider implementing a callback scheme, in which agents get back to customers as soon as they’re free.

There’s no reason to be yet another call center falling prey to such obvious poor customer service example calls.

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2. Using Negative Language

Using the right tone and language is just one aspect of a great customer service attitude. Your callers want to feel as though your agents have the solution for every problem, even if they don’t.

Customers who encounter agents saying they "don’t know" how to help them or cannot inspire confidence are likely to feel disillusioned with your overall service.

Training agents to stay positive and approach issues with a can-do approach is essential, to minimize the risk of callers ending interactions with an unpleasant experience.

They can share a word of their negative experience on social media or review sites as examples of your unacceptable customer service calls.

With Playvox, you have the freedom to monitor and evaluate each agent’s customer interactions and tone with custom scorecards. Did Agent X introduce themselves properly and offer to help with the problem reported? Was Agent Y friendly and positive throughout? If the scorecards show they didn’t, you know where to direct further training.

Related: 8 Steps To Creating An Effective Call Center Scorecard

3. Transferring Callers Again and Again

Being bounced from one agent to another and another is one of the most familiar examples of bad customer service calls.

Not only does this imply your staff don’t know how to solve a problem, it suggests your entire structure needs work too.

When a customer calls with a specific issue, be it of a complex technical nature or something a little more simple, there should agents who specialize in that area.

The agent taking the call would know exactly who to direct the customer to, rather than transferring them and hoping for the best. Playvox allows you to connect your customer service variables and create KPIs to measure how often customers are being transferred and hear the effect this has on them through random call monitoring.

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4. Asking Customers to Repeat

Being asked to give the same personal details, explain the nature of your problem or anything else multiple times are all avoidable examples of bad customer service calls.

Agents should be able to call up information on an existing customer (name, call history, etc.) or record data from first-time callers in a quick, simple way. This should stay on their screen and be clear to scan during conversations, negating the need for them to keep asking the same questions over and over.

Playvox makes it easy to identify which agents are asking customers to repeat themselves and enables you to refine your system to fix this issue.

Related: Personalized Customer Experiences Created Using CRM Data

5. Agents Offer No Empathy

Customers expect an agent to be on their side and apologize on behalf of your company when a product or service is at fault. They want to hear the agent say they’re sorry and acknowledge the inconvenience caused.

If an agent cannot empathize with them and is running through the script with no emotional engagement, the customer might feel as if there’s no admission of responsibility or genuine apology.

This may aggravate them enough to hang up or file a complaint.

Want to avoid falling prey to these examples of bad customer service calls? Make sure you set up metrics to measure how emotionally responsive and engaging your agents are. Playvox’s instant feedback feature enables you to offer guidance on the fly and base your guidance on specific customer interactions, with no need to disrupt agents’ productivity.

 Related: How To Help Your Customer Service Team Develop Their Soft Skills

6. Directing Customers to the Website

It’s become sadly common for call centers to direct customers to the company website, rather than giving them the help they’ve called for.

Chances are, a customer already tried the website but could not find the answers they needed. Being told to hang up and fix the problem themselves is not what your callers want to hear.

It’s understandable, of course. You want to get through as many calls as you can, and your FAQ section could contain the solution to the caller’s pain point. However, they’ve called for a reason and your team needs to address that.

Your scorecards can easily let you track which agents are trying to refer customers to the website to speed through calls and help you avoid what makes bad customer service calls.

Related: Metrics To Evaluate In A Customer Service Quality Scorecard

7. Rude Behavior and Bad Attitudes

Everyone has good days and bad days. Your agents will go through times when they just cannot stand the thought of talking to another customer. It happens.

However, you need to make sure they remain professional and polite in every call, even when customers are hurling personal abuse their way. The trick is to find the quickest solution for the caller’s problem and remember that there’s no need to respond with anger.

Your scorecards can be constructed to measure how warm and welcoming agents are.

  • Do they greet the caller and introduce themselves by name?
  • Do they listen to the customer and identify the issue when it’s first presented?
  • Do they ask the caller if there’s anything else they can help with at the end of the interaction?

If agents are failing in any of these call center metrics, you can raise this with them and deliver personalized training easily through Playvox.

As you can see, there are multiple examples of bad customer service skills that could chase customers away. Using Playvox to view your agents’ performance and resolve problems will help you boost productivity, increase customer satisfaction and reinforce your brand reputation.

Have you ever engaged in any of the examples above? How did you improve your customer service?

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