Is Bad Customer Service Killing Your Business?

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

It’s time to beat the old bad customer service drum again. I know, I’m sick of beating the drum, too, but as long as bad customer service runs rampant through so many businesses I feel it is my entrepreneurial duty to bring it to your attention.

So grab a pew and prepare to listen to the sermon I’ve preached before: bad customer service is the bane of business. If the Almighty smote down every business that dispenses bad customer service, the world would be a much friendlier, albeit much sparser place. Consider a world without malls and fast food joints… would it really be so bad?

What puzzles me most is if bad customer service is such a death knell for business, why do so many businesses allow it to go on? I think the problem is that most bad customer service is doled out (or at least condoned) by business owners and managers who have ceased caring what their customers think. When you stop caring what your customers think it’s time to close the doors. Go find a job. You’ll make someone a wonderfully disgruntled employee.

If you’re one of those people who always feels the need to apologize for calling customer service, it’s time to stop. You know those annoying auto-replies that pop up when you call? We’re all being told that our call is important, yet we can’t help but feel like just the opposite is true.

A good customer service rep will be friendly and polite, but also direct and decisive. They want to solve your problem as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next issue.

Here are some tips for spotting bad customer service:

The rep says “there’s nothing we can do.” This may be true in some cases, but there should be something they can do. They may have to escalate your issue or transfer you to a more knowledgeable representative, but they should never leave you hanging with no action plan at all.

They don’t answer your questions. It’s not enough for a rep to address your immediate issue; they should be able to provide a complete overview of what happened and why it happened. If they’re vague or seem confused, they probably don’t know enough about the product or service you purchased from their company.

As much as I bemoan bad customer service I celebrate good customer service. It should be applauded and the purveyor of said good customer service should be rewarded for actually delivering satisfaction to the customer, above and beyond the call of duty.

Bad customer service doesn’t go unnoticed. It costs companies billions of dollars each year. And, it’s a leading cause of business failure.

You don’t want to be that business.

So, it’s important to know how to spot the warning signs of bad customer service in your business — and how to fix them fast.

Here are the top 10 most common signs that your company is delivering bad customer service:

1) You Don’t Have Any Visible Goals for Customer Service

2) Your Team Doesn’t Share a Common Definition of Customer Service

3) You’re Not Tracking Customer Feedback

4) You Don’t Invest in Training or Resources for Your Team

5) You Haven’t Defined the Ideal Customer Experience

6) You Haven’t Defined the Ideal Employee Experience

7) Your Employees Aren’t Happy or Stressed Out

8) Your Employees Lack Empathy for Customers

9) The Process for Responding to Customer Feedback Is Unclear (Or Non-Existent)

10) You’re Not Delivering on What You Promised