9 Mistakes Leading to Poor Customer Service

Women carrying hundred dollar bills in her hands

If you come up with poor customer service, nothing’s going to save your business, no matter the quality of your product. Here we present 9 things you should avoid to serve your customers perfectly.

Businesses lose $2378 per second simply because they don’t understand that customer service should be the priority of each and every company.

They spend lots of money on advertising, but to what avail?

Remember, good customer service can work for you as a sales, marketing, and good-PR machine.

Customer service has an impact on a lot of different things, such as trust, loyalty, frequency of purchases, shopping cart value, etc.

When asking consumers what impacts their level of trust with a company, offering excellent customer service ranked number one.Dimensional Research

Still think that customer service is bull?

Then you would like to know, that 3 in 4 customers switch brands because of poor customer experience.

And here is why…

Table of Contents:

  1. What Annoys Customers So They Switch Brands
  2. Side Effects Of Bad Customer Service
  3. The 9 Common Mistakes In Customer Service
  4. How To Make Good Customer Service Out Of Poor Customer Service

What Annoys Customers So They Switch Brands


Feeling unappreciated

48% of consumers expect specialized treatment for being a good customer. – Accenture


Unhelpful/rude staff

68% of customers believe the key to great customer service is a polite customer service representative. – AE


Being passed around to multiple agents

72% of consumers see having to explain their problem to multiple people as poor customer service.Dimensional Research


Being kept on hold for too long

Consumers will wait on hold for an average of 11 minutes before hanging up.

Why is it important to know customers’ reasons for switching brands?

Simply because this knowledge is necessary to understand what annoys the customers and on that basis improve the situation in your company.

Side Effects Of Bad Customer Service

Bad Reputation

The average person tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience. And what’s funny, is that men share their bad experiences with more people than women do.

On average men tell 21 people when they have had a poor customer service experience, while women tell 10 people.AE

As you can see, people like sharing their opinion. The thing is, negative reviews and low ratings drive customers away.

At the same time, people take positive reviews and high ratings as social proof that a product or service is worth the purchase.

A couple of bad reviews and your reputation is ruined.

Loss of customers

51% of customers will never do business with the company again after just one negative experience.

In today’s business world the competition is huge. There are many almost identical companies offering the same thing.

It costs a customer nothing to chose your competitor if you let him down even once.

Loss of Employers

A company that offers poor customer service is a stone that pulls you to the bottom. It’s a sinking ship.

So the first thing your best employers will do is to jump this ship.

It will also affect the new employers. Does anyone want to work in a company with a bad reputation?

Loss of Potential Customers

We have already figured out that people like sharing their opinion. And fortunately or not, people also like learning others’ opinions.

Negative information makes people change their minds about purchasing the product or service.

A single negative review can cost the average business an average loss of 30 customers.

Come on, I’m pretty sure you know what do I mean.

Would you go to the restaurant if a friend of a friend of a friend once said that he spent the whole evening in the bathroom after eating there?

The 9 Common Mistakes in Customer Service

Now, when we know enough about poor customer service, let’s see how to make it better. What should we avoid to improve customer experiences?

1. Putting customers on hold for too long

People hate waiting, that’s why many customers are most frustrated by having to
wait on hold.

On average a customer will wait on hold 11 minutes before hanging up.

Imagine yourself waiting in a very long queue. The store has 9 cashiers, but for
some reason, only one is working. And when your turn comes, they ask you to wait. Wait!

It sounds like a horror movie script, I know…

Scared Jim Carrey

When someone asks you to wait even more.

Try to avoid putting customers on hold, they hate it. But if you can not avoid it at all, explain why you need to put them on hold. Because what is even more frustrating than waiting on hold is ignorance of the cause of waiting on hold.

You can also propose a customer an alternative solution, such as calling him back at a time convenient for him.

2. Transfering caller again and again

There is nothing more unprofessional than transferring the caller again and again. That suggests that there is no specialist competent enough to solve the problem.

Besides, it just infuriates.

Would you like to stay longer with such a company?

I wonder…

3. Asking the customer to repeat

That simply means you are not listening. If you are not listening, you don’t care. If you don’t care, I don’t care either.

Thank you, next.

4. Leaving customers without a solution

Never leave a customer with anything. You must provide a solution for the customer to take home today, even though it wouldn’t be the solution he expected.

Offer an alternative solution. Even if it will be something small such as to sign him up for tomorrow or to show him how to reserve an appointment on the website.

It’s always something, you know…

5. Not being empathetic

Customer Empathy means walking a mile in the shoes of your customers. It means feeling their pain, understanding their needs, what really matters to them, what worries and aspirations they have.

That’s obvious, customers want someone empathetic to help them.

When you show deep empathy towards others, their defensive energy goes down and positive energy replaces it. That’s why being empathetic makes it easier for you to solve problems and deal with the customers.

6. Using negative language

Try to avoid saying negative words that may create a bad association with your
product or service.

For example, don’t use ‘problem’. Instead say ‘condition’, ‘issue’ or ‘situation’.

7. Ignoring customers’ feedback

52% of people around the globe believe that companies need to take action on feedback provided by their customers.Microsoft

I think I don’t need to explain why it is stupid and has a bad impact on customer experiences. And still, most of the companies ignore customer’s feedback.

If your company is among them, better write on your forehead right away something like “Frankly, my dear, we don’t give a damn about you and your opinion. We are not going to change anything. Scram! :)”.

Ross from Friends doing the Scram! gesture

8. Not being present on the channels of your customers

Customers see not being present on the channels of their choice as a bad customer service. It makes it hard to reach you, and there is nothing good at it.

The best way is to go omnichannel. As many channels you have as simple it is for the customer to reach you.

Learn more about different types of customer service here.

Being reactive, not proactive

68% of consumers say it increases their perception of a brand when companies send them proactive customer service notifications.Microsoft

Don’t wait for the customers to get stuck with the product. Be the first one who reaches out to the customers to resolve their issue before it takes place.

Read more about Proactive Customer Service.

9. Being rude

Rule 1: The customer is always right. Rule 2: If the customer is ever wrong, re-read Rule 1.Stew Leonard

I know, working with people is difficult. Sometimes there is that strong desire to be rude to the customer.

Why not? They can…

No matter how strong is the desire, don’t do that!

Cause your customer is your boss. And even if you don’t like your boss, you can’t be rude to him. Otherwise, start looking for a new job.

How To Make Good Customer Service Out Of Poor Customer Service

Unfortunately, there is no standard way to fix all the problems. Each problem has its own solution and you are the one who decides what measures to take.

But there are 3 tips that will help you to get one step closer to the great customer service.

The first thing we need to do is to identify the problem areas. And KPIs can help us with that. So start measuring.


    1. Response Time

As people hate waiting, it’s important to know how long it takes for a customer to reach you.
To calculate the Average Response Time, you need to divide the sum of all Response Times by the number of responses.

    1. First Contact Resolution (FCR)

It is a great way to determine how effective your service agents are at resolving issues quickly.

FCR = the total number of calls resolved correctly on the first attempt divided by the total number of first calls.

    1. Average Resolution Time (ART)

This is how much time on average does an agent need to solve a problem.

The time it takes to resolve issues is important to customers, as they like to get solutions quickly.

ART = Total time taken to resolve tickets divided by the number of tickets resolved in the selected period.

    1. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

It’s also known as a Happy Customer KPI – the base and perhaps the most popular indicator.

Please rate the quality of the service you received today: poor, fair, good, great, excellent.

CSAT = (Number of satisfied customers (only great and excellent) / Number of survey responses) x 100 = % of satisfied customers

    1. Net Promoter Score

Its a measure of how likely your customers will recommend your brand. The customer chooses from 0 to 10, where 0 is never and 10 is very likely.

Based on the scores you categorize customers: promoters if 9-10, passives if 7-8, detractors of 0-6.
Positive scores indicate a business with good customer relations.

The goal of any business is development and growth. But as the customer base grows, the number of problem reports also grows.

Along with the increasing number of problem reports, it is becoming easier to forget/lose something. Moreover, wait times are getting longer what annoys customers.

For that reason, you need to arm yourself with helpful customer service tools that will support you in continuing growth.

Check out the best customer tools here.

Still wonder how customer service tools can help you?

That’s easy. Many customers get frustrated by transferring calls, this is one of the reasons they see your customer service as a poor one.

That’s obvious that no agent has all the knowledge required to answer every customers’ query.

That’s why, oftentimes, customers have to be redirected to the right department making you and them lose time.

Channels offers you IVR, with its help you can redirect every caller to the right department based on their needs, limiting the time you or your agents transfer the calls.

Start 7-day trial and try IVR for free


Customer Service Techniques

Businesses with the highest customer loyalty and satisfaction rates attach great importance to customer service techniques.

They put a lot of effort into employee training and constantly working on a single standard. And you must too.

Right customer service techniques will guarantee the company an intimate engagement with its customers.

Find all the most important customer service techniques, such as 5 Steps of Service, The rule of positive language, Failure Recovery or Empathy Techniques, here.

And don’t forget to implement them into the work of customer service.

Let’s wrap it up

Customer service is your main weapon. Not working on it, same as shooting itself in the knee.

Sorting out your problems and weaknesses is half the way. The other half is to arm yourself with the right customer service tools and techniques to never sin again.

Save yourself this infographic, it will remind you of the importance of customer service and motivate you to take action.