What Aggravates Us About Poor Customer Service?

Poor customer service is something which many people across the world find frustrating and can cause customers to shop elsewhere after a particularly bad experience. Unfortunately, many companies do not place an emphasis on improving their customer service, which could be the reason for poor customer retention numbers or a tarnished brand image.

The problem with poor customer service is that as soon as somebody has a bad experience with a particular company, they are likely to tell their friends. Taking to social media such as Twitter and Facebook has become a popular platform for airing our gripes with businesses that have left us unhappy. Having a reputation for being a business that doesn’t take care of their customers can be really damaging, so here are the top customer service complaints which you should avoid as a business:

  1. Patronising pre-recorded messages. There is nothing worse than calling a company and getting through to a recorded message saying how ‘valued’ you are, yet you cannot speak to somebody. Avoid pre-recorded messages at all costs; customers expect to speak to a human being. As well as this, answering machines are another customer service killer. Not only do people not like leaving these kinds of messages, but more often than not they forget to include vital information, such as their name and contact telephone number so that the business can get back to them. This means many messages are actually left unreturned, giving a poor impression of the company overall.
  2. Waiting in line. Waiting in line whether in real life or on the telephone call can be very frustrating and you can easily lose your patience in this kind of scenario. This is especially the case if you are made to listen to a certain hold music track on loop, or if you are played advertisements continuously. In fact, a recent survey showed that 15% of Brits have spent more than an hour on hold, but 39% are only prepared to wait just 5 minutes before becoming frustrated and hanging up. If you’re guilty of keeping your customers on hold, think again…
  3. Unhelpful operators. It can be really annoying when you finally get through to speak to somebody at the company, only to be faced with a rude call operator who is unprofessional and does not seem to care about your problem, issue or complaint. As customers, we expect to be treated properly and professionally, which means being friendly and polite to all callers. Are your staff fully trained to deal with customer enquiries of all natures?
  4. Passing the customer between departments. You’ve waited 5 minutes to speak to somebody, only to find you’re through to the wrong department. Most of us have experienced this irritation at some point. Keep customers happy by avoiding transferring your customers to different departments
  5. Repeating customer details. Customers find it incredibly frustrating having to give their details a countless number of times. Most of us have experienced the aggravation of having to give our details to the customer advisor, only to have to repeat them 5 minutes later to another advisor. Make sure your customers are only asked once for their details!

Many studies have exposed telecoms providers and Internet providers as having the poorest call centres and customer service. On the other hand, banks were the most likely to get it right when it comes to customer service, with 34% of customers saying that banks provide the best telephone experience.

Melanie is a customer service expert and writes for alldayPA, a leading answering service provider in the UK.

Featured image on home page courtesy of iraxmas.

Filed in: Customer Loyalty, Customer Service
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