Study reveals the 5 worst customer service habits

24th Jan 2017

Today’s consumers have an extensive range of purchase choice available at their fingertips. They’re also more empowered than they’ve ever been, with a multitude of ways to publicly express their feelings about the service they received from a company.

It’s therefore more important than ever for companies to keep their customers happy and provide them with excellent customer service every time.

To stand out from the competition, companies must be serious about eliminating bad customer service along with listening to what their customers want. Bad customer service can have detrimental impacts on a business, causing potential loyal customers to seek products or services elsewhere.

Understanding what customer service traits your customers find the most frustrating will therefore help you to make the necessary changes needed to keep your customers happy and loyal to your brand.

Our own research, into which customer service habits customers dislike the most, shows that for many people, being passed around different members of staff or coming across defensive or rude staff is more frustrating than cost issues, such as having to pay for essential extras. This demonstrates that price is no longer the primary differentiator between businesses; a professional, efficient and personalised service is.

Interestingly, the top five customer service bad habits identified in our research are as follows:

  • Being passed around different colleagues to sort your issue or being put on hold - 58%
  • Defensive or rude staff  - 46%
  • Lack of knowledge/authority in staff to address the issue - 41%
  • Automated customer service - 40%
  • Aggressive/pushy sales tactics - 35%

The results highlight a growing feeling of alienation amongst consumers, and to bring this to life, Trustpilot recently created Café Zero to highlight consumers’ frustrations with businesses’ poor customer service. Café Zero humorously demonstrates bad customer service.

Customer feedback can help businesses adapt, so that they can provide great service to their customers. Now is the time to get the fundamentals right – ensuring a joined-up, cohesive customer journey. Using customer feedback to improve processes is the best way to do this, and online reviews can play a key role.

By going through both positive and negative feedback, and making changes accordingly, businesses of all sizes can ensure these annoyances are addressed.

So, while mistakes may happen, it’s how these mistakes are dealt with that will define how well businesses perform. It’s for this reason that it’s never been more important for retailers to listen, engage and prioritise their customers.

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