Common Customer Service Mistakes

Common Customer Service Mistakes
October 19, 2016 Denitsa Kozanova

Common customer service mistakes…

Bad vs. Good Customer Service pic3
Last weekend I had no Internet for two days straight. I tried to contact the Internet provider via chat. I wrote my request and waited for a reply. The waiting never ended. So, they weren’t available over chat. On Sun. I decided to call them. A very polite lady explained to me that they are running a check that leads to downtime. She further told me that they should be ready by the end of the day. In case I still don’t have Internet, I should call them again. At 20h there was still no Internet. What’s more, there was no more customer service anymore! Sundays they are working only until 19h.
How do you think I felt? I felt like… changing my Internet Provider.
Customers are the most important stakeholders of one’s business. It’s simple really, without them the company won’t exist. Therefore, it is quite astonishing that so many companies neglect the importance of customer service. I am aware that people will disagree with the previous statement. Nowadays, we talk more and more about customer centricity. Companies invest millions in customer service. They try to engage customers in all stages of the buying Customer Servicecycle.
Yet, there are so many examples of bad customer service. Agents who are rude or have no clue what they are doing. Sometimes the customer spends hours and hours of waiting on the phone line, just to hear ‘I am not responsible for that. Let me forward you to the next level of support’.

So, what does it take to be a good customer service agent?

Well, this is not an easy question. He/she has to possess a number of skills, such as active listening, proactive behavior, showing empathy and emotional intelligence…
The easiest way to describe a good agent is to describe a good customer agent is to describe what he/she is NOT…


What agents have in mind usually is that the customer who is calling doesn’t have an idea about the problem. At least, he/she knows way less then the agent. But they should’t make you feel that way. What do I mean by that? A lot of times I had to talk with agents, who are impatient. They get angry when I can’t describe the issue or don’t let me finish my sentence, because they already have the answer. Even if their suggestions were right, they leave you with an awful feeling that you are a complete idiot for calling for such a small problem.
Bad: I am not able to log into the website. When I… – Which browser are you using? – No, what? Oh, I think Firefox…. – Have you tried with another one? – Yes, with all of them. – Ah, ok, continue… – Well, I open the website and enter my credentials… – Are you sure you are typing in the right password? – What? Yes, I am sure… – Caps lock turned off? – I am not IDIOT, let me finish!!!!
Good: I am not able to log into the website. When I open the website and enter my credentials, I get an error that this is the wrong password. I have tried with all browsers, turned off caps lock and tried several times. I am pretty sure I am doing it right. – Great, have you tried to clear cache and cookies. Sometimes they block you form entering. – Oh, I didn’t know that! Let me check… – Oh, that’s normal! I had no idea about that, too, before starting to work here 🙂


You have a bad day? It’s not your customer’s fault! So, keep your bad mood for yourself, because after all you get paid to provide support and your customer doesn’t get paid getting paid to listen to a grumpy, impolite and angry person. You don’t agree?!?! This job is not for you. End of discussion.


That’s really really tricky! We tend to over promise in general. That’s why it’s no wonder that we do that at work as well. And a lot of times it is necessary, just because you want to leave a good impression. The customer will also feel he/she is in good hands and that the issue will be solved immediately. In the moment, though, when you don’t deliver what you’ve promises, the disappointment will make a significant damage on the company. You might lose the customer’s loyalty. So, instead of overpromising, try to be honest. I know, it’s easier said than done but there are some smart ways to do that. For instance, be honest and say you are not sure, but try to draw a timeline and schedule all to-dos ahead in order to solve the problem…
Bad: Yes, of course,I am pretty sure we can deliver the goods earlier. I will talk with the department and we will solve the problem.
Good: I am sorry but I can’t tell you immediately whether we can deliver the goods on time or not. But here is what I will do. I will contact the responsible team in the next 2 hours and I will let you know latest by tomorrow. 
The latter sounds more professional. You can’t promise an immediate solution to the problem, but you are doing the best you can. That is quite enough.

Lack of knowledge/Incompetency/Canned answers

Nobody expects you to know everything. Nobody expects you to immediately understand the problem and offer a solution. But they expect you to listen and react adequately. Customer Service Mistakes 1
This chat is wrong for so many reasons. The agent is completely ignoring the responses of the customer and giving canned answers. Canned responses are not bad if used at the right time, usually at the beginning at the sentence. However, people expect you to be competent, to try to understand what they are saying and to offer a solutions. 
Customer service can harm your business greatly if not done properly. The worst thing is that its affect are long-lasting and spread like a disease. One wrong reaction and you will create bad customers all along the way. This is not something that you want to happen.
Do you have some bad customer experience and what will be your way of overcoming it?

Ready to give it a go?