Customer Service Horror Stories and How to Avoid Them
Customer service is a beast unto itself. And, as with any beast, tame it properly and it will be kind and loyal to you. Loosen the reigns a bit and neglect caring for it, and you will suffer the consequences. Here are some customer service mistakes and how to avoid them.
Customer service is a beast unto itself. And, as with any beast, tame it properly and it will be kind and loyal to you. Loosen the reigns a bit and neglect caring for it, and you will suffer the consequences.
Not to say that customers are beasts - and anyone who would make that assumption is clearly unfamiliar with metaphors. But it’s safe to say that a good relationship with your customers is a key component to any business’s pathway to success.
Customer service has a tremendous impact on your business. How you treat your customers and their needs will determine the level of their loyalty and willingness to support your business in whatever shape or form.
But when a customer has a bad experience with your business or brand, whether through use of the product, receiving poor service, or not receiving a solution for a problem, all hell can break loose. This can leave you are in danger of losing not just that one client that had a bad experience. In fact, you can probably 10x that, as bad news travels much faster than good.
WORST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES RETOLD
Taking your customers for granted will force them to alienate your brand and business. Just take a look at these three customer service gaffes
WALMART PRICING FIASCO
A man named Clark Howard was dumbfounded when he saw that a Lego set that he wanted to purchase for his son costs more when bought in-store at Walmart than on the company’s website. When he insisted on the matter, the store assistant said they don’t price-match and that he had to buy the toy with the in-store price.
After trying to cleverly maneuver the situation by buying the toy online and then choosing to pick up the toy in that same location, he was dismayed to find out that store policy doesn’t allow same-day pickup. So he had to go back to the same store the following day to pick up the toy! To his words, “That’s not good customer service.”
T-MOBILE’S TWITTER TROUBLES
With technology becoming increasingly advanced and, for some, somewhat invasive, more people are growing concerned about privacy issues. And T-Mobile Australia certainly didn’t help qualm customer concerns on this front.
When one of their subscribers tweeted her concern about T-Mobile agents seeing the first four characters of passwords, the Telecommunications company even had the nonchalance of tweeting back that they didn’t see what the problem was.
The attempt to be funny and breezy backfired almost instantly, with a company spokesperson prompted to step in a few days later to assure customers that they employ the highest standards of security and database encryption.
BRITISH AIRWAYS’ BLUNDER
Do you know how much a promoted tweet costs? The price varies, but it’s certainly not inexpensive.
But imagine the effort of going online, buying a paid tweet, and spending a few hundred bucks just to complain about an airline’s bad service!
This is precisely what Hasan Syed did when British Airways lost his father’s luggage. This caught on and made waves across Twitterverse, with similar complaints about the same airline company going viral as well.
HOW BUSINESSES CAN AVOID A NEGATIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCE
Business owners can rely on these three simple moves to make sure that the needs of their customers are met.
PROVIDE EXTENSIVE CUSTOMER SUPPORT
By extensive, we mean providing more avenues for them to reach out to you for questions or problems. The cost of retaining a customer is far less than acquiring a new one, so why not invest in customer care portals and go beyond the usual bots and instant messengers that automatically appear onscreen?
EARN CUSTOMER LOYALTY THROUGH PERSONALIZED COMMUNICATION
And speaking of going above and beyond, a simple customized note or email can go a long way in customer retention land. Imagine receiving a handwritten email from your favorite clothing line in a sea of newsletters, most of which go directly to your spam folder.
Spending that extra time and effort in integrating your email marketing campaigns with handwritten direct mail features is like saying to your email database, “I care about you”.
RESPOND TO CUSTOMER FEEDBACK PROMPTLY
The adage better late than never doesn’t necessarily apply to customer service. What’s more applicable is the classic quote justice delayed is justice denied. Simply put, customer service delayed is like customer service denied.
Especially if the client’s concern is time-sensitive, like a service subscription lapsing or a perishable product that needs to be replaced due to logistical errors. Imagine receiving a response to the cake you ordered days after the party was over.
VALUING CUSTOMER SERVICE: THE KEY TO PROFITABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY
By now, no one should be taking customer service for granted. Not once. Not ever. If you do, you will suffer the fate of the three customer service horror stories on this blog. Or worse, pay the price when you see clients walk out of that virtual door.
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