10 Ways Customer Service Reps Anger Your Customers

angry manTom Smith recently published a list of the top ten reasons customers rated retailers poorly in customer service. The BIGinsight.com survey asked 6,000 adults what store had the worst customer service and why. While the first half of that questionnaire would probably be beneficial for big box stores to take a look at to make sure they're not one of the offenders, the reasons for the choices are most telling for the rest of us. Here are the top ten ways your customer service representatives are ticking off your customers:

  1. The rep was ill-mannered and impolite.
  2. The customer was unable to get their issue resolved.
  3. The rep didn't know how to help the customer.
  4. The resolution took too long.
  5. The rep didn't care about what the customer was saying.
  6. The customer was told "It's not our policy."
  7. Some other complaint.
  8. The customer service helpdesk seemed to be understaffed.
  9. There were telephone support issues.
  10. The rep was unhelpful.

What do you think about this list as a consumer? What do you think about it as a professional?

On the one hand, these complaints seem pretty typical; on the other hand, you hire customer service representatives to help your customer, so where is the disconnect? One way to manage these problems is to step up your employee training. The content and delivery of training is definitely important, but you should also be ensuring knowledge retention through tests and assessments. Regular customer service satisfaction surveys can also measure on-going performance. Some organizations even tie bonuses to these service scores, which allows you to reward great employees while alerting you to big problems before they land you on a list like this.

Sherrie shared some key takeaways from the Forrester Customer Experience Forum last week that may help you make necessary shifts in company culture to address these issues. There's a lot to be learned from the Navy Federal customer experience management story!

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