5 Biggest Customer Service Failures that will Cost your Business


The cost associated with several customer service failures is much more than a commoner can fathom, and we are not exaggerating even an infinitesimal amount.

According to studies, poor customer service results in an estimated $83 billion loss by US based companies every year, due to defection and abandoned purchases. Yes, it is a staggering figure to say the least.

But wait, there is more.

An estimated 75% of customers feel that the time taken to access a live agent is very long, while 78% of customers are known to come out of a business relationship, because the service was not up to the mark. Furthermore, about 50% of the agents are not able to respond to customer queries satisfactorily, while around 61% customers moved to a rival due to dissatisfaction with the services provided.

Enough said – it is high time that businesses act at the earliest to root out the biggest customer service failures, in order to lessen the losses incurred and improve customer experience.

After going through plentiful sad customer experience stories, we have enlisted the biggest customer services failures that you should steer clear of.

1. Awfully Long Hold Times

In an extremely fast paced world which is ruled by technology, we all are running out of time. Naturally, customers surely won’t call up your contact center to soothe their ears by listening to the audio note, when they are made to hold. Excessive hold times will make customers leave the queue within a matter of few minutes. This is precisely why you should ensure that calls are attended almost immediately. A missed customer call mostly means a lost opportunity and results in terrible customer experience. Alternatively, you can provide an estimated wait time for the customer to call back or arrange a call back to customer within that estimated wait time.

2. Repeated Call Transfers without Resolving Issues

Customers see the contact center as one single entity; you can bet your money on the fact that they don’t understand anything about specific departments. Thankfully, you do, and once you identify the nature of the customer’s call, you can easily route the call to the right agent/department. Moreover, you can adopt intelligent call routing techniques to direct calls to the right division on the first go, without repeated call transfers. These routing techniques can easily be based on IVR, skill sets of agents, caller ID, business rules, and many others. Remember, if you repeatedly transfer the call of the customer, their enquiries/issues take a backseat right away, and they will end up fuming

3. Promises Made and not Kept

How did you feel when one of your close ones made a promise to you but were not able to fulfil it? Yeah, that’s exactly how your customers feel when you don’t keep promises you had made to them. So, if you had informed that you’ll arrange a simple call back, or deliver the product by a pre-designated date, you have to complete it, no matter what. There is little that can harm your business more than untimely customer service. Moreover, you have to keep a continuous check on your products/services to ensure that there is no fault in them. Imagine you ordered for a chicken salami salad, and were delivered a pizza instead. There you go – notice the disappointment on your face!

4. Poorly Trained and Equipped Agents

Contact center agents are more often than not the first point of contact for customers to interact with your brand. Unless you don’t provide them with top class training and the latest equipments to handle customers efficiently, your business will certainly take a huge hit. If a customer calls and asks for an immediate upgrade in the data plan, and the agent is not able to figure what exactly should be offered, whether the plan can be customized, or clubbed with some other services. Doesn’t this sound a little too ghastly? Therefore, guarantee that agents at your contact center can pull up the records of any customer immediately as the phone rings, and provide a proper solution to their query or concerns.

5. Totally Disregarding Omnichannel Customer Experience

With the proliferation of mobile devices and internet, customers these days choose to interact with brands on multiple mediums. This means that a conversation can be started over the phone but thereafter be moved to live chat and finally end in a note on social media. This entire pathway of communication comes under the Omnichannel customer experience, and it includes phone, emails, social media, app feedbacks, live chat, forums, and others. Any business still operating on a single channel like phone or emails, are set for doom, as this can easily be passed as the greatest customer service failures in recent times.

How much have these customer service failures impacted your brand? Do you think there are other huge failures that should have made it to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Also Read: How Social Media can be Used to Steer Brand Advocacy