What are the Root Causes of Bad Customer Service?


Customers are the crux for any Organization. Understanding the significance of good customer service is essential for a healthy business in creating new customers and retaining the old ones. Good customer service involves budding bonds with customers, ultimately leading to long term relationships. It creates advantages for both customers and the business alike. The Customer gets benefited because the business is providing a service that meets their needs and the business gets benefited because satisfied customers are likely to be repeat customers.

However, good customer service is not easily achieved. How many companies who actually advertise that they have excellent customer service deliver the same? None of us wants to make promises to our customers that can’t be delivered, but in many cases the contact center can turn into an inadvertent tragedy zone. Despite of the best intentions, any kind of policies and decisions will end up negatively affecting your helpdesk service. Here are the 4 most common causes of bad customer service which one should definitely avoid:

Relying heavily on single metric: Metrics in business matters a lot, they tell you accurate measurements about how the process is functioning and provide base for you to suggest improvements  but when organizations become biased with service levels, average handle times, calls per hour, etc. service delivery can really suffer.
Organizations that care more about target metrics and encourage their agents to focus more on specific goals always face obstacle in providing good customer service. If agents will focus on making more number of calls then the average time spent per call will get hampered which will affect the quality of the call resulting in poor customer service. First Call resolution is what most of the customers are demanding today which cannot be achieved by short handle time, so a specific metric is not sufficient for the agents. There should be a 360-degree view of metrics keeping all other factors in mind that is necessary for good customer service.
Focusing less on Prime resources: Agents are the heart and soul of contact centers, and engaging them in business process, especially, communication-based business processes is critical for the quality of service delivered.  Your agents interact with customers throughout the day and they are the prime resource of your Contact Center. Focusing less on these resources will drastically influence the quality of service you deliver. This will result in demoralized customer service team and a high employee turnover rate, leading to higher costs.
Agent engagement through gamification and developing a super-star customer service team can be of great help, it will not only improve the agent’s performance but will also help in increasing the overall profitability of the company.
Not Optimizing Channels efficiently:  The aim of multichannel customer service is to provide customers with options for how they would like to communicate with a brand if they have a query or a complaint to make. It is about providing a seamless experience to the customer, regardless of the channel they choose to use but many companies haven’t fully grasped the implications. Multi-channel also offers the benefits of providing personalized service to individual customers more efficiently. It also provides insights into behavioral targeting so that you reach out to your customers when they need you. It’s important to be where the customer is, whether that’s chat, email, social media, etc. But what’s more important is to meet the customer’s expectation because they do really not care about the organizational challenges involved in providing them with a seamless experience. Hence a proper strategy is required for optimizing these channels efficiently.

Considering Customer service as a “Cost Center”: Customer service departments are mostly considered as a liability, people usually consider them as a “Cost Center” that is increasing expenses without adding any revenue. Only a few of us have understood the importance of maximizing every opportunity to interact with customers. Imagine all the agents handling the calls well; do you know how many opportunities can be generated out of it? If this happens then, the agents have a chance to create an emotional impact and a lasting memory on the customers. They can easily build rapport with customers which leads them to generate more conversion opportunities that ultimately increase the bottom line.

In the words of Jeff Bezos-“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of Customer Experience a little bit better”.

How do you rate your customer service? What initiatives are you taking to improve it? I would love to hear about your experiences.