5 commonly overlooked examples of bad customer service

Do you remember your absolute worst time being poorly served when contacting client support? You’re not alone. According to Qualtrics XM Institute, only one in five people will forgive a company, which provides poor customer service. The other four probably won’t deal with this brand again. That’s why there are no reasons for businesses to underestimate the importance of high-quality customer care. So what can be done to lower the risk of losing clients and gain competent knowledge and communication skills required for providing excellent customer service?

5 commonly overlooked examples of bad customer service

Each customer matters

One conversation with a company’s representative is enough to figure out whether you want to be their client. The key reason for this is not the product cost or delivery terms, but good customer service. 

What is more, providing client support is only half the battle, but establishing it sufficiently increases the chances to expand the clientele. People who work in customer service should possess certain skills, for example:

  • Quick problem solving
  • Valuing each client’s importance, time, and feedback
  • Excellent etiquette and communication skills
  • Patience and the ability to find an approach to different clients

A reliable company won’t allow its customer service to provide bad customer service.

This means there should be NO:

  • Inaccurate and irrelevant information distributed
  • Multiple clients’ calls to solve a particular issue
  • Hidden charges and unreasonable fees
  • Excessive use of pre-made scripts

Incompetent support team? Feel the consequences

When consumers are constantly reporting a business for bad customer service practices, this may cost the company its reputation and loss of clients, which can be detrimental. It doesn’t seem critical when one client complains of poor customer service. Businesses all over the globe find and lose clientele constantly. The problem lies in the fact that an average person tells 15 people about a bad customer experience they gain while dealing with the company. This, in turn, leads to losing dozens of customers. And when the enterprise does nothing to stop the process, this may lead to catastrophic consequences for the business itself. It's a problem worth considering, isn’t it? So, let’s dive right in.

So what consequences may poor customer service entail?

  • Lower customer loyalty
  • Higher customer churn
  • Low customer satisfaction rates
  • Negative customer feedback that discourages potential customers from dealing with the brand
  • Annoyed and, in turn, less effective support agents
  • The overall decline in productivity and company's development
  • Negative influence on brand reputation
  • Less revenue

But if you still don't understand how poor customer service may hamper your business success, just answer the following question: will your enterprise survive, or at least continue to function, if half of your existing customers leave you? For most companies, the answer is no. You may say: "But I still have another half of loyal customers, they'll help me to survive!" Unfortunately, the latest surveys show that 80% of dissatisfied customers will switch to a competitor after getting more than one negative customer experience.

5 examples of bad customer service

Poor customer service may be provoked by various factors. Some situations can be prevented, some issues may be fixed with the assistance of an experienced support specialist, but some will never be resolved.

Let’s examine several of the most common customer service bad examples and the ways to fix them.

1) Not offering the possibility to contact support teams or leave feedback

Nowadays each company can use a website with a chat, where people are given the opportunity to text support reps, or just find relevant contacts to call an appropriate agent directly. 

Businesses can create accounts in various social networks, from Facebook to Instagram, letting clients follow their news, updates and leave customer feedback as well. 

But often the reality is different. If someone needs to contact your company, they open a convenient service or platform and start a chat. But what if there is no one available to talk to? For example, the service support managers don’t check those platforms and don’t see the questions and requests for help. By the time they notice a message, clients definitely checked off this company from the list of reliable brands.

How to fix this issue:

Providing only a call service for client support is not enough these days. Jumping from Facebook Messenger to Telegram chats won’t work as well. So what is a better solution for ensuring an exceptional customer experience?

Try introducing a special contact center platform into your business, where you can find a bunch of useful tools for effective work and collaboration, a customer support center, and several additional communication features. Then, when your clients face some problems they will be able to contact your agents via a free conference call and get comprehensive help with just a few taps. Whoosh, Zoom, and Skype retain impeccable reputations, so our advice is to start with them.

2) Rude behavior and poor training of a customer service team

When someone’s looking for help and a caring and empathetic professional appears, it’s the indicator of good customer service. Unfortunately, it’s more common to talk with a rude and ignorant specialist. They may not always behave in such a way, because gloomy days happen with everyone. After all, it’s their duty to listen to customers’ problems, trying to resolve them, no matter how strange they could be. But still, business etiquette and professional communication skills are essential for quality customer support. There are some general traits of incompetent employees, which you should notice and get rid of as soon as possible:

  • Lack of knowledge about the service or product
  • Not enough respect towards customers
  • Now being empathetic to others’ troubles and needs
  • Impoliteness
  • “Robot” behavior

A few ways to do better:

Employees are building bricks for any enterprise. They should be skilled enough to lead your company to success. As long as customer service quality is highly important for keeping clients, you should organize it correctly:

  • Hold training sessions with psychologists and skilled professionals
  • Hire only experienced support specialists
  • Control that each employee knows and can easily recall information at least about the most popular company services

3) Customer service teams that run from responsibilities

Imagine a typical situation:

You are an existing client of a company where you’ve bought something and face problems with using it. You contact their customer service, explain the issue in detail, answer questions, share personal information, and after a 10-minute conversation, receive the following reply: “We can’t help you. Try calling another specialist.” You dial this number, repeat everything once again, and receive the same answer. 

Such situations happen quite often. The reasons may be different, but most often an assistant doesn't know how to help unhappy customers and transfers them to other agents.

Possible solution:

Being unable to answer differs from being reluctant to answer. It’s okay not to know everything. Using the right tools, like CRM or services for online meetings and business video conferencing can help you in dealing with clients.

For example, using Whoosh, you can share your screen and come to a solution together: find a necessary button, fill in the form or look through important documents.

With the help of such services, you may instantly ask another team member for advice, without transferring customers to other team members.

4) Slow response times

If clients encounter a problem, they want to fix it immediately. This causes frustration and stress, so they contact customer service agents, longing to receive a quick and straightforward solution. But they face a disappointing reality there - all specialists are busy, please, wait. 

After all, clients give up, and you lose another prospect along with customer loyalty. The consequences of making customers wait may vary from light to heavy. Who knows, maybe the problem was extremely urgent, and the client lost money or his personal information was stolen by hackers. But you may have prevented that all.

Useful advice:

The waiting time depends on what kind of communication channel is used for the customer care service.

Let’s examine the following table:

Traditional customer service channels

Average response time

Live chat

Real-time response

AI chatbots



40 seconds

Phone calls

About a minute


1 hour

Social media

Same day response

Here you can see an average response time for different communication services a typical user is ready to wait for. Provide as many possibilities to contact your company as you can and try to follow the response time mentioned in the table. Doing so will prevent your customers from leaving without receiving answers. Another great way to keep your customers happy is to provide your customer service team with automated phone systems.

5) Getting stuck with a chatbot

Despite being convenient thanks to instant replies, bots are not people, and people are not bots. Sometimes a pre-written script for general questions is the right solution for a client, but some situations require a personal approach. 

Bots can’t provide a detailed answer to an uncommon or complex question, and a single skipped letter may lead to a bad customer experience, misunderstandings, and irrelevant answers. 

So in dealing with non-standard issues nothing is better than a human. And being unable to contact one may lead to serious consequences. Furthermore, some people lack technical knowledge, or use old-fashioned devices, making it impossible for them to use the latest technologies.

Tips on how to avoid it:

A golden rule that helps to ensure excellent customer service is to keep everything in balance. Provide chatbots support combined with real people assistance. This means having a hybrid customer support team is the best practice for a modern business. If a client comes with a simple question, offer chatbot help. If customers demand a more complex solution for several issues, help them to connect a human agent for comprehensive problem-solving.

Moreover, try to provide the possibility to switch from automated replies to a personal approach for each client. Doing so will save time both for the support team and the clientele.

Are you ready to fix your poor customer service?

It takes time, effort, patience, and a creative team of professionals to entice prospects, increase customer loyalty, and provide excellent customer service. And it requires a single inappropriate word to spoil their customer experience and ruin trust.

Even being the most client-oriented enterprise, you can fail sometimes. Bad days, unsuccessful negotiations, endless meetings, customer calls, rude people - this all causes unproductive work, which, in turn, harms the clients’ attitudes, business success, and brand loyalty. 

We hope that today’s tips will help you build a strong team of patient, polite, and knowledgeable workers, always ready to provide exceptional assistance to each client. 

After all, practice makes perfect. So with the flow of time, you’ll figure out what works well with your clients, and what pushes them away. Remember just one thing - when people define excellence in customer service, this guarantees the expansion of the client base.

Our own experience shows that serving the needs of our customers at the right time and via the right channel makes all the difference. Try Whoosh to make all your clients experience only great customer service.

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