Top Reasons Why Your Customer Service Fails

TopTenFresh from a disastrous experience with a large bank that should know better and yet still treats customers as things to extract fees from at best, lesser people at worst (sadly this attitude is worst with women), I revisited some of the top reasons why customer service fails.

It’s no secret that when the time comes to evaluate your customer service, the finger pointing begins -– and all fingers point suspiciously somewhere else.

Let’s be courageous and look at some of the symptoms that point to cultural failure:

(10.) You’re doing all the talking -– my grandmother used to say: “we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. They are meant to be used proportionally.”

(9.) You are not doing anything about it –- you don’t follow through with the feedback you request.

(8.) Your customer service reps don’t have the power to help -– you are putting the most junior and least supported staff up front.

(7.) You have no idea of the cost to you of losing customers –- if you were paying attention, you would know that good service means you retain more customers. Acquiring new customers costs more.

(6.) You see customer service as a cost, not a benefit –- when you look at your department as overhead, you tend to under fund it and under staff it.

(5.) You are not keeping your brand promises –- it does you no good to spend millions in advertising when customers find you difficult to deal with. A good experience is one of the best investments in your brand.

(4.) Your product needs help, start there -– it is quite natural to think that your baby: your product or service is the best. Well, it may not be and that’s where you need to start helping customers, by providing a better one.

(3.) You did not notice the problem, so you’re behind on fixing it –- this is how crisis get started.

(2.) You don’t have customer service –- nobody is assigned to it, nobody owns it.

(1.) You don’t listen to your customer service reps –- they know what’s going on and they would tell you.


Bonus points: Your rep talks on top of the customer calling in with questions to solicit new business on behalf of big bank. They actually say "I'm required to present information and services that could be advantageous to you" before they listen to the reason why you are calling.

That is not how you keep your promises, dear executive team.


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