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The following article ‘8 Cringeworthy Customer Service Stories’ provides a really good look at the impact that poor customer service can have on a business. It’s one thing to look for those Customer Service golden nuggets, but it’s another to avoid major customer service blunders that cna have an even longer-lasting impact on your business .. and not in a good way!

“If you don’t believe me, check out these eight terrible, horrible, no good, very bad customer service examples. They’re cringeworthy enough to convince any company to aspire to something better: meaningful interactions that put customers first — no matter what.”


Take Aways from the article:


1. Be careful to not ‘prioritize a policy above the needs of customers’. It’s important to create a culture where if you or your employees don’t know what to do or how to respond to a situation, ‘think about what’s the kindest, most honest thing to do.’

2. If employees are fed up, they may be willing to sacrifice customer service to make a point. If you create a culture of ‘shared appreciation and respect’, this will ‘naturally extend to customers’.

3. Be informed with timely and accurate information. ‘Customer service representatives can only do their jobs well if they have thoughtful and timely information about real issues affecting their industries. Directors and managers benefit from keeping an eye on industry news and sharing it candidly with team members.

4. Watch for Social Media Trolls. “As customer service expands into social media channels, there’s an increased risk for fake accounts that enrage (rather than delight) customers. Vigilance is the key to preventing a bad customer service example. Create a clear system so that at any time, a trained team member has their eyes on social media accounts.”

5. Empathy thrives, where Indifference destroys. “Empathy is the key to building a successful customer service team. If employees don’t care about the mistakes their company makes – and how they affect individuals – they’re not going to be invested in positive change. Like a muscle, empathy is something you can strengthen over time. Practice empathy with customers by asking more questions and mirroring their answers. No matter how difficult the situation, they’ll feel heard.”

6. Don’t make customers pay for a company’s mistakes. If your company makes a mistake, own it and find a solution that does not place the blame or financial penalty at the feet of your already frustrated customer.

7. All press is good press does not apply to customer service. “Going viral for terrible service isn’t worth the momentary traffic boost. When you try to justify your (or your company’s) bad behaviour, you excuse toxic behaviour and set a new baseline for bad customer service.”

8. The depth of an apology needs to mirror the seriousness of the mistake. “Companies need to use every resource at their disposal to do more than say sorry. When a company … does nothing, it’s nothing short of alarming. People will notice.”


Question: Do your customers always come first?