5 Ways to Have Horrible Customer Service

Customer service is invaluable to any company…right? I’d like to think it is, but unfortunately that’s rarely the case anymore. I don’t know what happened to make good customer service less of a priority, but I don’t like it. I think I’ve managed to pinpoint the 5 things that drive me the most crazy about BAD customer service, so if you’re one of those people who despises helping customers, here are 5 things you need to do to aggravate me and give me a negative impression of your company:

1. Don’t smile.

It seems like I’m being picky, but I think it’s a big deal. There’s nothing that gives me a bad feeling faster than saying hi to someone (whether it be a clerk, a cashier, or ANY employee) and seeing them stare at you with a blank expression. How much effort does it take to smile? Even if it’s a fake smile, at least you tried to acknowledge me, and that has to count for something. Trust me, I’ve worked with the public in great volumes over the years, and I understand better than anyone that some customers can be demanding or rude. Maybe you’re having a bad day, and I get that. However, if I ask you a simple question, I think the least you can do is fake a smile (but make it APPEAR genuine) and point me in the correct direction.

Furthermore, I think this could also apply to those who do customer service over the phone. The person you’re helping may not be able to see you, but they can tell if you’re in a bad mood. Don’t take out your past frustrations on customers who didn’t do anything to upset you in the first place!

2. Sigh or roll your eyes.

This is a big turn-off for me. Unless I go up to you and ask you to accomplish some impossible feat, I don’t appreciate you sighing or rolling your eyes at me. That’s fine if you think I’m an enormous piece of crap for asking you a question, but just don’t express that to me. You know the expression: “There are no dumb questions?” Well, while I don’t totally agree with that, there have been times when I ask a customer service rep a question that I feel stupid asking in the first place, and then they roll their eyes at me or sigh with annoyance. You know how that makes me feel? Dumb. It makes me feel like I should walk right out of your business and into one where I’ll be treated with respect.

Again, this could also apply to customer service over the phone – in my opinion, the sigh is the phone-equivalent of the eye roll.

3. Don’t try to help me, or at least find someone who can.

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve asked someone to help me find something, whether in person or on a website, and he or she seems to just go out of the way to make me stop talking to them. If I want help finding a specific kind of cat food or a video game, don’t just say “I don’t know” and walk away from me. If you don’t know where something is or whether or not your company carries it, then at least humor me and try to find someone who might actually know. If I can’t find something in your store or on your website, then I’ll go somewhere else where I can.

4. Avoid me.

This one’s a classic. In some stores, once I actually track down an employee I have a hard time keeping track of them to ask my question. I remember one customer service representative that even made eye contact with me from down the aisle and watched me walk toward him before bolting around the corner and into the “Employees Only” section. How bizarre is that? It’s not like I was running up to him with boxing gloves on or anything…I just wanted to know where the damn salad dressing was! Avoiding customers may seem like a good idea, but it’s very annoying and probably causes more people than just me to get upset.

5. Don’t talk to me at all.

This mainly applies to cashiers or clerks, at least in my experience. When I go to your line to check out, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a “hi” or a “how are you today?”, no matter how feeble the attempt. But when I get no greeting or response at all, I start to get pissed. What is the reason behind this? Are you in that terrible of a mood that you can’t say hello? Unfortunately, this happens to me a lot, and I’m puzzled every single time. To me, it’s not natural to be completely silent when there’s a customer in front of me, so maybe that’s why I’m perplexed. I walk away with a terrible impression of your business when I get a cashier that doesn’t even bother to speak…other than to tell me my total. That’s pretty sad, and the saddest part is that it’s completely avoidable; but people just don’t seem to care anymore.

Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.

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