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No one really wants to lose 82% of your customers, right? They do if they have bad customer service.

A recent survey published in the Customer Experience Impact report found that 82% of consumers said that they stopped doing business with a company because of a bad customer service experience.

No business wants to lose customers right? So why do so many lose business because of bad customers service? You don’t ever set out to treat customers bad, right?

Bad customer service happens because we lack vision.

Bad customer service happens when we lose sight of what’s important for great customer service and awesome customer experiences. It just happens. We don’t set out to do it, but for one reason or another it just does.

The problem lies in the rampant bad customer service in any organization. Rare bad service moments, though not ok, can be dealt with through good service recovery. Frequent bad customer service demonstrates that effective customer service management is absent in the organization.

Tim Sanchez at DeliverBliss recently wrote about the 12 reasons why bad customer service happens and how we can all fall victim to the “It’s not my problem” mentality from time to time. As I read the 12 excuses customer service team members give for bad service, I had two thoughts:

I think the 12 reasons are all real reasons people in customer service often give for poor service, but the real blame falls on customer service managers for not properly creating a proper customer service vision and training and motivating team members to see the vision and perform the actions required to put that vision into effect.

The 12 terrible excuses given for bad customer service:

  1. It isn’t part of your job description.
  2. You’re overworked and underpaid.
  3. The customer is not always right.
  4. You had a terrible day and just need to be alone.
  5. You don’t have the right tools to deliver great service.
  6. Your customers just want a good deal, they don’t care about the experience.
  7. The customer is unreasonable and rude.
  8. Another department is responsible for what the customer wanted.
  9. Your company hasn’t made customer service a priority.
  10. Your bonus isn’t based on customer service, so why spend any time on it.
  11. The customer didn’t complain, so they must have been happy.
  12. You had too much to do and other people were waiting. You couldn’t spend all that time with just one customer.

Eliminate the Reasons by Re-working Customer Service Priorities

Are these reasons false? Not necessarily. But even if the excuse is true, it’s never valid for providing bad customer service.

One of the most effective things customer service managers and leaders can do is to re-structure customer service and customer-facing team member responsibilities and priorities to focus around the customer experience. Tie individual customer service team performance to the items in 12 customer service excuses to eliminate the reasons for bad service.

Make the opposite of the excuse the priority for customer service and the customer experience and team members will encourage team members to take the time, effort, and energy to provide the best customer service experience possible. Each and every time. Who wouldn’t want that?

Too much is riding on providing a great customer service and ensuring the best customer experience. Remember…

  • 82% of consumers said that they stopped doing business with a company because of a bad customer service experience.
  • 86 percent of U.S. adults will pay more for a better customer experience

You’re better off sending the person having a bad day home and keep them away from your customers. Or at least, pull them away from working for customers for a while and help them regroup mentally before jumping back in the customer service mix. It’s better lose one customer service person for a day, then to lose a customer for a lifetime.