What is bad customer service?

Published December 12, 2018
Last modified June 29, 2020

When customers have a bad customer service experience, they are often quick to ensure that other people learn about it. People have expectations about how a company will serve them and if an employee mistreats them or the customer support is not up to standard it can be detrimental to a brand. Delta airlines, for example, had a major problem recouping their good image after a man was filmed being dragged off an overbooked plane. To this day articles and blog posts about the mishandled incident are at the top of Google search results about the company.

The infographic below was created from a survey by ClickFox that took a close look at what the repercussions are of bad experiences with customer service. While 52 percent of disgruntled customers spout off to family and friends, an even more astounding 32 percent altogether will stop doing business with the company that provided the poor service. And once customers start taking to social media to air their ire, more than 60 percent of consumers are influenced by these detrimental comments.

It's difficult to nail down the right definition of bad customer service, but customers who have had a negative customer service experience often point to things like speed of service and having to explain their issue to multiple agents. Having people speak to management is not enough every time, especially if another employee has not been able to handle a customer's complaint adequately. So while customer service may not always be a cost that your company wants to put above another department—like marketing—the consequences of that customer service being bad can hurt your business more than a good lead might benefit it.

Customer service should be an aspect of your company that every employee cares about. That is why is it becoming good practice to free up time for people on non-customer service teams to engage with customers as well. Whether it is a couple hours of phone support a month or brainstorming new support solutions, letting people who don't support customers every day learn about the whole customer experience can help rout out future bad customer service.

There's a whole new school of loyalty that companies need to enroll in — and fast. It's no longer good enough to sit around and wait for a bad customer experience to happen, and then react. Companies need to catch support disasters way before they happen. Check out the infographic below with more details on what makes customer service bad.