Avoid a Customer Service Horror Story

Avoid a Customer Service Horror Story


Customer service mishaps and disasters can be avoided with a qualified, hard-working team.

Every business has a story of terrible customer service. Sometimes, it’s the fault of the consumer. Sometimes, it’s the fault of the company. Either way, the result can be a loss of customers, time, and money. These unfortunate stories show how every company needs a good team to prevent such screw-ups.

The Customer Isn’t Always Right…

Working with customers can be a challenge. Sometimes, they don’t always know what they are talking about. The collection of customer service stories on Not Always Right includes one call center in Virginia that had a customer demanding, “Fix it!” When the customer service representative asked what needed to be fixed, the customer replied, “My Internet connection. Can’t you tell why I’m calling?”

Other times, customers are hostile and ready to fight. Another story on Not Always Right came from a call center rep in Indiana. The caller began swearing immediately because his bill was listed as past due. The caller announced, “I have a gun, and it’s looking a bit bored, if you get my meaning.” The representative informed the client that the call was being recorded. Not only that, the company had the caller’s address and could send the police to his house.

…but Customer Service Isn’t Always Right, Either

Despite problems that can arise from the customers themselves, they are not the only ones making mistakes. Customer service departments also make errors and missteps. This can be from poor management, bad training, or under-staffing. For example, tech journalist Ryan Block decided to cancel his Comcast services. During his phone call with a Comcast customer service representative, he began recording the conversation. Salon reported, “Not only did Comcast’s customer retention specialist try to talk Block out of it, he got hostile with him, chiding Block and refusing to take back Comcast’s cable card.”

How Can You Prevent This Problem?

The best way to avoid a customer service horror story is to hire a good team. A good team has experience and knowledge, so look closely at the resumes of new hires. Plus, make sure the team is well trained. Prepare them to know your company inside and out, and teach them how to handle difficult customers. Sometimes, getting together a good team requires outsourcing the customer support staff. Find an organization that trains and tracks representatives; this will ensure the best possible performance.

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