Top 10 reasons for poor customer service and their solutions

13 11 2007

Customer service, the interaction between the client and the supplier is an integral part of the purchasing and user experience, and as such, is the key to continued success in business.

What are the reasons for poor customer service?

Top 10 Reasons for poor customer service and their solution

1.    People are not trained.  When an organization does not spend the time to fully train their people the consequence is poor service.

Solution:  Dedicate resources (time and money) for training and reinforcement.   Employees should be fully informed about company goals, the products and services.  Emphasis and training should be focused upon the importance of listening and responding to the customer’s requests.  People can only do the job if they are given the right tools and objectives.  It costs money to train people.  It will cost more if you decide not to train them.

2.    People don’t care.  Selecting the correct personality is crucial for your business success.  Apathetic or self centered personality types have no place in a business that requires customer contact.

Solution:  Focus the selection and evaluation process to identify personalities that do not fit the required profile.  Get the wrong people out immediately, it also sends a clear message to everyone.

3.    Sabotage.  Angry or frustrated employees can actively work to sabotage and try to destroy the company.

Solution:  Keep honest and open communications with employees.  Informally and formally review performance, goals, objectives and feelings to stop potential problems before they reach the customers.  Get these people out of the front lines immediately.

4.    Employees don’t believe in the company, product or service.  If the image, marketing and promotion of the company is quite different from the reality, workers will not be able to sustain a positive attitude in the face of problems they know exist.

Solution:  Be honest.  Work closely with customer service, marketing and quality control to identify real problems and fix them.  Don’t let  marketing advertise over problems, solve them.

5.    Personal problems reflected in work.  When an employee’s personal life is in crisis or out of control, they may exercise control, aggression and negativism toward customers in an attempt to put some part of their life in order.

Solution:  Clear communications with employees:  If their personal life is affecting work performance, talk about it.  Time off, access to counseling or just listening may prevent more serious problems.

6.    Burnt out.  Too much negative, too many complaints can lower a person’s level of commitment and move their positive and helpful attitude to an apathetic one.

Solution:  Constant communication helps to identify who is burning out and why.  Get customer service people together to talk of success and how to deal with the frustrations.  Provide recognition or incentives for excellence in dealing with problems.

7.    Not providing the correct solutions to customers, lack of empowerment.    There is nothing worse than dealing with an employee who listens to a problem, then shrugs and says they have to ask someone else in the company to intervene and provide a solution.

Solution:  Give the people on the front lines the authority, power, tools and ability to solve problems.

8.    Don’t see the benefits – don’t understand their role in the company. 

Solution:  Employees project an image of the company.  They are the company.  They should be reminded of their importance and value to the customer and to the company.  Incentives, recognition, training and constant reinforcement are important.

9.    Apathetic from hearing the same problems over and over.  A fundamental role of the customer service division is to provide constant feedback on how customers view the company, the products and the service.  If this feedback is not analyzed and acted upon by upper management a feeling of apathy and frustration is created.

Solution:  Set up a model and procedure for the accumulation, analysis and implementation of solutions for the problems identified by customer service.

10.    Incentives/salary not tied to results.

Solution:  If you insist that the company depends upon people, and that people are the key to success, implement compensation packages, evaluations and incentives that support and reinforce this.

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11 responses

28 11 2007
Commoditization, is it happening to you? « Lee Iwan Accumulated Experience

[...] 10 top reasons for poor customer service and their solutions [...]

2 02 2010
Tammara Tontarski

bookmarked this at Bmaccess ( let me explain Social bookmarking with thumbs :)

17 08 2011
hasslefreemarketingsolutions

How would these principles apply to a home-based business with no employees?

8 09 2011
Andrew F. Butters

Thanks for the great list. It was a good read. Items 6,7,8 and probably 9 would apply to a situation I just had with filmmaker Kevin Smith.

http://potatochipmath.blogspot.com/2011/09/evening-without-kevin-smith.html

3 11 2011
Dale

Number 11 would be lack of supervisors to make necessary corrections. Too many times the manager will just turn his/her head to the employee’s poor customer service, or fail to reprimand the employee. This may be caused by the supervisor avoiding confrontation or trying to befriend the employee.

Solution: Train the supervisors and hold them accountable for their charges.

4 01 2012
Customer Service: Department vs. Attitude

[...] Top 10 reasons for poor customer service and their solutions « Lee … – Customer service, the interaction between the client and the supplier is an integral part of the purchasing and user experience, and as such, is the key to continued success in business. What are the reasons for poor customer … Share this:ShareTwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponRedditEmailPrint Posted in: Organizational Effectiveness   Tags: customer service Bookmark & Share Tagsbuilding trust in teams change management consultants communication skills course conflict definition critical thinking articles customer service examples of integrity future scenario planning good business ideas LeadershipDigital.com leadership stories leadership thinking natural insight organizational development consulting overcoming adversity stories Personal leadership development plan process design in operations management process management tools sales management self awareness definition small business consulting small business strategy systems thinking Solutions Leading Strategies helps business find better solutions for organizational transitions and professional development. Recognition Meta [...]

9 01 2012
terry james awls (@tjawls)

I am in the Service business and speak on the topic with often, this is great info. Well done!

3 05 2012
MonaMondschein

Hey there!
Thanks a lot for this list! This post gave me some inspiration for my upcoming blog post. ;)
We’re college students from Berlin blogging about business, economics and IT-related issues…tune in to our site busiconics.wordpress.com if interested. :)

7 05 2012
Death of Hire and Fire | busiconics

[...] How avoid that scenario? – First answer: Recruit the right people! For more solutions, click on the link. [...]

10 05 2013
judith wekikye

Thanks alot for the research done. I agree with you that the issues pointed out are the major causes of poor customer service in an organisation.

23 08 2013
Reasons for Poor Customer Service and Their Solutions | customer service problems

[…] source: Top 10 reasons for poor customer service and their solutions, an article by Lee […]

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