Top 10 Customer Service Turn Offs

Top 10 Customer Service Turn Offs: How to avoid common mistakes

It takes only a few moments to demolish a customer relationship that took several years to build.  The best way to retain your existing customers is by being diligent in your everyday dealings.  Given below are the top 10 customer service turn offs (as researched by Global Response) and ways to turn these around to reinforce and strengthen your customer relationships.

Amateur Staff

Nothing irritates a customer more than a customer service representative with half-baked knowledge.  Even if you have a small team of customer service agents, it helps to train them adequately so that they can represent your company appropriately. It helps to understand that, each and every customer service agent is the face of your company for the customers, and hence should be knowledgeable enough to give correct information and provide suitable solutions.

Trying to Win an Argument:

You can certainly win an argument by defending your company and reacting to your customer’s complains, but you cannot win his loyalty by doing that. You can only win his allegiance and loyalty by empathizing and apologizing (and that holds true even when it is not your mistake!!).

Rigid Policies:

Sticking to stringent policies can be the fastest way to lose customers. Depending on the strength of the customer relationship, you should be willing to bend policies for him, or at least try to identify ways of bending policies to strengthen customer relationships.

Futile Commitments and Promises:

Only promise when you are hundred percent confident, that you will be able to deliver within the committed time. For some reason, if you realize that you cannot deliver within time, then have the courtesy to call your customer and inform him of the reason and the time when the commitment can be fulfilled.


Any customer would like to do business with a company which is accessible. If you have not kept your customer informed about the point of contact during an hour of emergency, then it is more than a probability that he will soon shift his base to another company. If you want a customer to return to you, then you must provide him with accessibility and warmth.

Poor Acknowledgements:

If you fail to acknowledge your customers with appropriate comments, then your customers are bound to feel ignored and neglected, which will inadvertently lead to loss of business. If a customer is unhappy about a personal or professional loss, you should be caring enough to acknowledge and comment suitably.

Poor Records:

The same goes for titles as well. Referring to Mrs. Thomas as Mr. Thomas, or Mr. Jackson and Mr. Johnson is only going to worsen your bond with the customer. Constantly misspelled names and inappropriate titles discourage customers to come back to you.

Ignoring the Basics of Customer Service:

Simple acknowledgements such as “Thank You” and “Sorry” still mean a lot to majority of the customers.  If you ignore these basic phrases, you can be quite sure of losing your existing customers.

Call shuffling:

This is indeed the worst and the most common customer service turn off. If a customer’s call is being transferred from department to department, and if no one is ready to take the responsibility, then it turns off even the most patient customer. On the contrary, if you are able to provide your customer with ‘First Contact Resolution’, then you can be assured of a returning customer.

Apathy and Failure to Listen:

Last but not the least, apathy and failures to listen are two of the most unforgivable customer service mistakes, and are often taken seriously by customers. Sometimes, you can simply make your customers day by listening to him attentively.

In today’s tech-oriented, increasingly uncongenial business world, you can win the hearts and loyalty of your customers by avoiding the above 10 customer service turn offs.

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Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Viral Marketing

This post was written by lynn on July 27, 2010

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