Paolo Fabrizio
February 4, 2019

3 Common Customer Service Sins To Get Rid Of

Common Customer Service Sins

Last Monday I had an interesting conversation with Paul, an English colleague of mine. As we are both 100% customer service focussed, we usually talk about this topic. But this time, we did so in a different way, asking each other: ‘what’s the biggest customer service pain point in your local market?’

This simple question led to an extra 30-minute conversation with interesting insights. And we both agreed on 3 recurrent customer service sins that many brands commit. I’m going to share them with you. Let me know if you can relate with them in the comments.

1. Arrogance

Example: you enter a shop asking some information about a product. But the assistant replies pointing out you what’s wrong with your question instead of focussing on helping you. As a result, you will emotionally link that bad experience to that brand.

Bottom line: even though a customer is not ‘educated’ about your product or service, do not ever let them feel ignorant. Your primary goal is to carefully listen and provide your customer with a SOLUTION. Accordingly, he /she will also appreciate your knowledge and rely on you in the future.

2. Lack of Transparency

My first boss used to say: ‘you’re going to make mistakes but you need to learn from them’.

When a customer lets us know that we made a mistake via a digital or social (public) channel, the worst thing we can do is to try hiding the truth. Conversely we have the opportunity to publicly apologize, showing that our brand is human and real.

People make mistakes and real brands are made of real honest people. That’s a very effective message towards your customer and also others on social networks (today’s spectators may be tomorrow’s prospects/customers).

Example: learn how a sushi restaurant successfully apologized on Twitter.

Bottom line: transparency is the glue to winning customer’s trust. Lack of transparency is the worst of all customer service sins.

3. Useless Responses

Today the digital customer expects very fast responses. This increasing pressure has led some brands to focus on time-related metrics (such as First Response Time and Average Handling Time) rather than on the content of the responses.

Example: when receiving a complaint, do not reply asking the customer to write again on another channel.

Bottom line: do provide fast responses but always make sure to be helpful and offer a real resolution. Otherwise, you’ll provide poor customer experiences – even though your KPIs are OK.

Over To You

Each one of these customer service sins is dangerous because it leads to bad customer experiences. Consequently, the distance between you and your customers is bound to increase. Needless to say that your primary goal is reducing this distance, to retain and attract new customers.

Therefore there is no shortcut. Take care of each conversation, regardless of whether it happens online or face to face in a shop or office.


You may also want to read25 Data-Driven Customer Service Trends and Tips for Small Business

Build Customer Service Priorities To Improve Your Business

Why You Can’t Do Without The 3 Customer Service Pillars

Featured image: Copyright: ‘‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Paolo Fabrizio

Digital Customer Service Consultant, Trainer, Author, Speaker. Paolo has been helping companies to harness digital customer service as a business driver. Founder of CustomerServiceCulture, author of books and speaker at conferences in Italy and abroad. Lecturer at the Bicocca University of Milan