How is bad customer service like a trip to Florida?

Years ago I had a boss who called us all together in a conference room to tell us we’d had a bad financial year and would all have to buckle down – no year-end bonuses, no raises, no additional help for our burgeoning workload.

The next day he left for Florida for a month’s vacation. How much extra effort do you think those of us left behind in the frigid Minnesota January felt like putting in?

I think of that day sometimes when someone has dealt me a decent load of lip service. Your customers will listen to what you say, but that won’t counteract your actions if they aren’t consistent with that message. Here are some behaviors that are guaranteed to put off your clientele:

  • Customer service representatives who cannot make even the most basic concession without the intervention of a manager.
  • Unexpected service charges and fees that significantly hike the cost of your bill.
  • Not showing up on time (or at all).
  • Loooong hold times on your customer service lines.
  • A hard-to-navigate phone system. How many buttons should I have to push, after all?
  • No physical address or phone number on your web page.

I could go on and on. But I won’t. Let’s leave it at this: Be honest about what you can deliver. Tell me upfront what it’s going to cost. Deliver what I’ve paid for in a timely fashion and if I have a problem, fix it right away.

Simple, right?

Have a story about a nightmare customer service experience? Send it to – if I use it I’ll feature your business.