Clueless Customer Service- Thoughts?

04 Dec

Clueless Customer Service Harming Businesses

      11:25 AM ET   |
By: Ned Smith, BusinessNewsDaily Senior Writer

Customer service departments that cannot remember the past are doomed to losing customers for their employers, a new survey shows.

U.S. consumers, tired of being treated like strangers when they deal with customer service representatives, say their biggest gripe is clueless customer service reps. Three-quarters of those who have ever called customer support reported frustration because the representative didn’t know the customer’s history with the company or organization, according to an online survey.

The survey of more than 2,200 U.S. customers ages 18 years and older, was conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Sugar CRM, a customer relationship management company.

For many customers, poor customer service causes more than just complaints. It can lead customers to take their business elsewhere, the survey found. More than half (52 percent) of respondents said they ultimately decided not to buy a product or service from a company due to a negative experience with a sales representative. Those who have communicated with customer service using social media channels report an even higher level of frustration. Slightly more than four out of five (81 percent) of survey respondents who had sought customer service through such channels reported frustration because the representative didn’t know the customer’s history with the company.

Additionally, consumers using social media channels reacted more vigorously to poor service. Almost three-quarters (74 percent) said that decided not to buy a product or service due to a negative experience with a sales rep.

“Whether customers are seeking service by traditional or social media channels, this survey shows that they are incredibly disillusioned by the lack of customer expertise they’re encountering in the businesses they rely on,” said Larry Augustin,  CEO of SugarCRM. “These findings should offer a wake-up call to all companies whose existence depends on happy customers.

“It’s clear that businesses need to do a far better job of providing each customer facing professional with the information they need to understand and effectively engage with their customers. Businesses need to make every customer-facing user an instant customer expert. They must understand the individual they are speaking with and ensure every interaction drives value for the customer. This is the next generation of CRM.”

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.We’re also on Facebook & Google+.


Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “Clueless Customer Service- Thoughts?

  1. meow484

    December 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I definitely agree, I have taken my business other places because of poor customer service I received or even if my friends said they didn’t like there experience at a certain store. I have never called to complain or talked customer service with a problem so my experience was always in store. If I go shopping somewhere I at least expect to be greeted by someone, even if its just a scripted thing they do for every customer. If I have employs walking by me and don’t even knowledge that I’m going to purchase something I usually wont purchase it, well I will if I really want it. But still places could have so much more business if employs took 10 seconds of there time and greeted the customer. I understand being on the other side, being an employ can sometimes be stressful if a lot of responsibility is put on you but having a generally positive attitude will make your job run smoother and make the customers happy. I go back to stores, specifically one I shop at because they know my there and know my background through the store. I have conversations with the employs and they actually seem interested with me and my next purchase. Face to face connections with the customer is ever important and with more interactions will be more sales.

  2. traveler012

    December 5, 2012 at 4:43 am

    As much as I do agree with this, it can be a struggle to know absolutely ever customers history with the business. I would not expect someone to know me by name almost anywhere. I’m not saying its that hard, but if you are a cashier or even a greater at a front door it can be overwhelming. You see 100 faces in an hour, how in the world could you remember if you had already greeted someone? However, the flip side of that would be a coffee shop. If the same person comes in at the same time every day, or even every other day, and orders the same thing, after a while it is expected that you pick up on knowing who that particular person is. But as for generalization, it is ideal to know each and every one of your customers, sure, but realistically, not so much.

  3. bananas320

    December 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    What a good point this article brings up! It is absolutely ridiculous these days, and equally ridiculously hard to get good customer service. It seems like every time I go somewhere heaven help me if I need a good opinion on a product or service. I do think this is largely due, however, to the fact that many businesses dont have long time employees like they used to. Also, I believe that the increasing push for “well rounded” education is to blame. Some may call this a long shot, but for example, if Johnny spent his life learning about his passion and less time having things he may not be so good at shoved down his throat, he might get a job in his area of expertise and be very knowledgeable. That would be in the perfect world in which we do not live unfortunately. On a related note, alot of people cannot get the job in something they are interested in knowing things about and simply dont care about giving good customer service. They are just there to collect a check. In a world of speed and simplicity, manners and good common courtesy along with knowledge base are very undervalued.

  4. maverick41

    December 14, 2012 at 12:27 am

    What is a business without customers? I mean it sounds cliche, but seriously shouldn’t keeping the customer happy just be an automatic thing that is expected? A company is going to have a lot of trouble being successful without paying customers. I’m not saying every customer needs to be treated perfectly every single time. But I mean, being nice can get you far. And that goes for anything, not just customer service. I feel like if you are not going to do what is expected of you at work (including good customer service and helping out), then you should have either never applied or got accepted for the job in the first place. For that reason, I do not really see this as an issue rather than just a wake up call to those in management positions. Make it clear that customers should be treated well and equally because their pay checks depend on it. If someone is having a bad day that is one thing, we all have rough days where we just don’t want to be at work. But that doesn’t necessarily mean take your mood to work with you.


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