Why Bad Customer Service is a Good Thing

keep-calm-and-learn-from-mistakesBefore you all cringe and yell, “Are you drunk or something?” let me explain myself.

We all know the saying “Learn from your mistakes”, right?

Bad customer service in professional terms, just plain sucks. Don’t get me wrong. But, what can you, as a consumer, learn from the experience?

  1. That you don’t want to be with this company.
  2. That the company’s inner values might not be up to par or even developed yet.
  3. That the company may not respect their employees, therefore leading to grumpy agents.
  4. The company may need to improve their training.

And, as a company, when we receive feedback from a customer who had a negative experience with you, what can you learn?

  1. Does this employee feel undervalued? Overworked?
  2. What can you as a manager or the company in general do to change the culture of your customer support?
  3. Is there a training curve or do training documents need to be updated to help boost confidence?

There are SO many lessons to be learned from negative experiences. Know that mistakes are meant to be made. Like Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

So, next time you hear about bad customer service toward your company or receive it from another company, remember how you can LEARN from it!


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  • As you point out, it’s all about learning lessons and using those lessons to improve. Every company delivers poor service from time to time. The good companies do a much better job of not repeating the same service failures. The bad companies stick their collective heads in the sand.

    • Jenny Dempsey

      Thanks for your comment, Jeff! Absolutely! No one is perfect but we can take the bad and learn for the future. Those bad companies go totally ostrich on everyone!

  • As you say Jenny learning from your mistakes is crucial. But actually recognising and responding positively to an issue can turn an unsatisfied customer into a brand champion. Not that I’d recommend deliberately bad service, but problems can turn into opportunities. For example, UK mobile operator O2 had a major network outage but by being open and engaging on social media, its customer service team helped at least partially defuse the situation. More in the Eptica blog at http://eptica.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/dealing-with-rude-customers-lessons-from-o2/

  • Jenny Dempsey

    I appreciate your comment, Dee. You’re spot on–it’s the recognizing and responding that truly makes the difference. It sounds like O2 did an amazing job here. It’s impressive how social media is making such an impact on these situations too.

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