Bad vs Good Customer Service Experience

So many companies have had their reputations utterly sullied by a bad customer service experience. Even when companies have excellent products, unique brands, clever marketing and a close bond with popular culture, when their customer service breaks down or just isn’t excellent, well, that’s all she wrote.

You will notice that bad customer service experience will be one of the first things that people will complain about, and excellent customer service is one of the first things that people will applaud. When people have a bad experience with this, they will tell ten or more people about it, so this poor reputation will spread faster than you could ever hope to contain it.

In the modern world, where word of mouth spreads rapidly due to the internet, with things like social networks and the like, this is twice as damaging as it ever was before. So, let’s look at a bad experience versus a positive experience. This is repetitive for some readers, but illustrating this clearly is something newcomers need.

A Bad Experience

A bad experience goes as follows. A customer encounters an issue which they cannot deal with on their own. Either there’s no way for them to handle it, or it’s too complicated for them to handle, either way.

Given there is no other method to reach customer service or support than the maligned call center. The customer’s not a fan of getting on the phone where he doesn’t need to, but given there are no choices beyond this, he bites the bullet and makes the call.

He is presented with a complex phone tree which he has to wonder aimlessly through, barely able to find the department he needs. After screaming at the badly-designed voice recognition system until it finally promises to connect him with a human agent, he is presented with twenty minutes of hold time.

He shrugs and figures he can zone out, get some work done or watch YouTube while he waits. Music (of poor quality) begins to play. He grimaces, but figures he can tune it out. But no, in stead, his ability to zero it out is neutralized by the random interruptions by advertising recordings.

He’s tired and haggard. When he finally gets an agent, they are apathetic and not that helpful, they redirect him twenty times, and the problem isn’t resolved.

A Good Experience

A good experience is a faster story. First, he is presented with options. He can contact them over social networks, email, a live chat, or through the help desk.

He can also handle the problem himself, thanks to self service technologies being available. But, he opts to call the phone anyhow, because he has a legit question.

When he calls, he is presented with a basic menu, a single button press connects him with an agent, and his hold time is under five minutes of mellow classical music with quality audio. The agent is helpful, sympathetic, and is able to handle the problem with no redirections. This is because of all of the extra channels eliminating bottlenecks. The agent has contingencies that sort of branch outside their department, so there are no redirections, and they’re able to solve problems with no muss or fuss.

So, it’s obvious that the key to avoiding bad customer service experience is to diversify and plan ahead. This will spare you a lot of grief.


Matthew is the Lead Author & Editor of CXperience Blog. Matthew established the CXperience blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Customer Experience.