Outcomes of Bad Customer Service

Milica author


Guest Writer

⏱ Reading Time: 11 minutes

Customer service is undoubtedly one of the most important things in every business. And one of the toughest, but most valuable things for your company is to provide excellent customer service.

Even if you have an exceptional product, your brand voice and business numbers will be drowned by the negative effect of bad customer service. Replacing poor marketing with excellent customer service is simple, but doing the contrary is not so simple. It is imperative for a business to listen to the voice of the customer.

🚀Read Customer Service: A Guide for Successful Business Growth  🚀

Forbes Customer Experience Predictions for 2021 stated that businesses will need to adapt to keep customers satisfied. Now more than ever digital platforms are crucial for customer engagement and satisfaction. 

It only means that for many customers, customer experience will be a crucial factor.

Remembering this, it is significant for businesses to understand how a poor service experience would affect the company.

What is Bad Customer Service?

Bad customer service is simply when a customer is faced with negative service, or with the service that is not respectful. Plus when customers have to explain their concerns to multiple agents because the company doesn’t have a well-trained and organized team.

Read Defining Good Customer Service Standards

And when customers face with a bad experience, they will get angry. The latest ClickFoc study looked closely at the impacts of bad customer service experience.

While 52% of unhappy clients do not suggest brand to family and friends, 32% will completely stop doing business with the company that offered bad customer experience.

90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.

The Purpose of Customer Service

The purpose of customer service is to satisfy the needs of your customers to the point they become loyal and want to continue doing business with your company. By mixing a great product with superior service, you win a customer’s heart. Any they not only remain loyal but also recommend your product or service to their colleagues and friends, which can be a huge benefit for the company.

How Bad Customer Service Impacts Customer Experience?

According to research 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people. On the other hand, if a customer is not happy, 13% of them will share their experience with 15 or even more. It is essential for a business to recognize on time if they are providing bad customer service and improve and measure the impact on their customer experience.
bad customer service - CX pyramid by gartner

Picture 1. CX Pyramid: A framework for powerful experience by Gartner

5 Worst Side Effects of Poor Customer Service

Let’s see what the outcomes of poor customer care practices are and how it can affect your brand reputation.

1. Bad News Spreads Fast

When customers have a terrible experience, they are most likely telling their friends, family, and colleagues about it. Research has shown that 50% of angry customers spread the bad word about their dissatisfaction. Other research shows that 32% of customers are not going to do business with a company where they have experienced bad customer service.

We live in a time when brands are being held more accountable for their actions than ever before. Twenty years ago, if you paid for a product you weren’t satisfied with, the best you could hope for was that you would eventually receive a refund if you sent a complaint letter. You could tell a few friends about it, and perhaps they’d say to their friends, but that was about it.

Nowadays, if a customer has a bad experience, they will post about it online, and if they do, their creative expression of anger can go viral and seriously damage your brand’s overall value. 

Related: Dealing with rude customers in online support

2. Leads Stop Converting

You should be aware that conversions are killed by lousy customer service. How many times have you reached out to a business and never heard back? How frustrated have you been? 

negative stigma is already associated with customer service departments, so why not surprise people with positive experience? Excellent customer service upfront leaves a remarkable first impression and gets your customer excited about doing business with your company.

Bad customer service outcome Icon

Picture 2. Bad customer service outcome

3. Your Customer Lifetime Value Drops

Research has shown that it is more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep the current ones. That is one of the main reasons why it is so essential to provide great customer care.

9 out of 10 customers say they’re willing to pay more to ensure an excellent customer experience. Yes, poor customer service can demolish your average customer lifetime value. But, by putting the focus on marketing plans to attract more customers, the connections you made can be saved by a great customer service.

Related: 10 Rules How to Improve Customer Service

4. Your Best Employees are Leaving

In every aspect of company, bad customer care has adverse side effects. You risk losing your staff as well as losing customers.

When your company is going through a bad phase, your most fabulous employees have no choice but to clear the mess done by bad customer care agents, which leads to more stress. Dealing with numerous angry customers pushes the stress level and pressure to a point where companies lose their best employees.

Also, do not forget that losing employees creates more costs due to the increased need for new employees to be recruited, hired, and trained.

5. You Enter a Profit-Sucking Cycle

Poor customer care can also generate a downward spiral for profits.

First, your reputation gets harmed and you begin to lose new customers and then even your faithful customers begin to quit. You’re forced to decide at this point, if you are cutting costs and trying to get rid of it, or are you doubling on marketing to attract new customers? If you reduce costs to compensate for your lack of income, you still need to improve your customer service by training or recruitment, which requires more resources.

On the other side, trying to outsource your bad customer service may attract new customers, but the problem only gets worse with scale.

Examples of Bad Customer Service

Most businesses would agree that customer service and customer experience plays a fundamental role in a company’s growth and development. It hugely varies how organizations from different industries choose to approach their customer service.

In the next section, we’re giving you a list of some of the most prominent examples of bad customer service that businesses would want to be aware of.

Ignoring Customer Feedback

In today’s world, businesses and customers are now connected more than ever- 24/7. And they are opening more and more portals for customers feedback such as social media, listing sites, and forums. Customers are aware that businesses are private to their complaints and negative feedback, and ignoring them is not the best solution.

A lack of business response to a customer has multiple negative signals such as that a brand doesn’t care about their opinion and doesn’t value their contribution to the company.

Ignoring negative feedback can be very harmful to the brand and it can get negative attention from the media. Voice of the customer is the most important component of the customer’s journey, and it must be satisfied and adopted from companies who want to provide outstanding customer experience.

Underestimating the Importance of Social Media

Some companies have true difficulty staying up to date on their social media platforms, particularly when it comes to spouting feedback from customer service. These companies often provide customer feedback with generic or dishonest answers and constantly miss chances to resolve negative comments or posts.

The situation where the customer paid to promote tweet to send negative feedback about an airplane company is a good illustration of the significance of social media feedback. His negative feedback and powerful willingness to foster that feedback came from the scenario in which an airline lost his father’s luggage and did not provide great customer service.

bad customer service - promoted tweet

Picture 3. Social media customer feedback on service

Putting Customers on Hold Too Long

No one likes to be on hold, and for customers with time-sensitive issues that can be a very frustrating situation. 

Some studies show that after being on hold for just 40 seconds, 15 percent of customers hang up. That doesn’t give the customer service representatives much time at all to look into a complicated case. Customers today expect to get a response rapidly, placing heavy pressure on brands to minimize their hold times.

It is essential to track and measure customer experience through calls and understand the customer pain points and try to resolve them a soon as possible. Whether it’s a social media, live chat, or an email inbox, offering multiple communication channels is an essential component in making businesses more accessible to customers.

Providing Helpless Chat Support

Offering live chat support in real-time can be the best solution for efficient resolving of customers’ issues. It can also be stressful for the agent if they’re handling more than one queue. Communication via live chat can distract focus form one customer, and from that point, the customer service is not at the needed level to provide a pleasant experience. 

Due to the diversity of abilities needed for effective customer service, it can sometimes be difficult for telephone reps to move to chat channels. It is essential for online chat agents to sound more like a human while having a conversation with the customer. Every client can easily misunderstand messages in the chat, so agents need to work hard to provide clear and comprehensible responses. Agents should be able to define all the steps made on their side and use multimedia such as images and videos to explain confusing problems.

Related: 8 Customer Support Email Templates for Every Situation

Delay Customer Needs

Brands are very focused on customer needs, but sometimes, they don’t respond to them promptly for different reasons. Those reasons can be various, from the lack of customer service reps to business plans that are not focused on customer needs.

Having in mind that a customer is using your service or product and that they had addressed their needs or feedback through various channels is a great opportunity to listen and to try to improve your brand loyalty.

Check out some more examples of bad customer service.

How to Fix Bad Customer Service?

The best way to prevent negative buyer experiences is to build employee training programs to educate them with the proper way to interact with new customers and retaining them.

The essential rule in customer service is,The customer is always right. When a client is offended, the best thing to do is to apologize immediately and to offer to make amends. Offering a discount, substitute product, or a rain check for products out of inventory satisfies the customer and gives them a positive brand image.

Managers should take notice of employees who are rude, indifferent, or somehow offensive to customers. Depending on the level of resentment, corrective action might include a strict warning, being moved to another office, a pay decrease, or ultimately release.

Of important significance is well-trained customer service agent who understands that any communication is a chance to impact a potential customer. The distinction between excellent and bad customer service can be a positive talk, smile, and a warm welcome.

How to Prevent Poor Customer Service?

According to ToleroSolutions there are three ways you can prevent poor customer service. To be able to react properly and to be prepared it is important to understand why poor customer service happens. It all comes down to 3 questions:

  • Do you know what you’re doing?
  • Are you communicating?
  • Are you responsive?

Start from reconsidering whether your customer support has all the necessary information needed to resolve a problem. Nothing can annoy a customer more than a realization that they are talking to a person not qualified enough to resolve their issue.

Further on, think about the way your team is communicating. Do they provide enough information to resolve a problem? Do they listen to your customers’ needs and respond in the right manner? An angry customer can easily become a loyal one if they feel their concerns and issues are being listened to and treated with care.

It’s important that your customers don’t feel like you are wasting their time. So think whether your customer service provides feedback, which is prompt enough. And if not, then maybe it is a good time to think about spreading your customer service team.

The 3R Rule: Responsibility, Resolution, Respect

If you don’t want your business to continue losing customers, and if you have a will to raise your brand’s reputation, then you should follow the 3R Rule of Customer Service.


Whether or not your business made a small mistakeyou still need to accept responsibility and resolve the mistake quickly. Don’t argue with your customers and try to prove them wrong for something that is not true, but rather offer efficient customer service and win customers’ loyalty. Little things such as discounts, some presents or even a small sorry note will still keep your customers off turning back to another company.


To leave a customer’s complaint unresolved – the easiest way to lose them. Any complaint or problem that the customer has should always be solved instantly.

If you aren’t sure how to fix a problem at this moment, it’s okay to let the customer know you will get in touch with them after collecting all the information needed to fix the problem. By keeping in touch with them and informing them, you will earn your customers’ respect and commitment.


“Treat your customer, as you want to be treated as a customer.”  – Catherine Pulsifer 

75% of respondents said that they were not likely to do business with the organization again if they felt disrespected by an employee or the organization. And you do not want that for your business. By showing empathy and understanding you show your customers you care, and that’s what is important.

Most importantly, put your resources into training your customer support and you’re going to get successful outcomes.

Customer Service Statistics

What Can You Learn From Bad Customer Service?

The outcomes that we have included in this article are great examples of what not to do, so try not to follow in their footsteps. Instead, go out of your way to surprise customers so that you become known as the best people to do business with.

And don’t forget that excellent customer service creates loyal customers for life – customers who are willing to refer your business to family, friends and colleagues. As a consequence, service advertising will improve and your business will achieve better outcomes.

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Outcomes of Bad Customer Service was last modified: June 12th, 2021 by Milica Vujasin
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