Irritating hold music. A queue that nearly stretches out the door. Rude staff. There are so many ways to get customer service wrong. Is anyone getting it right? What’s your biggest customer service frustration?
I used to work in retail and I know it’s not always easy to keep a cheery smile on your face during a long day of rushing around and helping customers. But out of all possible aspects of bad customer service that wind me up, it’s staff being rude or plain old grumpy.
Now, I don’t think I’m a particularly difficult customer to deal with. I’m generally pretty cheerful with sales and customer service staff, because I know their jobs are not easy. Unfortunately I don’t always get the response I want.
When my sincere cheerfulness is met by a stony expression and the feeling that I’m getting in the way of an otherwise pleasant day, it doesn’t leave me with a good impression of the company I’m dealing with.
100 big brands rated by customers
Our latest survey uncovers the best and worst brands for customer service, and it includes 100 of the UK’s biggest brands including supermarkets, banks, travel companies and energy suppliers.
We also asked people to choose their top customer service irritation. The three most annoying frustrations are synonymous with telephone customer service: automated phone systems, being passed around different departments and annoying hold music.
Phone without the fury
Telephone service doesn’t have to be infuriating. The top-scoring brand in our survey manages to deliver a great service without any face-to-face interaction.
So what’s the big difference? Well there are lots of behaviours that make up great customer service, one of which is not making you work through a maze of automated menus. But that seems to be rare these days.
What’s the best customer service you’ve received over the phone? When was the last time you were left frustrated when trying to make a simple purchase or find the answer to a straightforward question?
Which of these customer service gripes are most irritating? (Pick up to three)
Automated telephone systems (23%, 909 Votes)
Long queues (15%, 600 Votes)
Being passed around lots of people (13%, 507 Votes)
Trying to sell you unwanted products (11%, 435 Votes)
Annoying hold music (10%, 406 Votes)
Receiving a standard response to problems (8%, 323 Votes)
Lack of knowledge about products or services (6%, 240 Votes)
Having to wait for help or a response (5%, 218 Votes)
Rude staff (5%, 196 Votes)
Staff talking to each other (3%, 130 Votes)
Other - tell us in the comments (1%, 50 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,466