Top 5 Customer Service Gripes

They say that people are 10 times more likely to tell someone that your service is bad rather than saying your service is great. The fast pace of everything drives our expectations higher and higher. So what can you do?

Go back to the fundamentals. Because that is what is missing. With service it’s about managing our individual mental state in a split second before we speak with someone. Have you received calls when you’re in the middle of something? You hurrump on the phone instead of saying Hi positively? It’s too easy to do.

So here are what I see as the top 5 customer service gripes:

1. Lack of Eye Contact – this is a personal “unfavourite” of mine. Walk into a retail shop or a reception desk, they’re helping someone else, and there is no acknowledgement that you even exist on the face of the planet. Now I understand people get busy, and they’re trying to juggle multiple situations at once. Whether it’s sitting behind the receptionist’s desk or a service counter, a simple look at the person with eye contact to acknowledge that you know they’re there can make all the difference.

2. A Positive Hello – It’s nothing worth than having that feeling that you’re interrupting “Mr. Grumpy” on his bad day. To be recognized and also appreciated is a foundation of good customer service. I met a business owner the other week that has his simple but elegant solution. He calls it his “2 Step Approach”. You can’t get 2 steps inside his door before he’ll scream out “Hey, how are you doing?” even if he is in the middle of something else.

3. No Hustle – Our tolerance to how much time things take is getting less and less but, interestingly enough, I don’t believe it is that we are time poor. I believe it is because we have come to measure our importance based upon how quickly things respond to us. We are often more likely to be tolerant of someone helping us if they are obviously busy BUT also helpful as well. There is no worse feeling than someone with no sense of the importance of your time helping you. You need to hustle more.

4. Trying to Win the Argument – OK, we are all adults here. We know not everything works perfectly in business, but how problems are handled can be the difference between a satisfied customer and your sworn online enemy. When things go wrong too many businesses try to win the argument, but end up loosing the customer. You don’t have to bend over backwards to apologise for everything but at the very least you should be focusing on keeping your customer, rather than winning your fight for your “just cause”.

5. Failure to Listen – “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. Sometimes the commoditization of service means that we have canned responses to everything. It can be too easy to jump to the solution before the customer has even finished telling you what is going on. Take the time to hear someone out, to really listen to what the real concern is before just jumping in to solve it.

Have you experienced any of these problems? Or maybe you have found some gripes of your own. If so I would like to hear about what happened. Just email me back.

Get Moving: Today, stop for long enough to listen how your team are talking and treating your clients and customers.


Over 10 years ago, Steve Smit worked with large corporate businesses in the areas of Information Technology and Sales. Then in 2003 began working with small businesses, helping them improve their sales, marketing, business growth and management. For the last six months he has been working on setting up online training programs to help out small business clients increase their profits and perform more effectively. His clients consider him an important sounding board for challenges, ideas and futu...

Go Deeper | Website

Want More?

New Graphic
Subscriber Counter