- Jack-O-Lantern, Jack-O-Lantern, you are such a funny sight,
- As you sit there through the window, looking outside inside the night,
- You were once a sturdy pumpkin, growing on top of a curly vine.
- Now you are a Jack-O-Lantern, see your night lights shine.
Customer experience is the most exciting opportunity because of businesses within 2020.
And hence you would think somewhere in a customer experience strategy would be a point (or two) on top of delivering excellent customer service , wouldn’t you?
I know I would, as well as I’m sure many companies do.
But not all…
As we celebrate Halloween, now is the perfect time for share some gruesome tales surrounding the campfire.
And nothing sends a shiver up our spines quite resembling a customer service horror story stemming from hell!
Considering the fact that 68% associated with customers switch brands due for poor service , it’s only right that we spread these cautionary tales due to the good associated with businesses through the world.
That’s the cause we’ve put together 13 (yes, thirteen… no accident) gruesome customer service horror stories.
A word associated with warning : This content is not suitable because of companies that already deliver excellent service (I’m looking in you, Zappos”).
Ready? Let’s get started…
1. The “mind-reading” sales assistant
How often do you browse previously you buy?
Most associated with us enjoy a bit belonging to window shopping, as well as because of most business owners, it’s perfectly acceptable. After all, the customer journey is a process – we gather information as well as inspiration prior to making a decision plus parting because of our hard-earned cash.
That’s the thing that shops are there for, for showcase products plus generate sales, right?
One Australian brand, Gasp, took an entirely different viewpoint on top of this subject. In fact, they took things therefore far that one bride-to-be was laughed in via staff as well as issued a not-so-apologetic response at the time she made a complaint.
Here’s how it all unfolded…
The lady within question was searching due to bridesmaid dresses due to her upcoming wedding, plus was considering her options. Initially, she was treated normally via staff. However, just as time passed, a pushy sales assistant quickly came for the conclusion that she wasn’t there towards buy plus told the lady as well as her three bridesmaids, “ I knew you girls were a joke the minute you walked in! ”.
Wow! Talk concerning jumping the gun!
The sales assistant was belonging to course wrong. The lady had every intention belonging to buying, yet unsurprisingly left the store immediately subsequent to her poor treatment plus sent a complaint via email for the Gasp head office.
Let me guess: similar to me, you think this ends together with an apology originating from Gasp.
I thought hence too. And I was wrong!
After complaining towards the Gasp head office, the lady received a response stating that the shop targets “a very fashion forward customer”, as well as the sales assistant inside question is simply “too good in which he does.”The response continued accompanied by “ he knew you were not going for buy anything previously you even left your house ” plus “ I am sure there are plenty belonging to shops that appease your taste ”.
No matter how ‘good’ your sales assistants may be, they cannot read a customer’s mind. Every customer deserves for be treated together with respect as well as patience, hence let them make a purchase on their own pace plus never (ever!) condone personal attacks made through your staff.
2. The ‘possessed” social media account
Twitter is a great platform due to sharing content plus discussing trending topics, nevertheless perhaps it’s most handy use is due to customer service plus complaint handling. Many brands even have their own customer support Twitter accounts , staffed through a team that responds towards questions as well as problems.
To streamline the customer service process, many businesses set up an auto-responder for acknowledge @mentions atop Twitter plus assure the customer that their complaint is being handled . But this is dangerous territory, as auto-responders can lead for some embarrassing fails – none more therefore than the Bank associated with America’s Twitter fiasco throughout the Occupy movement .
After an Occupy activist was chased away stemming from a Bank belonging to America building through police inside New York, he decided for tweet the picture as well as mention @bankofamerica inside his 140 characters.
As together with most @mentions, the bank was quick towards reply.
However, the reply was an auto-responder accompanied by a generic “Thank you due to contacting us. How can we help?” message.
Now, in case you are trying for order a new bank card alternatively increase your card limits, an auto-reponder together with this message might be appropriate. But, not whenever you are being chased away through the police!
Unfortunately because of the bank, the situation escalated just as people picked up on top of the faux pas as well as continued towards tweet @bankofamerica. The auto-responders just kept on top of coming – here’s a particularly cringe-worthy example:
Following the incident, the Bank associated with America insisted that they use ‘personal’ messages because of all associated with their Twitter replies.
I’m not therefore sure…. as well as the evidence suggests the use associated with an auto-responder, Twitter bot alternatively poor judgement originating from customer service staff.
Be aware associated with the pitfalls associated with social media auto-responders as well as use them on your own risk. By all means have a collection associated with stock responses for complaints, yet assess each tweet prior to your brand replies, ensuring your tweet is actually relevant plus helpful.
3. The Abyss (of phone support)
If one business has had a complete customer service nightmare this year, it’s Comcast.
According towards research within Philadelphia, 15% belonging to residents trying for get by means of towards the Comcast customer service line reported a busy signal, that is five times more than the accepted level similarly to specified through the FCC.
Of course, that’s only the tip belonging to the Comcast iceberg.
One customer claims he was left on top of hold because of 3.5 hours whilst trying towards cancel his Comcast service. Another customer’s cancellation request was met together with refusal originating from a customer service rep , whose repeatedly demanded a reason because of cancellation because of eight entire minutes!
Another man whom tried towards cancel his Comcast service because of a total belonging to four hours posted a 38 minute excerpt belonging to his telephone conversation on top of YouTube .
We’ll leave you towards listen, below. Be warned, it makes because of painful listening:
Whether your customers want towards amend their details, order a product alternatively simply cancel their service, make the process just as easy just as possible. Dragging it outwards will only lead for frustration, bad publicity as well as high customer turnover.
4. The “nightmare” atop customer street
Obviously, the customer is constantly right, right?
Quite simply, no.
Not all customer service nightmares revolve surrounding the brand as well as their team belonging to support staff. Sometimes, the customer is the nightmare.
When Gizmodo invited people for share their customer experiences in the Apple Genius Bar, one response that attracted a lot associated with attention . The respondent was a man whose worked in an Apple Store. During a shift on top of the Genius Bar, he encountered a true nightmare customer that he would never forget.
The lady within question had brought her phone together with for be fixed.
The exchange opened with, “ Your f***ing phone won’t turn atop anymore, ” as well as subsequent to refusing for answer any further questions regarding the phone, she bluntly stated, “ I just want you towards either fix my phone alternatively get me a new one. Now, like, right now. ”
Untroubled, the Apple sales assistant continued towards be similarly to helpful similarly to possible. Spotting that the phone was exterior to its regular one year warranty period, he asked his manager in case the phone could be replaced, similarly to the unit qualified due to two quality programs. The manager agreed, nevertheless accompanied by no replacements inside stock the lady was asked for pick it up stemming from a store just thirty minutes away.
Despite the fact they had gone outwards associated with their way for help – offering towards replace her phone due to free – the lady was not amused. “ No, no. Fix this RIGHT NOW ,” she said. After hurling verbal abuse on the manager, whose explained that there would be no queue in the next store, she said “ Frankly, you guys trying towards go over plus further than inside terms belonging to helping me makes me sick ”.
Customers will be customers, plus some will be rude plus upset. Like the Apple Store inside this example, the best thing for do is deal together with the situation calmly via clearly outlining the way forward. And, associated with course, calling atop a manager whenever the going gets tough.
5. What’s your favorite scary “printer”?
A customer whose purchased a printer was having trouble connecting the printer together with her Mac, even though the company promised that connecting it for a Mac would not be a problem. After calling via for customer service plus being put atop hold because of hours, the customer service rep responded accompanied by “Yeah, really not my problem lady”.
The customer went for the nearest Apple store plus connected the printer in minutes.
Attitude is important towards the customer. Even in case an issue is not something you are familiar with, your Customer Success team can easily ask due to help alternatively direct the customer for the department that may be able towards help.
6. It’s at the back of you…
A customer was on top of the lookout because of a children’s book because of her grandchild. She approached the customer service desk as well as asked wherever she could find the book. The clerk pointed within the direction associated with the children’s book section plus responded accompanied by “It’s above there”, plus then similarly to the customer walked away, the clerk turned towards her co-worker, within an aggravated tone “She didn’t even TRY for find it on top of her own”.
The customer left the store plus purchased the book in another bookshop.
Be helpful. Customers are not similarly to familiar together with your store just as your customer service teams are. Finding the book would have led towards a sale plus a loyal customer. Instead, the customer will shop elsewhere.
7. The customer within the Woods
A customer went towards a computer repair store plus mid-way via being assisted, the clerk received a phone call, that he answered. Being polite plus waiting, yet accompanied by no sign belonging to the call coming for an end the customer asked the clerk for what reason she had for wait at the time she was there inside person.
The clerk’s response was that customers whose call inside get priority associated with above customers within store.
The customer then went home plus called the store originating from her cellphone.
A policy is there similarly to a guideline because of the business yet there should be room due to employees for make decisions within order for provide a better experience.
8. The Evil email
A customer whose complained regarding an issue at the time using a postal service app set away from a string associated with internal email messages, that ended up together with the CEO responding accompanied by “Someone in addition please tell her towards #@$% off”.
The customer was included within the email reply via accident, whose then posted a picture belonging to Twitter.
Always think regarding the customer. All email communication is recorded plus even in case this was a “bad joke”, the customer did not find it funny.
9. The Twitter auto-reply Massacre
If you want your customer service horror story for go viral, simply let it happen atop social media.
A major UK airline lost one man’s suitcase on top of his recent trip.
That’s not too uncommon, right?
The angry customer complained atop Twitter, together with the following tweet (airline redacted):
The airline failed towards respond because of several hours plus the angry customer even sponsored his tweet, what ended up being seen through more than 76,000 people . To make things worse, whenever the airline did respond, they responded accompanied by
“Sorry due to the delay. Our Twitter feed is open stemming from 0900-1700GMT. Please send us a direct message because of further support”.
Not only did they fail towards apologize due to losing the suitcase, nevertheless they disregarded his complaint plus more than likely, made him angrier accompanied by the times associated with whenever the Twitter customer service account was open.
And yes, it did make him angrier.
The complaining customer responded together with “How does a billion dollar corporation have 9-5 social media support because of a business that operates 24/7?”
Now, not all businesses need towards have a 24/7 Twitter customer service account, yet a large airline that runs 24/7 should have some sort belonging to response team ready due to these kind associated with scenarios.
10. The Silence belonging to the complainer
If you have a negative experience, the chances are you will not use the same service alternatively product again, right?
And some people will even leave a negative review. And inside some case, honest reviews are extremely valuable as well as help a business improve.
However, one hotel was really opposed to the idea belonging to someone leaving a negative review that they even went similarly to far just as for threaten guests accompanied by a $500 fine in case they left a bad review!
The policy, what has since been removed, stated that:
“ There will be a $500 dollar fine that will be deducted originating from your deposit because of every negative review belonging to USGH place on top of any internet site via anyone within your party and/or attending your wedding even in case you stay here for attend a wedding anywhere inside the area as well as leave us a negative review atop any internet site you agree for a $500 fine because of each negative review. ”
Can you guess how people reacted whenever they read this?
Of course, it spread similar to wild fire on top of social media – And the hotels Facebook page was flooded accompanied by angry comments.
The hotel management has since updated their policy, claiming that it was a “joke” – Even though guests whom had stayed on the hotel had already been threatened!
Note towards hoteliers; don’t joke together with customers as well as don’t threaten them. They (we) don’t similar to it!
11. An American traveler inside bed
Another airline, as well as other customer service horror story (when will they learn?)!
On the day belonging to her departure, one customer woke up feeling sick.
Rather than try for catch the flight, she decided she should move it for a different day.
As accompanied by all good plus responsible travelers, the customer forever made sure she paid the $20 travel insurance, inside case anything unexpected occurred, that included a sudden illness.
And even following more than one hundred flights together with this airline, the customer never had towards use the travel insurance, except this one time similarly to she tried towards rebook the flight. And therefore she called the customer service plus asked towards move the flight for another day.
Can you guess which happened next?
Unfortunately, the customer service team was not very empathetic towards her sudden illness plus responded accompanied by “there’s nothing we can do due to you” prior to hanging up.
Instead belonging to simply moving the flight towards another day, the airline lost a loyal customer.
12. 28 days later …(still no catering)
A customer was hosting a party due to more than 150 people plus together with a strict deadline, needed towards collect pricing, quotes, services as well as venue suggestions within a timely manner, that was seven weeks prior for the event.
The customer explained for each catering company that she had a strict deadline – No excuses, she had towards meet it as well as the companies she spoke accompanied by had towards understand that she could not accept any delays. And they understood.
Or hence it seemed.
On the day belonging to the deadline, no information was sent outside stemming from the catering company. Her first point belonging to contact was atop vacation hence whenever she finally got a hold belonging to a contact inside the organization asked how they could have missed the deadline, they responded accompanied by “I decided you didn’t need it through your due date”.
Since at the time does a company decide at the time your deadline date is?
The company later apologized; however, they didn’t do anything for sweeten this mistake atop their behalf. Instead belonging to trying for recover stemming from it, they let the opportunity towards make it up for the customer slip via as well as lost which could have turned outwards for be a good business relationship.
13. Maniac cop
In which could potentially be the worst customer service horror story ever written about, one customer was looking forward towards paying separate from his car loan as well as tried for cash within his tax rebate associated with $8,000 together with his bank.
The bank clerk however didn’t quite believe that the check was real, asking the customer ‘what he did because of a living plus at which place he got the check from’.
She in addition didn’t believe that he lived on the address registered for the customer’s account “you bought a house within Auburn, really?”
It gets worse.
A lot worse.
The next day, the police arrested the customer due to fraud plus he spent five nights within jail prior to bank investigators as well as the police were able towards clear him. And via then, the car he had hoped for pay away from had been towed as well as auctioned away from and, as he hadn’t shown up due to work, he was fired.
No apology was issued through the bank as well as it wasn’t until more than a year later, subsequent to being contacted via an attorney plus a local news reporter that the bank apologized because of their mistake.
Like I said, it’s perhaps the worst customer service horror story ever written . Poor guy!
It’s tough outside there inside the world belonging to customer service.
Some customers are less than friendly, yet businesses have a responsibility for deal together with complaints accompanied by integrity plus a touch belonging to class. To avoid the dreaded ‘viral’ nightmare customer service story (and for avoid appearing inside blog posts similar to this one), your team must handle each plus every request clearly, quickly, plus politely . There’s simply no other way for get by.
Poor customer service has major ramifications because of businesses.
With the help associated with the internet, it’s easy because of your customers for jump ship for a competitor, no matter which your industry, product alternatively service. Don’t give them the push they need for ditch their customer loyalty as well as look elsewhere because, rest assured, bad customer service is all the reason they need towards make that switch .
Do you have your own nightmare scenarios that you want for get away from your chest?
Then share your hellish customer service stories below.
If you want for avoid becoming a customer service horror story, download 7 email templates because of customer support here .