Elaine Fogel

What Bugs Customers the Most About Your Service?

what bugs customersNo matter how big or small your business or nonprofit is, customer service can make or break its brand. At some point, most of your customers will seek customer support for a variety of reasons. Can you guess what bugs them the most?

According to Consumer Reports National Research Center, 88% of the people surveyed recently had dealt with customer service in the past year—to question a bill, request a repair, return ill-fitting merchandise, and more. Many of them didn’t like the experience and had a problem with customer service. Although the findings relate to B2C (business-to-consumer), it’s worth looking at for B2Bs and nonprofits.

The findings:

  • Half of the people surveyed reported leaving a store without making their intended purchase because of poor service.
  • 57% were so steamed that they hung up the phone without a resolution.
  • Women were more annoyed than men, as were people over age 45.
  • The number of Americans who think that complaining is worthwhile has fallen to 50% from 61% since 2011. (Arizona State University study cited)

What bugged them most?

On a 10-point scale, from “not annoying at all” to “tremendously irritating,” the top things that bugged respondents were:

  • Not getting a live person on the phone (75%);
  • Customer service being rude or condescending (75%);
  • Getting disconnected (74%);
  • Getting disconnected and being unable to reach the same rep again (71%); and
  • Being transferred to a representative who can’t help or is wrong (70%).

Source: MarketingCharts.com


What bugs you the most about customer service?

What do you think bugs your customers the most?


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2 Responses to What Bugs Customers the Most About Your Service?

  • You’re a doll, Don! Thanks so much. I know exactly what you mean. Comcast is notorious for poor service, as are many large corporate giants. My husband and I experienced run-arounds recently with T-Mobile and him with AT & T. The left and right hands don’t jive!

    The reason I’m a day late replying to you is because I’ve spent the past two weeks looking for a new email service provider. In order to see if one’s a good fit, I have to try it hands on - creating a template and finally uploading a list. After thinking I had finally settled on one, the company denied me service because my list was old! Don’t ask. They didn’t even give me a chance to re-do it. I’ve just finished creating all new landing pages, forms, and email templates with another ESP and pray that it will work out. Phew.
    What I find amazing is that so many websites are NOT intuitive. The developers and staff create the navigation and content, but they already know the product. What they really need is someone with marketing expertise to use their site for the first time and tell them what’s ambiguous, confusing, or missing!
    Thanks for visiting. Now that your first comment has been approved, you can post your comments from now on without the need for approval.

  • Hi Elaine,

    It’s my first time to your site and already I love what you have to say here!

    My personal favorite is “Being transferred to a representative who can’t help or is wrong.”

    I just had the WORST experience with Comcast after our move. They have a silly policy that prevented my modem from connecting to the web for ten days. To complicate it; they coding the problem wrong, cancelled my appointments twice without notifying me and then all I heard was “I understand” and “I’m sorry.”

    Well, patronizing me didn’t make me feel any better. They kept apologizing for the “technical” problem but as I explained to them it wasn’t that it was a competency problem and a failure in their systems and procedures.

    After a lot of one communication on my end and a nice post on their Facebook page I got the issue resolved; but it should have never come to that.

    With all that said; complaining got the job done but unfortunately their service was lacking severely in spite of it.

    Great post Elaine. I bookmarked your site and I’ll be coming back again.

    It’s off to share your article on my social media!

    ~ Don Purdum

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