7 Principles of Bad Customer Service

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training


A few years ago we surveyed a group of folks on how they felt about getting bad customer service. We found 7 common threads. We labeled them the 7 Principles of Bad Customer Service. Here are the results:


Principle One: They’re Grateful for the Chance to Vent

Customers are always grateful for the opportunity to tell others how they were mistreated. It’s pretty much cathartic.


Principle Two: Tomorrow’s Joke

Many people joke to vent their frustration about their bad customer service experience and tell these “jokes” about it to pretty much anyone who will listen!


Principle Three: The Memory of an Elephant

Customers often don’t forget. Lots of people quote the time elapsed since the unfortunate incident. We had letters telling us “this happened 20 years ago and I can recall everything that happened.” Bad customer service leaves a real bad taste.


Principle Four: “You’re not going to believe this!”

Those abused by poor customer service can never seem to accept the fact that it happened. They remain shocked, continue to agonize and happily repeat the conflict. Each story was an “OMG, I cannot believe she said that to me” or “I cannot believe that just happened.” Almost as though they were in shock. 


Principle Five: No Return, No Deposit

Rarely does a complaining customer indicate that he or she would return to an offending store. Most folks feel there is always another place to take their business.


Principle Six: Free Advertising – The Kind You Don’t Want 

Customers will tell their family members, friends, and co-workers about a bad customer service incident. Even strangers in an elevator has spoken up loud and clear to others.


Principle Seven: Hell Hath No Fury Like A Customer Scorned

All the principles of bad customer service could be summed up in this simple phrase. Hell Hath No Fury Like A Customer Scorned. It’s one of our popular onsite programs for conferences.


If your company has a customer service NEED, we have a possible solution. Call Nancy at 314 291 1012.


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Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers. You can see her 9 books here. For more information, log on to Nancy Friedman's website www.nancyfriedman.com or call (314) 291-1012. Oh yeah you can email her at nancyf@telephonedoctor.com. Nancy is a recent recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Award - St. Louis Small Business Monthly

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