Customer Experience News & Trends

4 things customers hate about service – and how you can be better

You work hard to deliver great customer experiences. Yet, most customers say service is getting worse. Here’s what they hate most – and how you can do better. 

A full 55% of customers in an Empathica Inc. study said they believe customer service has gotten worse in recent years.

But not all is lost. Customers say if companies can eliminate the worst service offenses, they’ll stick around.

Here’s what customers hate most – and how you can avoid the missteps.

The brush-off

Customers ideally want the person they contact (via email, chat, call, etc.) to help them. They still understand that he or she might not be the right person – and they’re willing to get help elsewhere.

What they don’t like is being bounced from person to person or channel to channel.

To fix it: Have the person who takes the inquiry own the inquiry. The person can find answers and report back to customers or make a “warm hand-off,” introducing the customer and the issue to the person who can help.

Outdated information

Almost all customers are willing – and happy – to find answers (at least the simple stuff) themselves. But they hate when the information they find is outdated … and then they have to reach out to a service pro anyway.

To fix it: Regularly review the information customers access to make sure it’s the same that service pros are armed with. Update accordingly.

Broken promises

Most customers understand minor mistakes, delays and glitches. What makes them most angry is if a company isn’t upfront about issues.

Customer expectations are shattered by broken promises.

To fix it: It’s the old cliché of under promise, over deliver. And when that fails, notify customers immediately so they don’t feel a promise was broken (perhaps just altered or delayed).


Customers will tell you what they want. They’ll also do what’s necessary to get what they want. But they only want any of that to happen once.

They hate having to repeat what they’ve said, or redo something. They resent having to repeat information because someone wasn’t listening closely or having to do something again because of an issue on the company’s part.

To fix it: Eliminate as many distractions as possible – extra screens, personal devices, talking colleagues, etc. – when working with customers so the exchanges are focused and nothing is lost in the process.

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