Why Do Some Companies Provide Bad Customer Service?

Now that is a million dollar question. Why do companies that ought to provide superior customer service, not? Don’t they realize they are just shooting themselves in the foot?

We have all been on the receiving end of sub-standard support. It can be frustrating as hell when you’re stuck with this product that just won’t do what it is supposed to and turning to the one person that can help you out of your jam, ie, the customer service executive, is anything but helpful.

Rude, obnoxious staff, a chip-on-the-shoulder attitude and poor quality of service – these are all just some of the negatives these companies dish out. In this day and age, with the insane competition and the ability of social media to shine a light on your worst moments, you would think that these companies would buck up and start singing a different, more conducive, tune.

You’d be wrong.

So why do they do it? What motive could they possibly have to sabotage their own interests?

They are too big

Oftentimes, when a big name brand is guilty of providing sub-par customer service, the reason why would be as simple as this: the brand, the company is really, really big. They have been around for ever and have weathered plenty of storms to consider this increasing obsession with great customer service seriously and are just going about as they always have.

A David and Goliath situation, it may well seem to the customer beating his fists against the behemoth. But remind me again, who won that infamous battle?

They do not pay their employees enough

This one is simple. If you do not pay your employees enough, you run the risk of getting shoddy products. If you underpay your customer service staff, who are the first point of contact of your company when things go wrong, then you run the risk of putting out crappy customer support. After all, if you do not treat your people well, they are not going to be bothered with treating your customers well, are they?

When your support staff are just punching the clock, as the only reason they are in the job is to make ends meet, the comfort and welfare of the customers aren’t going to rank very highly with them.

Here’s a fix: pay them well. If your support staff ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy!

The powers-that-be aren’t invested enough

A friend recently moaned to me about the state of affairs in her company, where the Big Brass doesn’t care if the customers are handled correctly as long as the job gets done and the bottom-line remains unaffected.

When the powers-that-be that run the company are only worried about the money they make, that simply means that they aren’t invested enough in their product and the customers that buy them in good faith.

Enough time spent on working on the product and making sure their customers are happy will go a long way in ensuring that the bottom-line is healthy along with the company’s reputation.

Training? What Training?

If we have said this once, we have said it a thousand times. Nothing beats training, when it comes to ramping up the quality of your customer support. A good training session, conducted at regular intervals, is the best tool to iron out the kinks and fix the broken links in the system.

And when this vital tool is being under-used (or worse, not used at all), then your company is really in the weeds. Every issue can be worked out at training, when you take the time to take a few steps back and understand what is going wrong. Doing away with training is the one sure-fire way to speed up the rot that creeps into your basement.

Their company culture isn’t a good one

A company’s culture comes through in their brand of customer support. There’s no two ways about it. A company that values its staff and has a healthy work culture, will have staff that values the company and its products. A company that values its staff, will make sure that they are treated fairly and have a good work environment.

A company that has a great sense of ethics, will have a strict sense of code and will make sure its employees follow it. A lack of this magnitude will be felt right away through the ranks and be very evident to all and sundry.

Agree? Disagree? What is the reason why some companies continually provide bad customer service without seeing the need to change it? Share your views with us!  

Lavanya Donthamshetty

Writer. Apple-lover. Follower of big brands. Interested in talking about all things customer support. Follow me on Twitter @lavanyad