Customer Service Gripes: “Hey Can I Get Some Help Here?”

You’ve heard the old saying, the customer is always right.  I’ll never forget as a teenager, my first boss hammered home that mantra. But a new survey finds that lately, the customer is mostly frustrated.

Consumer Reports found 64% of Americans surveyed had left a store at least once in the past year due to poor service.  67% said they’ve hung up the phone on a customer service line without their problem being resolved. That’s if you can even get someone to talk to about your beef.  In the survey, 71% were “tremendously annoyed” when they couldn’t reach a human on the phone.

CR’s Tod Marks told CNN, “There’s a lot of discontent, but the ability to connect one-on-one and get somebody who’s sympathetic and who listens to their problems and can do something about that really did tick off a lot of people.”

The worst industries, according to the survey:

  • Computer tech support
  • TV and cable providers
  • Phone and Internet service providers.

Whether you’re handling a complaint on the phone or in a store, CR recommends:

  • Bypassing automated phone menus and looking for more direct numbers on the Internet.
  • Keep a record of customer service calls for a follow-up.
  • Ask to take your complaints to the next level.  Agents sometimes get criticized for taking too many problems upstairs.
  • And don’t give up, be persistent.

On the other hand, if you get a good resolution, make sure you offer praise. Click here for the Consumer Reports survey.

What are some of your biggest gripes with customer service?

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