A Guide to Really Bad Customer Service (Written by Devil’s Advocate)

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Jun 22, 2018
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Bad customer service guide

People write about great customer service all the time. Awesome support here, excellent customer service there.

Don’t you think it’s pretty boring?

I mean, I understand that a while ago it was trendy to raise customer service to a higher level, but it’s 2018, nearly every company has a fantastic customer service. Is it still something that we should be aspiring to?

Let’s take a look at Comcast.

Their support is probably the worst customer service ever, and yet everyone is talking about the company all the time! Awesome, right?

Even I have mentioned them a couple of times because Comcast customer support apparently doesn’t know how to solve their customers’ problems.

Whenever a list of companies with bad customer service is published, Comcast is mentioned every single time.

What a success!

I can hardly believe that they decided to spend $300 million to "fix" their customer service. Now, when everyone is talking about them, they want to blend in? What a dreadful idea!

But let’s not focus on company’s incomprehensible ideas and let’s move on to how your brand can gain some fame of theirs.

Here’s the one and only guide to really bad customer service!

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Don’t greet your customers

Greeting customers is the best way to show them that they are welcome to talk to you and you're happy they came in.

You don’t want them to think that!

Seeing someone walking in, try to focus on eating your sandwich or start talking with your colleague. If you aren’t lucky enough to have food or a colleague near you, pretend that you are reading something on the Internet or even better, start texting.

Nothing lowers customer satisfaction as the lack of proper greeting.

In case you’re working on chat or call center, you probably have to respond. If you're on phone, start to say something short and unpleasant like “yes!” or “‘sup?”. Remember about the tone of your voice; it should be bored or irritated. That should do the trick!

Do you have a live chat app? Great! (if not, you can try it for free).

A good live chat practice would be to respond really slowly. Live chat is about the speed of response, so try to keep your customer on hold for as long as possible.

Savoir… what?

Savoir Vivre means knowing good manners and dealing with every situation in a polite way. What a bore! In every single customer service, you’ll meet dull, impeccably dressed people with smiles on their faces!

Luckily, you’re here to stand out, not to blend in.

If you meet clients face to face, you're lucky to have a full range of possibilities. Your clothing shouldn’t be smart; you should feel comfortable at work. Rumpled jeans, “kiss my ass” t-shirt and flip-flops seem to be a dream set.

I'm not a fashionista, but I'd really advise all men to show some chest. Deep cleavage always leaves a strong impression and not necessarily a good one. And since you already look (and hopefully feel) like a sexy beast, show ladies some love. Flirt!

Another way to stun your customers is to eat while you speak to them. Even if you’re not hungry, an unwrapped sandwich can be an excellent addition to your messy desk.

The last thing is your language. Unlucky Support Heroes who don't meet customers in person can benefit from this advice too. Forget about “thank you,” “please” or “how can I help you.” Say hello to almighty "WHAT?!"

I know, sometimes it’s hard to control good manners, but no one said it will be easy. The good thing is that with a bit of practice, you’ll do just fine!

One representative to rule them all

Do you remember the story I’ve told in “The customer is not always right” post? It was the story of a nasty customer who broke her phone and demanded a new one although it was long after the warranty.

Such situations happen all the time in customer service. Aren’t you fed up with angry or rude customers?

There is one simple solution: let them taste their weapon, yell at them.

Mexican child screams madly

Is the customer asking too many questions though in your opinion they already have the answer? Shout "I already explained that!", "it's not THAT difficult to understand!" or "are you stupid or what?!".

Yelling helps to gain a really bad reputation for your company but is also a great way to relieve your stress.

It truly is a win-win situation!

Sometimes you might not be in a mood to argue or to manifest your temper and the solution to that is simple.

Don’t like the way the conversation goes on?

Hang up!

Don’t know your product

Or, at least, try to make the impression that you don’t know it. It’s the best way to annoy customers, keep them away from your company and gain bad word of mouth!

Remember: if people think that you’re competent, they will more likely look for your help. They will want to be your company’s customers; they will tell their friends how awesome you are which will result in getting more calls, chats or visitors and you’ll have more work.

We don't want that to happen.

Get familiar with “I don’t know”, “I can’t help you” and “it can’t be done.”

If you don’t feel comfortable with such attitude, you can try to use the “policy” shield. “Our policy doesn’t permit it” or “doesn’t allow” is an excellent way to wash your hands of the problem.

If you’re bored with traditional ways of getting rid of unwanted clients, you can make some fun of them.

If they’re asking you to explain something, try to do it in the most complicated way you can. Use technical jargon and every time a customer asks you to explain it, sight deeply and change your tone of voice so the client knows that you think they’re idiots.

Thanks to you, they will learn what is a truly bad customer service!

Complain about the company to customers

It may happen that even if you’ve made your best to scare customers away, they don’t want to leave the company. There might be a couple of problems as an excellent product or their inhuman patience.

Here’s how you have everything your way: start to complain about the company to the customers. There are so many ways to slander your brand’s name that only sky's the limit!

You can start with the way you are treated. Low wages, long working hours, no breaks. Tell them that the product or service you’re selling is far, far too expensive.

If it still doesn't do the trick, you can appeal to their humanity. Suggest that your company is involved in human rights violation and mention company’s illegal actions (ask with a mysterious face expression if a customer has heard about Indonesia forest fires).

Doesn’t it sound just great?

Connect with customers

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Trusted by 36,000+ companies

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Be the bad customer service legend

Thanks to the above bits of advice you can be sure that, when your customers share their bad customer service stories, they will always talk about your company.

Hopefully, your customers will tell their friends about really bad customer service examples and yours will be the shining example!

Don’t forget to share the good word with your colleagues. Thanks to the collective power of individuals you will be able to turn every customer experience into a true nightmare! And then any other team, even Comcast customer service, won’t threaten your bad PR.

Start to use my advice today and take your company into the first pages of Google!

Sincerely yours,

Devil’s Advocate

Photo courtesies of Trevor and David Amsler via Creative Commons.

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