The three biggest mistakes in customer service

By Niklas Stephenson | 27-May-2015 18:51:00


We have examined why clients are unhappy with the service they receive and learned that on average, you can improve your customer satisfaction by up to 50% by changing three small things.

In this study, we looked at all the negative comments our clients have received through our customer satisfaction tool. The study is based on data our system has collected on behalf of our customers. Their clients receive a text after completing a call with their customer service. The text asks them to rate the service they just experienced and allows them add a comment if they wish. This study is based on 930 negative reviews that included a comment.

The chart below shows all the categories of negative feedback. The three biggest categories are the following:

1. Hard-to-reach customer service

Of all the negative reviews, 22% were left because the client couldn't reach customer service. This represents clients who need help but can’t reach you!


You need to prioritize inbound calls! If you don’t answer calls your clients will be unhappy, and they won’t give you repeat business.

2. Problem not solved

Of all the unhappy clients, 14% complained that problems weren’t solved when they called. Of course, it’s not possible to solve all problems, but they often aren’t solved due to a lack of tools or knowledge accessible to the customer service employee.


This can be hard to eliminate completely, but you can go a long way by training employees that handle calls. After training, another big help is implementing processes or, to be more precise, the right amount of processes. You should never eliminate the customer service rep’s drive to do their job, but you shouldn't require them to reinvent the wheel every time.

For inspiration, read this blogpost about customer service tooling.

3. Didn't keep their promise

A whopping 12% of all the negative complaints were in relation to customer service reps not keeping their promises. The rep says, “I will get her to call back” or “We will refund the money”, but nothing happens. We have all tried it in the real world, and it quickly kills all the trust you have built up!


It’s pretty simple: never promise something you can’t absolutely deliver on. It’s better to over-deliver than over-promise.

Only 21% of all the negative feedback was related to product features/bugs, process problems and other items not related to services provided by people. In other words, you can improve on 79% of all the feedback by training your staff and improving your customer service!

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