3 Customer Service Mishaps and What You can Learn from Them

When one goes into customer service, people always emphasize how the customer is always right. Although many would argue that this isn’t true, we know that it’s false – everyone makes mistakes, and customers are just as prone to human error as others are. But, this isn’t the point.

Why Should the Customer Be Always Right?

“The customer is always right” isn’t taken in its most literal sense; it’s a standard that many businesses have based their services on for decades. And, applying this standard to their customer service has proved to be advantageous!
For a company that relies on its customers to thrive and succeed, you must ensure that they have the best experience with you. To achieve this, you must be able to provide excellent customer service.
The customer is always right, not because they are, but because you want your patrons to feel welcomed and appreciated, making them want to return and purchase your products or services again.
However, although this approach has been the norm since Harry Gordon Selfridge coined it in the early 1900s, some have argued that this phrase is severely outdated and should be acknowledged for how wrong it is.
So, which is it?
The “Wrong” Side
The famous phrase was meant to instill a sense of quality customer support and even guide employees in making decisions that benefit customers to build loyalty and trust. However, many claims that this ideology may now be irrelevant.
Many argue that the “the customer is always right” mantra is wrong because there are wrong customers. This centuries-old mantra can lead a company toward a situation where they may have to take ownership of a mistake that they’re not accountable for.
Moreover, having this mantra in place can negatively affect your customer support team, negatively impacting their working conditions and your company culture. Basing your service on the “customer is right” mantra will make your customer service team unable to turn to upper management for support, left to be criticized by customers.
Questioning Leads to Learning
Many centuries-old phrases are still in place today, instilled in the minds of business leaders, but this doesn’t mean that they should be accepted blindly nor rejected completely. To offer the best customer experience, every company should examine the business phrases embedded in their foundation and differentiate between what makes sense and what doesn’t.
Whether you agree or disagree with the “customer is right” mantra, any person on either side would acknowledge that this is an important discussion to improve companies’ customer service today. Questioning and discerning are crucial to improvement and growth.
It all boils down to providing the best customer experience. In opening discussions, discussing with differently-minded individuals, and learning from past mistakes, your business will be able to offer excellent support that your customers deserve.
Customer Service Mistakes to Learn From
Figuring out the secret to excellent customer service can’t be easily found in books. Although quite a few are written about the topic, finding out how to provide the best customer support is best learned from real-life experiences, particularly negative customer service incidents.
Customer service mistakes are the best sources of knowledge – they may have been disastrous for the business it happened to, but they serve as an opportunity for you to understand what they did wrong and how you can avoid them from happening to your own business.
Here are some of the biggest customer service mishaps that you can learn from:
Marriot’s Rescue Operation During Hurricane Irma
Hurricane Irma was an extremely disastrous hurricane, with the US Virgin Islands has borne the brunt of the damage, leading to the airport in Puerto Rico shutting down. To help out during this worrying time, Mariott took it upon themselves to rescue stranded travelers on Saint Thomas.
Although Mariott’s initiative should have been good for their brand image, it backfired. Despite having enough room on the ferry, the hotel chose to leave behind 35 people without food or shelter because they weren’t Mariott’s guests.
American news channels slammed the hotel, including social media users berating Marriott with their virtual pitchforks. Whether the blame lies with Marriott or with the dock authorities doesn’t matter as much – the hotel already took a hit.
Your current customers aren’t the only people who matter. When it comes to providing excellent customer service, you must also be mindful of your future customers and the entire community.
The Forcible Removal of a United Airlines Passenger
Overbooking is more common air travelers may think, but they usually aren’t a problem, as passengers willingly give up their seats in exchange for compensation. Unfortunately for Dr. David Dao, vouchers didn’t make a single passenger budge on Flight 3411 last April 9, 2017.
When the disturbing video of Dr. Dao being dragged off Flight 3411 became viral, people immediately called for the boycott of the airline. The incident eventually was resolved, with both sides reaching a settlement.
What United Airlines did was wrong but avoidable. They could have prevented this incident by investing in proper customer service training, sensitizing their employees, and teaching them to be more empathetic.
Empathy is crucial to providing excellent customer service, which is why our customer support company, CrewBloom, sees that our team is sensitive to the needs and personalities of your customers.
A Name Change Leading to Comcast’s Destroyed Reputation
Comcast already has a poor reputation, but one customer service mishap made things much worse. They received immense backlash when a customer service rep changed a customer’s name from “Ricardo Brown” to “A*****e Brown” because he refused a cable contract renewal.
One person may have caused this incident, but the customer representative’s behavior most likely resulted from the toxic work environment Comcast exposes its team to.
Suppose you don’t think you can provide a stress-free work environment for your customer service team and create a culture of empathy. In that case, work with a customer service outsourcing company instead to ensure that no customer rep mistake will damage your brand’s image.
Learning is crucial to progress and growth, and the same goes for customer service. Customer service is vital to your company’s success, so you must learn about it as much as possible. However, keep in mind that learning is only the first step to excellent customer service!
Once you’ve figured out what to look for in a customer support team, you must then work with a customer service company that knows what to do and not to maintain and even improve the company’s reputation. By providing the best customer experience every time, your business is sure to grow and thrive!
If you want your business to provide an excellent customer experience, work with us at CrewBloom! Our customer service company’s inbound customer service agent is guaranteed to have extensive and proven experience in the industry. Hire premium talent today!

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