poor customer service

Consequences of Poor Customer Service

Poor customer service is detrimental to any business. When customers do not feel valued, it makes it much easier for them to take their business elsewhere. Understanding the consequences of poor customer service is essential to delivering high-quality service. This article will outline what constitutes poor customer service and what effects poor service can have.

What is Poor Customer Service?

A poor customer service experience is always the result of a failure to meet expectations. When you fail to meet a customer’s expectation, they are more likely to choose to take their business elsewhere. Evidently, there will always be small mistakes that occur and certain customers that you may not be able to satisfy. However, here are a few examples of universally unacceptable poor customer service:

  • Bad attention to detail
  • Representing your company with a lack of knowledge or policy
  • Unprofessional or impersonal conduct
  • Failure to respond within an appropriate time
  • Identifying but leaving a complaint unresolved
  • Unfulfilled promises

The Consequences of Poor Customer Service

Poor customer service can have some detrimental effects to a business in various ways. Below are some consequences that may result in the delivery of lacklustre customer service.

Loss of Customers:

78% of customers in 2011 interviewed by an American Express survey said that they had stopped using a business as the result of experiencing poor customer service. Poor customer service disseminates a sentiment of neglect to customers. As most business is the result of a customer deciding that doing business with a company is convenient and enjoyable, poor customer service can force customers away from using a company again. When customers don’t feel valued or respected, more often than not, they will take their business elsewhere.

Moreover, it’s not only current customers that may be lost as a result of negative customer service experiences. Potential customers may be dissuaded from using a new business because of the effects of poor customer service. Primarily, if a new customer’s first experience in a new business is negative customer service, they will be unlikely to use it again and will take their business elsewhere. In fact, 61% of customers interviewed in the American Express survey took their business to a competitor after experiencing bad service.

Poor customer service can also hinder a business’ chance of attracting future customers. A customer who is subject to poor levels of service will be far more likely to tell others about the negative experience they received. If a business presents itself as difficult to do business with, word will spread.

Loss of Profits:

Poor customer service will often reduce the number of customers interacting with a business. Fewer customers will cause a loss in profit for any business. Loss of business may also force a company to attempt to save money. This might be by neglecting the importance of customer service and failing to increase customer service proficiency which will also lower profits.

Given the plethora of ways a person can publish their negative service experiences of a company via the internet, most modern customers have developed into active reviewers. It is difficult to hide from criticisms of poor service. Examples of where a company’s customer service has failed can lower a business’ reputation in two ways.

Primarily, a poor reputation of bad customer service is much more likely to force potential customers to use an alternative company that may seem far more appealing because they offer better customer service.

Secondarily, a reputation for poor service can be enough to discourage potential employees and other businesses from working with a company. Poor customer service expresses a lack of care, and potential employment candidates and other businesses will believe that if customers are not treated with sufficient respect and care, they will not be either.

Increased Spending:

When a company experiences damage as a result of poor customer service, it can also see an increase in spending to attempt to resolve problems. This may be from expensive public relations campaigns and new marketing strategies that attempt to offset the consequences of poor service. Companies are often likely to result in trying to retrain staff, often through a consultancy agent. This can reduce productivity and be costly.

Employee Confidence Falls:

Poor customer service can cause employees of a business to feel insecure and unhappy at work. Nobody likes being subject to anger from unpleased customers and without sufficient strategies in place to deal with these complaints, employees are far more likely to feel dissatisfied with their jobs. This can also cause low levels of staff retention as employees, like customers, will take themselves to other companies that provide the correct structures to ensure good customer service is delivered effectively. Low staff retention also reduces the personal and proficient nature of any business’ customer service. Without experienced employees who understand policy and have knowledge of executing good customer service, it is difficult for any business to provide good customer service.


Therefore, we have identified that poor customer service is the result of neglect and dissatisfaction. It is evident that this can have multiple knock-on effects which hinder the slick performance of a business. These effects will persuade customers to use alternative business; reduce a company’s reputation; and prove to be costly. By making sure poor service is prevented, and good service is always executed, these consequences can be avoided.

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