17 Things I Hate About Customer Service


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We recently asked our customer service representatives two simple questions. What do you love about customer service and what do you hate about customer service? The challenge was to answer in one sentence for each. Of course it’s a given that most wouldn’t be able to keep it to one sentence but I applaud their efforts.

I am tasked with sharing the “hates” with you and while hate is a strong word, it is a very real emotion. Take a moment to browse through these responses from my customer service team and then I will share what I think can be gained from this.

Cliché answer but I what I “hate” is irate customers who blame the front lines for issues that are obviously out of our control so they refuse to calm down or listen or understand.

The customer that has no respect for you and is unwilling to give you a chance make things right for them!!

I strongly dislike customers that think they’re right..ALWAYS. True, there are times when we are wrong. We can’t help it, we’re human. But, when customers don’t care two hoots of what you think but want you to listen to them fully. oh my jeez, it grinds my gears.

I hate it when customer is just not in a good mood and takes it out on you!

When there is a lack of respect, proper communication and willingness to work together on both ends or on one of the ends. When someone is calling to just complain and crucify the other person (customer service rep)- projecting their frustrations because they can …because it’s customer service. But as soon as they realize that they need to be a part of the resolution (patience and udnerstanding and all….)- they just raise their voices even more or throw darts regarding such matters that are less important or have no association with what they called about. Also…when it’s the other way around. When the other person who feels entitled because they know all (because they work for the company) and treat the customer like they are idiots. Are there really such thing as stupid questions? I think not especially if you’re genuinely asking for guidance.

I hate when the customer I am assisting takes their frustration out on me as if the issue they encountered is my fault.


I hate when customers have an air of entitlement to your service. When they treat you like dirt beneath their shoes that needs to be washed, sanitized, and thrown in the nearest incinerator. Yes, I understand you are paying for my service, and I appreciate your business. But please treat me like a human being.

The customers who call in thinking by being angry they will get things done faster.

Not having the answer for the customer right on the spot.

Dealing with really mean people!!!! I also dislike feeling helpless–not being able to resolve a problem for a customer is nerve-racking.

When customers have an entitlement complex and overblown expectations of the level of customer service we can provide.

Hate is a strong word, but what I dislike about is the industry “stereotype” we as customer service reps get tagged with. I do think Customer Service gets a bad rap (for valid reasons in some cases) and sometimes we have to deal with bitter people who have bad experiences, but getting them to realize we are not the typical Customer Service brand is really cool!

Language barriers

The thing I hate about customer service is when they are wanting something done, but they are not willing to work with you to achieve a resolution.

Unable to do anything and being punished for it.

When things become out of my control.

From one simple question there is a lot to learn. Here’s what I learned and perhaps re-learned.

  1. Customer service representatives take a lot of abuse and it’s so easy for upper management to tell them to suck it up and do the job they are paid to do.
  2. Shep Hyken says “Treat your staff as well as you want them to treat your customers–maybe better.” This quote have never rung more true.
  3. Great customer service professionals are masters at understanding people, displaying empathy and diffusing conflict.
  4. Some customer service professionals put MacGyver to shame. Depending on how well equipped and empowered they are, they are often asked to prevent bombs from detonating with very few tools to work with.
  5. This is a question every company should be asking their customer service team often. Hopefully your company culture and personal ego allows for them to be honest in their responses without fear of consequence. If it does not, you may continually be asking why turnover in customer service and your customer churn rate is high.

Finally you ask what I hate about customer service? I hate it when I have exhausted all possible solutions and resources within the company and cannot find a solution for a customer within a reasonable time frame.

Here’s to creating more reasons for our customer service teams to love customer service. I can’t wait to read Jenny’s post on 17 Things I Love About Customer Service.

My question to you is what do you hate about customer service? Leave us a comment or tell us on Facebook or Twitter.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeremy Watkin
Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Support and CX at NumberBarn. He has more than 20 years of experience as a contact center professional leading highly engaged customer service teams. Jeremy is frequently recognized as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working he's spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis.


  1. I can’t blame the people in customer service if they’re giving bad answers or experience. I know of call center agents who work really hard, are dedicated to the profession, and want to give their best in every call. The feedback you gathered from these agents shows that they too also get affected; the downside is that, since they chose this trade, there’s basically no room for excuses.

    I also work in a call center. I have made good friends here. I understand how they feel about their job and the challenges they face. That is why every time I call a hotline center for a request or a question, I make those phone reps feel good even after a simple answer. In my own way, I assure them they’re doing a great job and I appreciate them for helping me. You’ll never know what kind of human being who comes after me.


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