7 Ways Bad Customer Experience Teaches Business Growth


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Terrible customer experiences online can be a great opportunity for service providers to grow by transforming a bad customer experience into a “wow” one.

Here are 7 tips to help you grow from each bad customer experience situation and retain your customers:

1. Have a plan in place, every time

When customers reach your company’s support center, most of the time they aren’t happy and demand an instant solution. If the customer is angry or upset, allow a plan for reps to move away from the script and adopt his/her own approach in the best interest of the customer. Remember a happy customer will almost always tell few people about his experience, while an unhappy one will tell a bigger crowd – especially through social media – and potentially taint your reputation.


2. Show the customer that a bad experience won’t happen again

If by any chance you find a customer to be unsatisfied and telling the world about it via social channels, then you should contact and assist this person. Make sure that the rep getting in touch with the customer will solve the problem to his best extent, and also distribute a technician/representative on site to assist ASAP (if applicable). You need to assure the customer that you did everything to solve the problem, and a bad experience will not be repeated if there was one.

3. Offer adequate compensation

Sometimes, the best way to diminish a bad customer experience or transform it into a positive one is to offer something. Little things such as a 10% discount on the next purchase, a promotion or a minor gift can easily diffuse the situation. Chances are he/she will actually talk about this situation and tell everyone how you managed to save the day.

4. Make sure to respond to your customers’ social queries quickly

In this era of instant gratification, customers expect an immediate reply to their queries. In this regard, it’s important to create yourself a brand page on Twitter, Facebook and the like (if you don’t have one already). Social channels empower the customer to get in touch with you, and empower you to assess their needs quicker and better. Remember, customers love an instant solution. And you can love it for the feedback you receive on social media – just don’t neglect to actually implement the feedback!

Alternatively, you can allow customers to use crowdsourcing and self-service tools (such as, say, WalkMe? :-) ) to manage the issues they have on their own.

Bad Customer Experience

5. Phone and email support are still alive, and preferred!

Even though interaction technologies are advancing everyday, email and the phone remain the preferred customer communications methods. Providing a quick solution is still just as important. A recent study (source) highlights the fact that 53% of customers expect to their phone call to be picked up within 3 minutes. In addition, the standard reply time for emails seem to diminish as time passes by. It was only a while ago when 48 hours was regarded as decent response time for email queries. Now customers expect to receive a reply within 24 hours if not faster.

6. Speed is not the only variable to take into account

Although it’s important to offer your customers a solution within a limited time frame, avoid promising results that diminish your company’s proficiency. Customers prefer consistency instead of promises. If you find that one minute replies fail to address your customers’ issues, then increase it to five minutes. Speed is vital when it comes to customer experience, but answering customers’ concerns efficiently is more important.

7. Prepare to help customers at any moment

A recent study has shown that, especially for institutions offering time-limited phone support (e.g. bank institutions), customers prefer to call either early in the morning (9 to 10 am) or later in the afternoon (4 to 5 pm). These hours are deemed by the caller as hours when phone calls are picked up almost instantly. However, a savvy company should make itself a name for answering calls and emails quickly at any moment.

Analyze your call center’s results or the current typical phone call flow to determine the times of the day the most calls are made. Then you have to do your utmost best to diminish the reply times in those intervals by making use of technology, afferent software and employees.

Follow these seven important tips when it comes to interacting efficiently with the customer. Make them a standard and you will definitely manage to turn bad experiences into amazing ones.

Image credits: Tomasz Stasiuk, Jason A. Howie via CreativeCommons

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeannie Walters, CCXP
Jeannie Walters is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a globally recognized speaker, a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com instructor, and a Tedx speaker. She’s a very active writer and blogger, contributing to leading publications from Forbes to Pearson college textbooks. Her mission is “To Create Fewer Ruined Days for Customers.”


  1. Great post, Jeannie!

    I especially like point #7. Often organizations say, “we don’t have the budget to operate 24/7” or “we are always understaffed and can’t afford to hire another employee during peak hours.”

    These unjust reasons are almost laughable because if they reduced their investment in tradition media/marketing by even a percentage or two they could afford to hire that extra head count and operate more efficiently. The ROI of this investment is customer loyalty and organic growth (repeat purchases, referrals, brand admiration).

    Thank you for putting the post together.



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