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How to Tackle the 5 Things Customers Hate About Customer Support

No matter the industry, business, or company, issues can arise at any time resulting in the need for customer service for your clients and customers. It is imperative for your organization to have the right people, technology, and responses to resolve any issues or complaints in order to maintain a positive image. Merlin recently wrote an article* describing the top five things customers hate about customer support and what you can do to address them. A summary of that article is below:

Customer service is the way for businesses to gauge their clients’ loyalty to their company. We’ve stressed many times before that customer service should be at the core of every business, and should therefore be given careful attention. But there will always be something that tick customers off, and we know how a frustrated customer can potentially be the downfall of any business.

5 Things Customers Hate About Customer Support

1. Long Holding Time

Time is valuable for customers. They call customer support expecting solutions right away and waiting for prolonged periods of time can cause frustration. This is a hard issue to tackle during peak hours, however, to lessen the blow, your agents have to make sure to properly inform them how long they have to wait and what to expect. Best effort is to shorten your hold time, or if it would take longer than a minute, inform customers why you need to place him on hold for longer than that. This way the customer can have the liberty to decide if they want to wait, or have the option to call back later.

2. Canned Responses

It’s like talking to a robot when you are expecting a live person attending to your needs. Hearing canned responses for your problem ticks a person so easily because it doesn’t show sincerity at all. Having a spiel is normal and can actually be beneficial, especially when handling irate customers and difficult issues. But these scripts are guides, and customer support reps should know to use the tone of their voice to show empathy to the customer. When customers have problems, they want to speak to a real person (and not a robot) and have a genuine conversation about their issues. Canned responses will only aggravate the matter.

3. Explaining Multiple Times to Multiple Agents

Talking to an automated system via interactive voice response (IVR) can sometimes re-route customers to other departments. Customers expect that the first agent they speak to will be the person who will resolve their issues. Customers turn irate when they are told that another representative will handle the issue. Expect things to turn worse when you ask customers to repeat the issue after explaining it lengthily to a previous agent. To avoid this, before transferring to another agent, make sure that the previous one have made thorough notation of the customer’s reason for calling and immediately offer apology to customer for waiting and having to be transferred.

4. Extended Phone Menu

When a customer needs immediate resolution to their issues, they don’t want to take the time to go through a lengthy phone menu. Listening to the automated voice prompt is very disappointing especially when you have to go through several menus before actually talking to a live person. As much as possible, shorten your phone menu and limit number pressing to a minimum. As much as possible, do not remove the option for callers to press “0″ or “#” if they want to talk to an operator right away without having to go through the entire list. The shorter time your customer needs to endure your company’s IVR, the better.

5. Failed Resolution on the First Call

Customers expect prompt answers to their problems or inquiries at first try. They want their needs to be met soon after calling customer support. It will be quite an unpleasant experience for your customer if he needs to call again because your solution failed to fix the problem the first time. If the issue would take more follow-ups until it is resolved, then inform the customer at the beginning and explain to him what will happen during the support process.

We all know that customers hate bad customer service and they won’t tolerate receiving poor support from your contact center. Recognizing these factors can help alleviate the annoyance of your customers and by addressing each one can help provide a more satisfying customer experience.


Outsource Consultants are call center experts with over 25 years of outsourcing industry experience that have spent thousands of hours vetting and analyzing the strengths and specializations of the industry-leading outsource call center vendors. If you’re considering call center outsourcing, simply call 888-766-4482 or request a free call center cost proposal today and we’ll help you find the solution that best fits your exact requirements.

*Original article no longer available online.