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20 Tips for Preventing Service Failures

We’ve all read the stories, listened to the call recordings, watched the YouTube rants and followed the viral hashtags. Mistakes happen, but the repercussions of one negative customer experience can have permanent consequences. Especially given that customer feedback can potentially go public—and viral—very quickly. Want to keep your company out the customer service fail headlines? We spent some time discussing ways to avoid service failures during #ICMIchat this week.

Contact Center Expo & Conference Keynote speaker, Shep Hyken, wrote a Forbes article that outlines ten reasons organizations fail to deliver great service. That article inspired this chat, so we asked participants to share why they think service failures happen. Here are some highlights:

 Causes of poor service, Nate Brown

 Causes of poor service, Leslie O'Flahavan

Causes of poor service, Scott Ontiveroz

According to Hyken, not hiring for the right fit and personality can lead to problems. We asked chat participants how they ensure they’re sourcing the right candidates and hiring people who fit their culture.  Here are some of the top responses:

 Hiring tips, Zach StroumHiring Tips, Patrick RussellHiring tip, Justin Robbins

Another driver of poor customer experiences?  A lack of training. And not just technical training, but also empathy, active listening, etc. What are some effective ways to train non-technical skills of customer service? Here are a few answers chat participants shared:

Training empathy, Mark McArthur Christie 

 Training empathy, Debi Mongan

Training empathy, Jeff Toister

If you want to deliver great customer service then you should model and celebrate great behavior. According to Hyken, not enough organizations recognize and celebrate customer experience wins. This lack of attention may actually contribute to service fails. We asked #ICMIchat participants to share how they celebrate customer service wins. These are some of the top answers:

celebrating great customer service 

contact center incentive 

celebrating customer service wins 

Next up on the list of factors that contribute to service fails: customer experience blinders. Companies often think the service they provide is better than what customers actually experience. Here’s how other contact center leaders avoid that disconnect:

avoid customer service blinders 

customer experience blinders 

contact center QA 

avoid customer service blinders 

We want to hear from you. Share your tips and ideas in the comments below and make plans to join us live for our next chat. We meet every Tuesday at 1:00 EST and we welcome newcomers. Just use and follow our hashtag (#ICMIchat) to participate. Our next topic: Building Better Agent Scorecards.

Looking for more advice, as well as tips for crafting the perfect customer apology? You can find a full transcript of the conversation in the slideshow below!