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Debunking the Top 3 Customer Service Myths

By | July 9, 2014 in Service Desk

Effective listening allows consumers to feel acknowledged, understood and accepted.

The less complaints from customers, the better, right? Well, not exactly. When it comes to customer service many companies believe that receiving fewer complaints means their customers are indeed happy. However, research proves that it’s quite the opposite. In fact, the majority of unhappy customers never complain, they simply leave and never come back.


Moreover, companies today have an extremely skewed sense of their ability to deliver top-notch customer service. According to this American Express survey, only one-third of survey respondents think businesses have made steps to improve customer service, while the businesses themselves think otherwise. That being said, companies that encourage a two-way dialogue with customers stand to do better, while those left in the dark are guaranteed to suffer.

Despite the many theories around the subject of customer service, many “myths” are still abound. In order to clear the air once and for all, we’ve debunked the top three customer service myths below. The “truths” may shock you.

Myth 1: The majority of customers complain when they have a problem

Debunked: The truth is that less than 25 percent of customers actually complain when they have an issue, while an astounding 70 to 90 percent never complain at all. Moreover, instead of complaining to their provider, customers will tell an average of three people “bad” things about their provider. So why are customers so hesitant to complain? Most customers won’t bother to complain because they feel it’s either too difficult to reach the appropriate representative or they are not confident in the companies’ ability to quell their concern.

Resolution: To avoid having customers silently walk away, make a concerted effort to reach out to them on a regular basis. After all, the best way to measure customer satisfaction is by simply asking them. Moreover, give consumers a variety of channels in which they can engage and interact with you. Having a customer service phone line is no longer enough as more consumers are turning to live chat, social media, and videoconferencing as ways to communicate with companies. The more options you provide the more likely they will reach out for help.

Myth 2: Customers no longer prefer live agent interactions

Debunked: Despite social media and self-service portals becoming increasingly popular, consumers still prefer to interact with live agents. In fact, according to the aforementioned American Express survey, 65 percent of consumers prefer speaking to a live agent via phone or in-person for issues like product assistance or returns, which increases to 76 percent as issues get more serious. Moreover, less than 10 percent prefer web or email assistance and only one in five have used social media for customer service within the past year.

Resolution: As evidenced by the statistics above, quality personal connections still matter most to consumers. So how do you ensure that consumers receive the best service? Teaching customer service agents to really listen to consumers is the key to unlocking customer satisfaction. Effective listening allows consumers to feel acknowledged, understood and accepted. Moreover, it encourages consumers to be more open and forthcoming with their problems.

Myth 3: It’s better to invest in marketing and advertising than customer service

Debunked: The best way to grow and sustain a business is to keep your existing customers happy. In fact, it costs at least five times as much to gain a new customer than it is to keep an existing one and 80 percent of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20 percent of your existing customers, making them a extremely important part of your businesses’ success.

Resolution: Your customers are the greatest contributors to your bottom line. So why are so many companies hesitant to invest in customer service? Instead of throwing significant funds into a new marketing campaign, in hopes of gaining new consumers, invest in the ones you already have. Give your employees the customer service tools, such as desktop and speech analytics, to help improve the customer experience. Invest in your customers and your customer service initiatives, your bottom line will thank you.

While there are many myths when it comes to customer service, one thing remains true: the better the customer service the healthier the bottom line.

Tell us… did we miss any important customer service myths you would like us to debunk?

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Joseph Zargari

About Joseph Zargari

As former VP Customer Relations, Joseph handled all customer support functions, including technical support, general queries, payments and the SysAid Community forum. With first-hand experience of SysAid products in the service desk environment, Joseph was a key source of input for SysAid’s design and development phases. In his free time, Joseph plays tennis, watches comedies, and does PHP coding.

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