7 Deadly Sins of Customer Service


You probably have seen the following before, but it is so valuable we just thought you would enjoy it again regardless.

Seven Deadly Sins of Customer Service

1. Apathy: A just don’t-give-a-damn attitude on the part of the salesperson or an impression conveyed to the customer in terms of “Do I look like I give a damn?”. Some people get this way when they get bored with their jobs and nobody is reminding them that their job priority is to serve the customers.

2. Brush-Off: Trying to get rid of the customer by brushing-off his or her need or problem; trying to “slam-dunk” the customer with some standard procedure that doesn’t solve the problem but lets the service person off the hook for doing anything special.

3. Coldness: A kind of chilly hostility, curtness, unfriendliness, inconsiderateness, or impatience with the customer that says, “You’re a nuisance; please go away.” It is amazing to find that so many restaurants carefully select the most moody, depressed, hostile person they can find for the hostess-cashier job, making sure the customer’s first and last moments of truth are good ones.

4. Condescension: Treating the customer with a patronizing attitude, such as many health-care people do. They call the doctor “Doctor Jones,” but they call you by your first name and talk to you like you’re four years old.

5. Robotism: “Thank-you-have-a-nice-day-NEXT.” The fully mechanized worker puts every customer through the same program with the same standard motion and slogans, and with no trace of warmth or individuality. A variant of this is the smiling robot who gives a permanent “star” smile, but you can tell nobody’s home upstairs.

6. Rule Book: Putting the organizational rules above customer satisfaction, with no discretion on the part of the service person to make exceptions or use common sense. Banks are famous for this; they usually do everything possible to eliminate all traces of human thought and judgement, with the result that no one is authorized to think. Any customer problem with more than one moving part confounds their system.

7. Runaround: “Sorry, you’ll have to call (see) so-and-so. We don’t handle that here.” Airline people have made this into an art; the ticket agent tells you the gate people will take care of it, and the gate people tell you to see the ticket agent when you get to your destination, and the agent at your destination tells you to have your travel agent take care of it.

You can improve your customer service by training your front line staff with DMSRetail’s Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals DVD course.

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2 Responses to “7 Deadly Sins of Customer Service”


  1. 1 Charles May 2, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Good article. Robotism is the most annoying thing a customer service does. Mechanized voice, orchestrated tone, and that annoying spiel are big turn-offs!

  2. 2 Tammy May 6, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    Unfortunately, I see these 7 deadly sins of customer service every day. It seems fewer people realize the importance of outstanding customer service. Business managers need to make it a mandatory requirement. With many people who need work, there is no need to keep these lackluster employees who are giving the business a poor image.


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