deadly sins of customer service

Deadly Sins of Customer Support Small Businesses Should Avoid

Customer support can serve small businesses well when it’s not part of the business but the core of the business. Because you may forget what you said to your customers, your customers will remember what you make them feel. This can make or break a business if your customers have negative feelings about your company’s customer service.

There are a few deadly sins of customer support that can make customers feel frustrated, disrespected and make them never come back! Small businesses should learn about these deadly sins and ensure their customer support team is not making these mistakes. These deadly sins can hurt your customer retention, increase churn rates and hamper your brand reputation.

In this blog, we’ll highlight some of the biggest deadly sins of customer support and how your small business should tackle these deadly sins. Let’s dive in.

9 deadly sins of customer support

Here are the most deadly sins of customer support you must be aware of and take action against them:

1. Lack of empathy

Not showing enough empathy towards customers is the biggest deadly sin of customer support. Not only does it make your customer support detached, inattentive, and unresponsive, but it also leaves customers in a frustrating stage. Lack of empathy is the main reason for bad customer experiences.

Lack of empathy shows customer support has no interest in solving customer behavior. Your words and body language can influence customer interaction. How you are talking and what energy toward customers you’re giving off can make customers feel positive or negative.

Try to understand your customer’s perspective before jumping to a conclusion. Show positive energy towards them, and put your full attention on customers while talking to them. The goal is to provide solutions and make customers feel great about the experience.

2. Offering no alternative solutions

It’s not possible to offer an immediate solution to every customer queries comes to you. It’s difficult when you are a small business owner. But you can always offer alternatives.

Most customer support representatives make this mistake. When customers ask for something, they get an answer like – “Sorry, I can’t help you.” This leaves customers baffled. It shows that customer support is not interested in the person or not making any effort to help the customers. Which makes the frustrating customers take their business with your competitors.

Small businesses should always offer alternatives to their problems. You don’t want to leave any chance of repeat customers on the table. Nurture the relationship with your customers and try to go the extra mile to solve their problems. Customers will not forget about their experience.

3. Cold service attitude

Another deadly sin that shrugs off customers from the line is the cold attitude of the customer service rep. They answer customers’ questions. That’s it. No further interaction, no follow-up, or no extra words. Customers will see this type of behavior as unfriendly or, sometimes – hostile.

Your customer support should always be welcoming to customers, interested in their situation and needs. Train your customer support team to show positive energy from the start, exclude unfriendly and cold attitudes from their body language when interacting with customers.

4. Lack of active listening

Active listening is a powerful customer support tool. Listening to your customers before speaking up and repeating their words for better understanding creates positive communication between you and your customers.

Customer support agents, who speak before letting a customer finish, make the customers more furious and make the situation ugly. You can easily tackle negative situations by starting to listen to your customers.

5. Robotic customer service

Ever got frustrated by the same pre-recorded robotic voices over the phone or human customer support following the same boring script repeatedly. If you hate it, be sure your customer will hate it too!

Canned responses are good for repetitive answers, but the same repetitive things overused will make customers angry. Robotic customer service does not acknowledge a customer as a person, leaving customers uncertain about where to look for answers.

Robotic customer support leaves customers unsatisfied. Limit your canned responses and pre-recorded answers, and train your support agents to make an effort to connect with customers as a people. It does not take much time, but it’s worth it!

6. Rulebook treatment

Every company has policies. Sure, your small business must have. For a continuous business profit, companies have to follow their policies. But is it a “must-follow” for customer support?

Imagine your long-term customers asking for a reasonable change in your offerings, but your customer support agent says, “can’t do it, sir! Company policy prohibited it.” What do you think the customer will do?

The customer will leave with the impression that your company values them less despite doing business with you for this long! Chances are they won’t return and get ready to face some negative reviews.

Make policies for people, not harass them. Educate your support agents on when to compromise business policy for greater customer experience.

7. Transferring agent to agent

Ever placed a hold on customer support calls or transferred from agent to agent? For a customer, it’s frustrating because they feel like no one is making an effort to solve their problem, leaving them confused, and not knowing which they should contact for support.

The same goes for support tickets. If multiple agents cover one conversation at a time, it shows how broken the system is. Always have a system in place for your customer support. Form a support structure before forming your customer support team.

Know how many support agents you need to tackle customer queries on special occasions and how you can use automation to assign agents to individual tickets automatically. Help customers contact your human support by reducing the point of contact.

8. Ignoring customer’s preference

Today’s customers prefer to contact businesses from the mediums they use most. That’s why omnichannel customer support is essential to the new customer support revolution. Not everyone wants to call for customer support.

When people contact your Twitter through direct messages for support, try to offer the solution there instead of making them switch channels to your support ticket system. Pressuring them to make the switch will not solve the problem quickly, but the customer will leave you quickly.

Sync your customer support operation with your all-business team. Especially with social media, support agents can attend to customer needs where they contact you most.

9. Not acknowledging mistakes

Groveling on your own mistakes can make situations worse. Yes, you can make mistakes. And you must say sorry. But apologizing in every conversation will leave the customer irritated. Make an apology on the first attempt and detail how you will make it right for the customers.

Another big deadly sin of customer support is that most agents somehow do not acknowledge their mistakes but keep repeating customers’ mistakes whenever they get a chance. It’s utterly disrespectful to your customers. Blaming your customers will not help win repeat customers; sometimes, you need to forget some mistakes and use the incident to make the customers feel respected by your behavior.


Small businesses need to provide excellent customer support to attract new customers. Great customer service is the backbone of customer loyalty. Businesses should be aware of these deadly sins of customer service and take steps to remove them from their support system.

What type of deadly sin did you encounter from your customer support experience? Please share with us in the comment.

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