How Bad Information Destroys Customer Service Experiences

Last verified May 20, 2021

When customer service experiences go wrong, people notice. The worst customer experiences make their way into the larger conversation: remember Comcast’s infamous retention call? Or United’s violent flight overbooking remedy? No company wants to make it into a hall of fame that includes these kinds of customer experiences, but now that it’s easier than ever to put a brand on blast, what can you do as a CX leader to prevent it?


Bad customer service experiences = broken promises

Every piece of information your company gives to a customer is a promise to fulfill. When that information turns out to be wrong, you’ve broken that promise. Having a crisis response plan in place when something goes horribly, terribly, unfathomably wrong is important, especially as companies get bigger and grow their customer bases. But preventing these kinds of events comes from making sure every person who represents a brand has access to correct information.

Focus on the word “correct” here. There’s a difference between no information and bad information. Having no information will slow you down a little, while having bad information will not just slow you down, but may put you in frustrating — or downright dangerous — situations.

Here’s an extreme example:


Recovering from a bad customer support experience

It’s in failing to make it right — after sending a customer down the wrong path or setting false expectations — where most brands err. The truth is that most customers are willing to cut companies some slack. When we’re invested in companies or brands, we generally want them to succeed, even when they disappoint us. In fact, bouncing back from customer service mistakes has actually been shown to strengthen customers’ relationships with companies.

If your internal knowledge base is wrong, or out of date, reps can't help but give bad information (Read how Guru can help keep information up-to-date and accurate for your customer support teams.) If, on the other hand, reps are giving incorrect information in order to speed up a call or close out a ticket, they’re getting through the day, not trying to help the customer. If you're seeing previously high performing reps do this, it's a classic sign of support rep burnout. It’s not something to punish a rep for, but something for you, as a leader, to help fix. 

If you’re looking for ways to combat support team burnout, check out this webinar recording.