Home Blog 8 ways how support service can piss off a customer
December 13, 2021

8 ways how support service can piss off a customer

More often, customers contact the support service when they are already dissatisfied. But it happens that a client comes with a simple question “What is my minimum payment?” And the operator in the process of communication asks him for a phone number.

More often, customers contact the support service when they are already dissatisfied. But it happens that a client comes with a simple question “What is my minimum payment?” And the operator in the process of communication asks him for a phone number. “Yes, I’m calling from it! Let’s hurry!” and so on. As a result, the initially friendly-minded client begins to vomit and throw, the dialogue stretches. We saw how in one airline the operator spent an entire hour on the dialogue with the client – this is all expenses for the company. But they can be reduced only due to the fact that the operator will correctly answer the client and close his question the first time. Let’s look at eight typical situations when support specialists themselves provoke customers, and how to prevent this.

1. Play with clients as ping-pong

It happens that the client wrote to the chat, and the operator sent him to call by phone. Or a person asked for help on Facebook, and he was sent to write an email. Or he called on the phone, and the operator transferred him to another line and so on several times. Naturally, having finally reached the right operator, even the most loyal customer will be unhappy and annoyed.

This is usually due to typical system support errors.

Extra communication channels

Clients were given several communication channels at once, and the support service answers only in one of them. If the client gets to the accounting department, security service or to the administrator, they will start switching from one channel to another. To prevent this from happening, give customers only the channel through which the support service will answer them.

Manual sorting of dialogs.

Employees manually sort out the dialogues and if they see that they cannot answer the client themselves, they send him to the second support line or to another department. There is always a risk of error in such a scheme. Automate routing with your support tool.

Lack of skills among operators

Front line staff are not sufficiently trained or have no authority. They have to switch the client back and forth. Train employees or replace them with more experienced ones. If there are often situations where front line employees could answer, but according to the rules, the second line operator answers such questions, review the rules.

Lack of dialogue between the support lines

The first line switches the client to the second line without explanation. This approach reduces the time of the first line dialogue, but the client has to re-describe the problem to the second line operator. The client gets annoyed, the communication heats up, and the total conversation time will increase. Due to misunderstanding, the problem cannot be solved the first time, and the client comes back again and again.

To prevent this from happening, change the rules for working with appeals. Instruct the operator of the first line to call the second, explain the situation and only then switch the client. Then the operator of the second line will already be aware of the situation, and the client will not need to explain the problem again.

2. Ask the client an extra question

It happens that the client is asked what he has already written or said. For example, the operator did not notice the photo or screenshot, did not check the previous correspondence or ask for the client’s phone number, although he sees it. It pisses off the client.

To solve the problem, talk to the operators, figure out why they are so inattentive. Perhaps their workload is too high, lack of experience, lack of motivation, or the employee, in principle, is not suitable for such work. Organize the work of the operators: add a mandatory checklist that the employee must go through before sending a response to the client.

3. Ask the client about what they do not understand

It happens that the operator says to the client: “Prompt your browser version” or “Tell your contract number.” Client “???? What!? What kind of browser !? What number!? Where can I get it !? ” If you understand that the client does not know where to get the data that is needed to understand the problem, prompt them or give detailed instructions. Otherwise, they will not understand, they will be offended, they will start to freak out, or simply leave without question for fear of looking stupid. And so that they understand that you are not just asking something from them, be sure to explain to the client why this information is needed.



– Hello, I cannot open a shift at the checkout.

– Good day! Tell the serial number of the cash register.

– What is the serial number? Tell me what to do with the cash register. Buyers are waiting for me !!!

– Hello, I cannot open the shift at the checkout.

– Good morning! Tell us the serial number of the cash register – 10 digits at the end of the case. I will check how it is displayed on the system.

– 2115702298

4. Ignore customer questions

If the client asks several questions at once, you need to answer each of them, and not selectively.



– Nick, your laptop is ready. You can pick it up tomorrow.

– Well! Thank you! What time can you drive up? And what finally happened to it?

– From 10:00 to 20:00.

– OK. So what happened to it??

– Nick, your laptop is ready. You can pick it up tomorrow.

– Well! Thank you! What time can you drive up? And what happened to him in the end?

– From 10:00 to 20:00. There was a lot of dust inside and the fan couldn’t keep up.

– Got it. Thank you so much! I’ll drive up tomorrow morning.

5. Not making sure you understood the client correctly

Understanding what the client is saying is 90% of the solution to the problem. The support may not understand the client when he formulates something in his own language, and the operator understands his terms in his own way. For example, a client says “site” but is referring to an application. Or a client asks: “Do you have a website?” But in fact, he forgot the password to enter the application. First of all, you need to understand in detail what the client is asking.

◾️  Make sure there is no discrepancy in the client’s question. If some words or phrases are not clear, it is better to ask again, to clarify what he means. But there is no need to ask, “What do you mean?” or “I do not understand, please repeat.” These phrases don’t work. It seems that the client will now tell the details, but in fact, they will repeat the same thing and get annoyed. You have to be more cunning.



– The application does not work for me.

– What exactly doesn’t work?

– Application.

– What do you have in mind? Explain in more detail.

– Application!!! Your application does not work for me !! What else to explain !?

Option 1. Question with an alternative – give two options to choose from:

– The application does not work for me.

– Do I understand correctly that you have already opened the application and everything is frozen? Or is the app just loading?

Option 2. Open-ended question with response structure – help the client to formulate the problem in steps:

– The application does not work for me.

– Tell us step by step what is happening. Here you went to the application, clicked “create payment”, then …

Option 3. A question with an alternative and a solution – suitable in cases where the solution to the problem is simple and consists of one step:

– The application does not work for me.

– If the application does not respond to your actions, please restart it. And if you get an error, send a screenshot.

◾️ Summarize how you understood the client’s question. For example, “I understand correctly what you need…. “Or” Let’s recap. … Is that correct, I haven’t missed anything? ” So the operator can check himself and make sure that he understood everything correctly. If you think that everything is clear and do not clarify the information, it is very easy to make a mistake. As a result, the operator will do what the client does not need or will answer the wrong question that he actually asked. The operator will waste time, and the client will be enraged. But there is no need to bring this technique to the point of absurdity.

Some call centers mindlessly repeat every question after the client. Explain to the operators that summarizing the situation is necessary only for verification and only in cases when the operator misunderstood something or doubts his conclusions.



– I need an extract from February.

– Do I understand correctly that you need an extract from February?

– YES!! ???? CORRECTLY!!!

– I need an employee report.

– Look at the screenshot for example. Did I understand correctly that the report should look like this?

– No, I need it like this …

6. Leave the client in the dark about the timing and ways of solving their problem

Sometimes a problem cannot be solved right away – it takes several days or even weeks. For example, a client reported a bug or needs a complex report. It is not enough to simply say, “The task has been taken to work.” Tormented by the unknown, the client will be nervous and periodically call with questions.

To avoid this, it is enough to explain to the client what will happen after he says goodbye to the client, for example: “Now we will send information to our testers. They will check it, and if they confirm the bug, we will start the task. Then the developers will evaluate it, we will understand how long it will take, and we will tell you how long we will solve the problem ”. He should have a picture in his head of what the support service will do and how long it will take. He must feel in control of the situation: the operator has understood everything and the problem will really be solved, and not put on a shelf.



– Hello! My scooter rental is still ongoing.

– Good day! Send the scooter number.

– 154878451

– Send his photo

– ????

…. 10 minutes have passed …

– Well!? I sent everything. And then what? I stand waiting. When will something happen !? How long do I have to hang around here !!?

– Hello! My scooter rental is still ongoing.

– Good day! Send us the number and photo of the scooter. Wait 5 minutes: we will complete your rental, check everything and inform you right away.

7. Give the client a hard-to-understand answer

The client should not translate the operator’s response into English. He should not have thought “What did the operator mean here?” Such a translation should not appear in the client’s head: “Probably, they meant that …”. No, the information must be unambiguous, without variations.

◾️ The answer is poorly framed. You should not send the client a solid text without subheadings, without paragraphs, without examples, confusing long sentences with formalisms and clerical. Answer in a clear, structured and simple way, as you would explain to your grandmother.

◾️ Incomprehensible screenshots, links and instructions. If you are giving a screenshot, indicate with the arrows where to look. If giving instructions, write down the procedure step by step. If you say that the information is on the site, give a link that makes it clear where the person will go – no “here”, “here” and “by reference”.

◾️ Specific terminology. The client must understand what the terms mean. For example: “You need to check the vehicle charging.” “What vehicle, ????!? What kind of vehicle !? ” It turns out to be a vehicle. The company is accustomed to using this term among themselves, but the client does not understand it, which means that you need to replace it with the familiar word “scooter”.

8. Demonstrate your indifference

You don’t have to make your support team like your customers. Showing empathy and caring is not needed to show abstract love for the client. The operator shows empathy so as not to provoke the client into negative reactions and not to complicate the communication. He must be able to recognize and manage the emotions of the client.



– Everything is broken for me, I need it urgently!

– Good day! Tell me your contract number.

– Are you normal ????!? What is the contract number !? It’s broken for me, I need it urgently!

– Everything is broken for me, I need it urgently!

– I understand, the question is serious. We are already understanding. To find out the cause of the problem, we need your contract number. Tell him, please.

If the client speaks with some emotions and pronounces them, the operator must react to this. For example, a client says, “I’m so upset. It’s just awful! ”, You have to say:“ Yes, the situation is very unpleasant. It doesn’t have to be that way. We are already working on it. I’ll help you right now. Let’s figure it out together. ” This will reduce the degree of emotions, and you can avoid problems from scratch.

The main goal of communicating with customers is not to make them happy. The company has a pragmatic goal – to make customers satisfied, pay more, but use support less. Therefore, the employee’s task is to solve the client’s issue immediately and reduce the number of repeated calls.

Let’s summarize

In order not to provoke the client into a conflict, eliminate the common errors of the support service:

◾️ Make sure that the client immediately gets to the operator who can help him, without unnecessary switching between lines.

◾️ Systematize the work of operators so that they do not ask again and do not ask the client unnecessary questions.

◾️ Train the operators:

▫️ ask questions in a language understandable to the client and explain why he is being asked about it;

▫️ answer all questions of the client without exception;

▫️ make sure that they understand the client correctly before going to resolve his issue;

▫️ always explain to clients how and in what time frame they will solve their problem;

▫️ respond in a clear, structured and understandable language;

▫️ competently show empathy.


Do this, and the support team will save you hundreds and thousands of dollars: satisfied customers will buy from you more often and contact less often.

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December 13, 2021

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