When Customer Service Becomes A Disservice

Picture this: a person visits a car showroom with the intention of making a purchase. A sales representative approaches her/him and offers to help. After exchanging pleasantries, he goes on to give the customer a complete tour of the facility, insists on introducing his colleagues, and engages in conversation for over an hour before actually getting down to specifics about cars. 

Though this may seem like an attempt to build a rapport with the customer, it could be counter-productive. While good customer service requires building a strong relationship with a client, it should never come across as an oversell. 

Good customer service is based on taking care of buyer needs in a professional manner, by providing the assistance and insights they require before, during, and after their purchase. 

But, getting too pally with a customer too soon could seem unprofessional, and excessive fawning, like continuous suggestions or insisting on a purchase, can simply overwhelm a prospect. 

When Is It a Disservice?

Customer service agents need to maneuver client engagement with care. Doing too much or too little could result in unhappy customers – a serious blow to any successful business. There are four kinds of poor customer service:


When a customer needs help, if they cannot easily reach the right person, then it is poor service even before it has begun. 

The solution is simple. In a physical store, having a dedicated support desk can make employees more accessible. In case of remote services, phone calls and emails must always be answered. 


Even if employees are accessible, if they seem distant, cold, disinterested or robotic, customers might feel neglected. An employee must seem willing to help with requests rather than appear to be simply dutiful.   


A representative who has just established contact with a customer should not pretend to be their best friend. People expect cordiality, not over-the-top chumminess. An ideal customer agent should be polite and approachable, without making the customer feel uncomfortable. 


Whether it’s a sales representative or an employee handling a grievance resolution, aggression is a non-starter. Trying too hard to sell a product or pushing an unwilling customer to give feedback could irritate them and turn them away from the brand altogether. 

Finding Balance

Sometimes, the best support that anyone requires is just the knowledge that there is help available. Rather than imposing assistance on customers, if agents simply reassure their availability, that is half the battle won. 

Moreover, the crucial part of customer service is post-sales. There should be mechanisms in place to address any concerns customers might have. Good post-purchase policies, effective but non-intrusive feedback mechanisms, quick and efficient grievance redressal and polite, willing executives will ensure that customers have a smooth experience from start to finish. 

A focus on customers’ needs rather than a blanket insistence on “good service”, can lead to creating a strong community of happy and loyal customers.   

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