Top 4 Scariest Customer Experiences


At ERC Global, our top-notch customer experience gurus have CX down to a science. Our associates know how to wow customers with targeted solutions. Our dedication to service and commitment to excellence are just a few of the hallmarks that make every customer interaction a work of art. Conversely, for brands that don’t make CX a priority, when customer service goes wrong, it can get really scary! Here are some real CX horror stories that are frightening enough to make you gasp!

#1 “The ghosted customer” will give you chills  

“Several years ago, I ordered a perfume from a luxury beauty retailer. Once I placed my order, I realized that the item was not in stock and that I had instead been placed on a waiting list. I was shocked, but I wasn’t necessarily concerned because I figured the item would arrive eventually. After a month of waiting and checking my order’s status, I started calling customer care and sending the retailer emails requesting an ETA of when they thought the item would be available. I never got any response from these emails, and whenever I called support, I never, not once, got through to anyone. Needless to say, I never purchased another item from them again and gave them bad reviews everywhere I could. The retailer has since gone out of business, but 12 years later, I still sometimes wonder what ever happened with my perfume.”

The moral of the story is that self-service products like ERC Global’s ACE (Agile Customer Engagement) can help your customers have a voice while freeing up your associates for more complex tasks. So stop ghosting your customers and start building solid connections with them by being present, relevant, and helpful.

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#2 “The vicious cycle” will spin you right ’round! 

“I purchased a team t-shirt for my favorite F1 team from a popular online retailer. I lovingly tracked my package, dreaming of the moment I could pull up to an upcoming rally representing my team. Finally, I checked, and the package was marked as delivered, which is strange because I work from home, and no deliveries arrived that day. I double-checked the delivery address… They had delivered to the wrong address! There ensued a series of circular phone and chat conversations with various members of the support team, where each time, I had to explain my situation over and over again, and the conclusion was always the same: “ma’am, your item was delivered.” Ah, yeah – to the WRONG ADDRESS! It took several very frustrating and demoralizing iterations before the error was corrected, and my new t-shirt was delivered to the correct address. I have never purchased another item from them again.”

The moral of the story is that there is nothing like offering clients one-call solutions or self-service options that provide quick results. Of course, mistakes happen, but it’s how effective your team is at resolving issues that makes all the difference.

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#3 “Too little, too LATE” is just too, too much 

“Normally, I am the sweetest person ever, with just one fatal flaw – I get hangry. Really hangry! Recently, I went to lunch with some friends, and since I am generally famished by 1 p.m., we opted for an earlier lunch. This had the added plus of allowing us to check out a new restaurant sans lunch madness. Boy, were we wrong! The first thing that happened was that the hostess station was deserted. We patiently waited to be seated, but after 5 minutes of complete inaction, we ventured in, picked a table ourselves, and hoped for the best. The next fiasco was getting a menu, as there didn’t seem to be anyone to actually serve us. We finally flagged down a server who looked at us as if we were inconveniencing her with our mere existence. This delightful creature, who issues no greeting, finally brings us our menus. By now, the lunch crowd is starting to trickle in. The server takes our order – still no greeting – and doesn’t check on us for 40 minutes. She comes out with our food and promptly speeds off forgetting to bring us cutlery. By now, we are parched, hungry, and in need of a cab back to work. At this auspicious moment, our table is greeted by none other than the owner, who asks us how we were enjoying our food. We aren’t! We don’t even have eating utensils! He briskly brings us utensils and gives us a free round of drinks, and invites us back another day, but we all know this is a case of too little, too late.”

You have one chance to make a good impression. With so many options, it’s important to draw customers in from the beginning. In Customer Service, staffing will make or break you. It’s hard to give optimal customer service if your staff is harried; even the greatest professionals will be affected and feel the pressure. Always ensure you are staffed to cover all your customer service needs to keep customers coming back for more.

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#4 “The Customer Service Agent from Hell” will give you CX PTSD!”

“A few months ago, my internet provider called me and explained that my modem was obsolete and needed replacement. They kindly sent a repairman to my home, and he installed my new model. Several days after, my internet went out, so I called customer support for the worst customer experience of my life! The tech support agent was rude and treated me like an imbecile. It turns out that the modem was not configured correctly, so she finally determined that a repairman needed to come back to my home. Hence, she filled out a service ticket and told me someone would be in touch and schedule an appointment to go to my house for the repairs within the next 48 hours. No one called, so when I called back, there was no record of my service ticket!”

I guarantee you, no one wants to call tech support, so when they do, it’s a clear sign that something went terribly wrong in the customer’s experience, be it user error, vendor issue, or just bad luck. Whatever the case, customer satisfaction drives success, so it’s vital that customers are heard and receive the help they need to leave the interaction feeling valued.

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About ERC Global

ERC Global is an agile, technology-driven company that provides business process outsourcing (BPO) services for Fortune 500 companies. ERC Global leverages the latest innovations in technology while providing extraordinary workforce resources to deliver unparalleled end-to end customer experience solutions, making it a top performer for its clients. ERC Global is a contact center leader, with operating sites in the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Kenya, and the Philippines.

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