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Sefanaia Silimaibau
Supervisor Quality Assurance & Trainer
Alison Turner
Digital Marketing Strategist
Sarah Brady
Customer Experience Specialist
Tracy Trew
Head of Customer Experience

The Subtle Differences Between Good and Bad Customer Service - FCR - Blog

The Subtle Differences Between Good and Bad Customer Service

I recently spent some time with some of our star colleagues who consistently earn high customer satisfaction marks from customers. As I shadowed chat support conversations I was struck with the realization that the differences between great and less than great customer service are ever so subtle. If I had to boil it down into one word it would be personalization, and it’s all in the name of connecting meaningfully with customers. It’s also about giving the customer the assurance that there’s a human on the other end of the line as opposed to a bot or a human pretending to be a bot.

When we’re talking about chat and other messaging channels where the messages are short, the differences between good and bad support are often subtle. And they often don’t require additional time, effort, or resources but definitely puts those things to better use. Here are three examples.

A few extra words

This classic phrase, “Is there anything else I can help you with” can be a trigger for some customers because it’s so often used to try to end the conversation. It also wreaks of a canned response. I’ve explored the idea of switching this to an open-ended question like, “What else can I help you learn today?” or “How else can I assist you?” and think these are great alternatives, but I have a couple other variations to add to the mix.

  1. Try adding the customer’s name. Say something like, “Can I help you with anything else today, Paul?” Any time you can work the customer’s name naturally into the interaction is a win.
  2. Reference the specific issue you just assisted the customer with. Say, “Is there anything else I can help you with on this billing issue?

In both of these examples it took somewhere between one and four more words to personalize the message.

A few extra seconds

One of the last things customers want to be told is that they contacted the wrong department or company. They contacted support for help and being told to contact somebody else almost surely triggers a negative response. A great way to soften the blow is to hang on the line with the customer while they contact the other company — and chat support is a perfect medium for this.

Rather than saying, “Unfortunately, I can’t handle your request here. You need to contact this other company” we can say something like, “Your request actually needs to be handled by this other company. Here’s how to reach them. I can stay on the line while you try to contact them.” Again, I didn’t add a bunch more words to make that message better, and at minimum it took me about thirty seconds to look up the support page for the other company. Waiting while the customer tries to contact another company takes almost no effort in chat support and helps keep them from feeling like we’re just trying to push them off to another company.

A few extra steps

Have you ever heard a customer say, “Why did I bother calling customer support only to hear them repeat exactly what’s on the website?” That’s always a punch to the gut when you realize that our support did nothing to enhance the customer’s experience.

In a recent example, I witnessed a customer asking about a certain percentage-based fee and how much it would cost them at the end of the day. My colleague responded with the fee that was listed on the website, but they didn’t stop there. They then opened the calculator on their computer and calculated the actual fee, showing the customer their math along the way. This is incredibly subtle and probably took an extra thirty seconds.

I daresay that if you sit down with your top performers, these are the sorts of things they’re doing to better take care of customers. In contact centers we love to “Go the extra mile” for our customers — or at least we love to carelessly throw that phrase around. I just decided that I’m going to instead say, “Go the extra couple feet” or “Go the extra thirty seconds” or “Go the extra three to five words.” My friends, the differences between bad and neutral customer experiences and great ones are sometimes more subtle than you think.


Publish Date: August 31, 2018

2023 Buyers Guide Recording

Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.


ASC Recording Insights and neo
ASC Recording Insights guarantees legally compliant recording and analysis of all communication channels in Microsoft Teams - including audio calls (internal and external calls), chat conversations and video meetings.

neo Recording, QM & Analytics address all enterprises with recording needs, especially contact centers. The content of communication becomes accessible and critical information and trends are revealed, providing real-time business intelligence for immediate management action.


Microsoft Teams Cloud Recording Service
Geomant offers a fully managed recording service for those organisations who need to address compliance or quality management while working on Teams. The Service utilises Verint’s market leading recording technology and is hosted by Geomant in Microsoft Azure. Our managed service approach is unique in that it allows organisations to benefit from advanced recording features, all while being free from any technical infrastructure or maintenance requirements that come with a traditional on-premises set up.

Lieber & Associates

Recording System Consulting
L&A provides vendor-independent consulting services to select, contract for, test, and implement contact center recording systems. The firm's consultants specialize in contact center I.T. and have several decades of experience each with all major and many smaller makers of phone and call recording systems.

MiaRec, Inc.

MiaRec Call Recording
MiaRec's compliant, secure, and reliable Call Recording software is the foundation of our Customer & Workforce Engagement Platform.. MiaRec Call Recording seamlessly integrates with MiaRec Agent Evaluation & Scoring, Live Monitoring, Voice Analytics, Screen Capture, and Advanced Reporting to provide a comprehensive solution you can trust.


Numonix's IXCloud is one of the first fully managed compliance recording solutions for Microsoft Teams. IXCloud securely records, stores and analyzes interactions in the cloud without physical or virtual servers. As a fully managed Azure-based, Software-as-a-Service cloud interaction recording solution, IXCloud takes interaction capture into the future. It enables instant and elastic scalability to support business growth and provides the necessary tools to enhance business performance while maintaining compliance. IXCloud redefines versatility with its OpenAPI framework that enables application development. Companies and third-party developers benefit from IXCloud native capture technology, whether it be integrating with internal systems or building a third-party application.

Nuxiba Technologies

Enterprise recording management for storage, retrieval, playback, and monitoring communications throughout your contact center.

Record screen activity and calls across agent workstations, measure and monitor quality levels across all campaigns and analyze recordings to capture first-hand customer data and requirements.

Easly access all recordings and critical information to provide improved customer experience, sales, and productivity!


Oreka TR
Oreka TR total recorder includes all of the call recording capabilities you will need, at about half the cost of competing for call recorder solutions, including screen recording, mobile phone recording, live monitoring, on-demand recording, multi-tenancy, multi-site recording, audit trail, call exporting, retention management, auto-tagging (for speech analytics and phrase spotting) and so much more.

PCS Software

Call recording solution fully integrate to all main pbx solutions.

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS enables organizations to adhere to all compliances with its inbuilt call recording software and also has an option for screen recording. With centralized repository of all voice logs, its easy to maintain & retrieve all voice files and have a central control in case of multiple branches set up.

View more from FCR

Recent Blog Posts:
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