bad customer service

Make Your Customer Service Unbearable, In 4 Easy Steps

We’ve talked quite a bit about great customer service, but what if you’re the kind of business owner who is itching to file bankruptcy?

One quick way to ruin your business is to foster bad customer service.

Instead of going Good to Great, we want to go from okay to worse. Well, there are a few aspects in our store to overhaul to create the perfect environment for customer complaints.

So, let’s go on ahead and see how we can pull the rug, floorboards, and success out from under your business by studying and implementing these poor customer service examples.

1. Ditch That Helpful Queue System

queue system examples

First tip: Ditch your helpful queue management system. Take those high-tech tablets and smash them on the glass-strewn sidewalk outside, for all we care.

We don’t want to make customer’s lives easier. We need to make waiting in the queue miserable, akin to being trapped in the Soviet-era elevator.

Write this down in your notebook: Unbearable customer service means unbearable queues.

There are plenty of outdated options to make queues agonizing instead of a high-tech and efficient queue management system. Options that will inspire grimaces and feet tapping to the second-hand on the clock.

Many Lines, One Staff

Instead of an efficient line for waiting in the queue, set up multiple desks with multiple lanes. This will instill a sense of dread as your customers contemplate which line to join and whether or not waiting is worth their time.

Customers will jump from one line to the next or leave your store frustrated from waiting in the queue. Queuing theory knows this, and that’s why we’re ignoring queuing theory. Now, that’s what I call bad customer service.

Then be sure to understaff registers and hire only overworked employees. This is the perfect means to see the effects of poor service delivery and receive customer complaints at the same time.

Not only will your cashiers be frustrated, but their frustration will rub off on your customers. The mutual annoyance will escalate into a volcano that spews poor customer experience all over your store.

Making queues frustrating is a fine way to excel at bad customer service.

Analog Ticket Counters

Opt to return to an analog paper ticket counter in which each customer takes a number. Here, we have a great bad customer example.

If you really want to be a go-getter, don’t even use numbers. Use letters — multiple letters such as “AG”, or mix letters and numbers like so: “B8”.

Combinations like “B8” have the added bonus of frustrating customers with poor eyesight, who will be unsure of their ticket counter. Look forward to their angry feedback!

For extra annoyance, slot intermediate blank tickets and train employees to skip calling particular ticket combinations served that day. Bad customer service is one thing, but failing to provide any kind of customer service at all is an ideal worth aspiring to.

These poor service delivery tactics will surely chase customers right out the door. You’ll garner so much negative customer service feedback, you may end up with a “Closed” sign even before your closing hours!

If customers do manage to be served, inform employees to never make eye contact, never say “Hello,” and — most importantly — never say “Have a nice day!”

You want your customers to feel alienated and undeserving of common decency.

2. Don’t Display Wait Times

wait time screen

Displaying wait times minimizes the tedium of waiting in the queue. As David Maister points out, nobody wants to wait in ignorance. Displaying wait times is a great example of outstanding customer service.

But that’d be too helpful in fostering customer loyalty. So our takeaway is, make sure your customers have no clue when they’ll be served. Tear down those televisions and provide no relevant information.

Don’t even bother trying to entertain customers. You’re here on a mission — to create miserable experiences and chew bubblegum.

(And if you’re all out of bubblegum, feel free to purchase it using your company’s funds.)

Want to really frustrate customers? Keep your televisions but turn them off, or turn them to a pre-recording of jackhammers smashing concrete. The grating cacophony will become a source of endless customer complaints.

Turn the admirable purpose of digital signage on its head — from accommodating conduit of positivity to a slimy tactic that insults the customer.

3. Ignore Customer Complaints

customer complaints feedback

Creating better customer service means listening to your customers. But bad customer service experience means that when customers complain or offer opinions about your service, you’re free to ignore them.

After all, “if it’s broken, why bother fixing it?” (Or however this saying goes.)

So long as customers have opened up their wallets, why bother listening to what they have to say?

Even if customers don’t spend money in your store and explain their reasoning for leaving your business, shrug it off. If they’re not going to give you business, there’s no reason to care.

What you care about isn’t profit but creating the effects of poor service delivery.

Hopefully, you’re a manager, not an investor.

Social Media

Disregard your social media accounts. Outreach services like Twitter and Facebook are a great way to engage and create a community and to gather customer service feedback — especially when it comes to millennial customers.

Sounds like a lot of work, though, so don’t even bother.

Do absolutely no outreach to potential customers. A poor customer experience can be summarized as “take no notice of the customer”. Whatever your customer does to get themselves noticed, be sure look the other way.

Better yet, delete your social media accounts altogether. That removes an avenue for customer complaints. And do you care to hear what your customers have to say? (This question is, of course, rhetorical.)

The money spent on hosting is better off in your pocket, anyway.

When customers feel ignored — when they receive a poor customer experience — they’ll head to review sites such as Yelp to leave their concerns.

Respond to customer concerns with comments like, “Na-na-na not listening” and “I know you are but what am I?” (That’s a classic.)

Childish behavior helps kick bad customer service into high gear.

4. Never Help Customers

customer anxiety

Employees are the frontline of your store, often the personification of your business’ culture. Instill the culture you want customers to experience with your employees.

How do we go about creating a culture of bad customer service?

Make sure to hire unbearable employees. Look for qualities that scream, “I don’t care”. Resumes scribbled on the back of receipts or old newspapers are indicators you’ve found the indolent worker right for you.

Here are a few hand-picked pro tips to share with your new hires:

  • Instill in your employees the motto, “The customer is always wrong”. Put up posters in the break room with the catchy slogan as a helpful reminder. Feel free to get creative and feature it with a cute kitten hanging onto a branch to solidify your company’s motto.

  • When a credit card is denied, have the employee announce the denial for the entire store, encouraging other customers to laugh at the poor sap. Pointing a finger at the customer is a great way to instill bad customer service, and reap customer complaints.

  • Train employees to ignore customers in need. When a customer asks an employee about where he could find printer ink, make sure employees respond with, “I don’t know” or “Not my problem”.

Bad customer service means doing everything in your power to ensure customers don’t get the help they need.

Leave customers to fend for themselves. If they don’t like it, help them by pointing to the “Exit” sign.

Additionally, tell employees they don’t need to wear employee uniforms — tell them to dress casually, or like customers. Being unable to identify employee will make customers feel lost, confused, and alone.

Perfect!

Confusing Store Layouts

Store design is the silent employee. A well laid-out store helps customers navigate, naturally guiding them along the journey to their desires.

So, what do we do to foster negative shopping experiences? Create a confusing asymmetrical store layout, of course!

Have some dead-end aisles and add empty shelves for good measure. Logistics shouldn’t be your problem. If your customers think they’re so great and valuable, let them handle this on their own.


Creating an environment that fosters bad customer service is an art form. It requires hard work and dedication. But with the aforementioned poor customer service examples, you can finally achieve your dream of having the lowest-rated business in your area.

As some final advice, it’s helpful to know what makes a good business become great — and then do the exact opposite. Only by knowing what works, can we know what doesn’t.

But if, for some unexplained reason, you still want to stick to the old-fashioned, goody-two-shoes way, who are we to stop you. In fact, join us for a free 14-day trial and maybe you will the error of your ways.

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