How to Lose a Customer: 6 Simple Service Tips to Show You Don’t Care

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Pete Humes Head of Content

Customer service is not easy.

Today, all those people and companies who pay for products and services expect more than ever before.

When things go wrong, customers just snap their fingers and expect someone will come running to fix whatever’s broken.

Don’t they understand that companies are busy doing business?

Don’t they get that companies have other things to do besides cater to their every need?

This whole “service with a smile” thing can get overwhelming and, frankly, exhausting.

Modern customers get it in their head that just because they give a company money, they are automatically in a RELATIONSHIP.

Sometimes, call centers and agents just need a break.

But customers can be hard to shake and that’s why any company looking for peace and quiet needs to learn how to break up with buyers for good.

Luckily, customers are ridiculously easy to get rid of.

Just follow any of the following proven steps and those phones will quit ringing no time.

1. Treat loyal customers like total strangers.

The next time a customer calls for help, pretend you have no idea who they are.

It doesn’t matter if they’ve communicated with you dozens of times before, treat them like a stranger. Ask them for their name, address, phone number… all that stuff that they ASSUME you should already know. They hate that.

You can do it online too. Just avoid using smart forms, so that any time (and EVERY time) they fill out a form on your website, they have to start from scratch.

Does marketing automation make it easier than ever to “recognize” existing customers and returning visitors? Yes.

Should you do it? Only if you want customers to have a great experience.

But if you’re looking to drive them away, surveys show that not recognizing them can help you drive away between 80% and 91% of consumers!

2. Make them wait... and wait.

This one takes ZERO effort on your part. Simply redirect all incoming calls, texts, or chats to some sort of limbo/purgatory and then relax.

As the minutes tick away, those customers will be gone quicker than you can say, “Our agents are currently busy with other calls.”

Research shows 60% of customers believe 1 minute is too long to wait on hold and about a third of survey respondents said they shouldn’t have to wait on hold AT ALL.

So if you manage to keep callers holding on the line long enough to hear an entire smooth jazz cover of a 1970s soft rock pop hit, you’ll probably never see them again.

3. Don’t offer self-service or automation options.

More customers are interested in finding solutions on their own. Don’t make it easy for them.

The last thing you want to do is point them to any self-service tools or resources they can use to diagnose and solve issues without your help.

The same goes for automation.

Any process that allows customers a convenient and automated way to submit requests or check on the status of parts, service appointments and product updates? Get rid of it.

Studies show that 67% of customers prefer self-service, so the best way to alienate people is to ignore that trend.

Customers stay when you make support easier. They leave when you turn service into an obstacle course.

4. Eliminate customer convenience.

Speaking of effective customer service practices, you’ll want to steer clear of omnichannel.

Omnichannel is a nightmare because customers can get in touch any time (and any way) they want. Don’t fall for it. Providing a universe of support options like chat, email, social, or video is a surefire way to drive yourself crazy.

Instead of convenience, offer your customers only one way to communicate during a very narrow window of time. If you are a global company, you can drive even more business away by ignoring things like language barriers and time zone differences.

The harder you make it for them to communicate, the less you have to hear from them.

There are few more effective ways to get rid of your customers than by limiting their options and eliminating their freedom of choice.

5. Stop solving customer problems.

If you want them gone and gone for good? Don’t solve their problem. It’s as simple as that.

People crave resolution, so don’t give them what they want.

You can do this any number of ways:

The best part about this tactic? Once they’re gone, they’ll spread the word about their bad experience.

According to Zendesk, 95% of customers who have a bad experience will share their experience with others.

If you work hard to deliver bad customer service, all that ill will is bound to pay off. People talk and stories circulate.

And once you get famous for falling short on service, that will mean fewer new customers that you’ll have to manage!

6. Don’t adapt your service model.

You really want to get rid of customers? Don’t adapt.

Don’t embrace technology.

Stick with the broken and busted old ways of service.

Don’t pay any mind to facts, statistics, and fancy buzzwords like “Customer Experience.”

Ignore make-believe concepts like “satisfaction,” “trust” and “loyalty.”

And while all those other companies are running like lemmings off the cliff called “The Future of Customer Service,” you just stay put.

If you are REALLY serious about getting rid of your customers?

Just stay the course and do nothing to change, grow or improve.

The future will take care of itself.

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