The Psychological impact of poor customer service

Written on: 12 March 2024
The Psychological impact of poor customer service

The Psychological impact of poor customer service

We often talk about customer service and have written blogs on both bad as good customer service. But what exactly are the psychological consequences of poor customer service? What does providing poor customer service really do to your customers? And we don't just mean that it leads to dissatisfaction. What processes cause dissatisfaction to be experienced and how could we prevent it. A small step into psychology.

The frustration of poor customer service

One of the most immediate psychological effects of poor customer service is frustration. Frustration is an emotional reaction that occurs when individuals face obstacles or unmet needs that get in the way of their goals. Customers often experience frustration when they are unable to contact a company to solve their problems or answer their questions. This frustration can lead to feelings of helplessness and irritation, negatively affecting overall customer satisfaction. We are really not just talking about long waiting times. Poor accessibility is much broader. It's about ensuring good reachability at the times when it is accessible to your customers and through the channels your customers prefer to use.

Feeling not taken seriously

When customers do not get a response from customer service, they may not feel taken seriously. This feeling arises because the company does not seem to be listening to their customers and their problems. When customers feel they are not being listened to, it creates a feeling of helplessness and again frustration. Feelings that in turn lead to a certain level of mistrust towards the company they purchase products or services from.

Uncertainty and tension due to poor customer service

Poor customer service can also lead to increasing stress and uncertainty among customers. When they do not get answers to their questions or problems, they may start to worry about the status of their orders, the validity of their guarantees or the reliability of the company as a whole. This constant state of uncertainty can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety. An example: at a webshop, an acquaintance had placed an order. A reasonably expensive order for him. In the evening, an e-mail arrived from the webshop saying that the order had been cancelled. Without further explanation, the customer service proved unreachable. Very quickly, stress sets in. "Have I been ripped off?", "Will I ever see my money again?", "How could I have been so stupid to order from this webshop?!?".

Reduced trust and loyalty

Lack of customer service accessibility and responsiveness can negatively affect customers' trust in the company. Customers highly value reliability and high-quality service, and when a company fails in this, it damages trust. Loyalty declines and this is often permanent. Once we have a moderate or bad experience with a particular company's customer service, it actually affects our perception of that company permanently.

Negative word of mouth

Another major psychological impact of poor customer service is the generation of negative word-of-mouth. Customers who have had a bad experience with customer service often tend to share their experiences with friends, family and even on social media. This can lead to a negative reputation for the company and the loss of potential customers. We consciously and unconsciously factor the experiences of others into decisions we make. Did your uncle tell you at a party about his particularly negative experiences with a certain energy supplier or insurer, good chance that you consciously or perhaps rather unconsciously take that into account in your choices when choosing a new supplier. Conversely, that effect is a lot less, incidentally.

The sense of injustice

When customers feel they are not treated fairly by customer service, it can trigger feelings of injustice. This can stem from situations where customers are ignored, misinformed or not given the right solution to their problems. Injustice is something most people can stand very badly. Consequently, the effects of this are great and lasting.

Positive Impact of Good Customer Service

On the other hand, providing good customer service can have significant benefits for both customers and businesses. When customers are served quickly and efficiently, they experience a sense of satisfaction, which in turn leads to loyalty. Positive contact moments with customers where customer service is well attuned to customers' wants and needs are valuable. It also creates higher employee satisfaction because the nature of the conversations is substantially different.


The psychological effects of poor customer service are wide-ranging and can have a profound impact on customers. From frustration and neglect to stress and reduced trust, the consequences of inaccessibility and poor responsiveness should not be underestimated. It is therefore crucial for companies to invest

Who are we?

We are SpangenbergGroup! And we can help you make your customer service a good customer service to make. Just good customer service where the basics are in order. Where customer contacts add value to the customer experience. We unburden you in the area we are good at (customer service) so you can concentrate worry-free on what you're good at. Sound good? Get in touch. 

With over 25 years of experience in optimising customer contact and customer experience SpangenbergGroup can help you. The optimise customer service or outsource? Use the form or see our contact page.

Also with other questions about customer contact and customer service you can always contact with us!

Just worry-free very good customer service?

Get in touch, we'd love to check it out with you!

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