Rudeness, inattentiveness, and even lying — these are only some of the reasons Stop Bad Service Day, observed on the first Wednesday in March, is crucial. The Day is all about drawing attention to unpleasant customer service experiences from businesses and other organizations. We encourage everyone to try to nip this trend in the bud.
History of Stop Bad Service Day
Bad service can be the difference between a repeat, loyal customer and one who bashes the business online and offline. And according to NICE CXone’s customer survey, more than half of the 700 people surveyed were not happy with the service or the resolution they received.
But how did customer service even start? And when did it become so important to a business that awful customer service can cost a company billions (according to a 2018 report, this amount came up to $75 billion per year in losses)?
The story began with a little invention known as the telephone. Although most items were created at home, the idea of someone to complain to was starting to take hold. As catalogs increased, people began to order more items via post. By 1894, another invention called the telephone switchboard came around. Still, customer service was reserved for an elite few, those who could afford the — at that time — expensive service.
Then came the Industrial Revolution, and with it, the new middle class. They had buying power and access to mass-produced goods. By the 1920s, department stores created sections specifically to cater to customers’ demands. Customers could visit these departments and talk to employees for help with returns or other quick fixes. New machines meant new questions — and repairs — and more customer service was needed.
From 1929 until the end of World War II, the economy tanked and took people’s buying power with it. Customer service regained its power only when computational technology came around. The 1950s and 1960s were a period of innovation and efficiency. Switchboard tech gained more finesse, and service calls could now even be taken offsite; customer service was no longer confined to one physical location.
The latter part of the 20th century saw many technological inventions. Technology now allowed customers to store recorded messages on a disk and even play previously registered messages. Gradually, analog shifted to digital. Call centers in international labor markets became the norm, and voice technology improved to unrecognizable heights.
Then, another major change shook up the way everyone handled service. The internet changed every aspect of communication. Instant chats, personalized behavioral information, and now, social media. Each innovation influenced how companies, organizations, and others interacted with clients and customers. People began to see and expect a better quality of service. Customer service was now a full-blown necessity. Today’s customer demands good quality of service and, despite all the technology at our disposal, a human touch.
We haven’t found anything about the origins of this day yet, but when we do, you will know.
Stop Bad Service Day timeline
Alexander Graham Bell invents a device that — along with the telephone switchboard invented in 1894 — builds a foundation for the customer service industry to start and bloom.
AT&T introduces the toll-free telephone number, which takes the customer service industry to new heights.
Voice technology can now redirect calls and unburden customer service agents; calls can even be outsourced internationally.
And it brings major sweeping changes to the way service is provided: chat is introduced, behavioral information about customers is being captured, and social media puts customers in the driver’s seat.
Stop Bad Service Day FAQs
What is ‘bad’ service?
It is characterized by businesses failing to meet customers’ needs and expectations in terms of service quality, employees’ attitudes, response times, or overall customer experience.
What do you do when you get bad service?
When faced with poor service, remain calm and explain your point of view to the person delivering the service. If you cannot resolve the issue, only then should you take it up with a superior.
How do you fix bad customer service?
If a customer has had a bad service with you, listen to their situation and show them empathy. Follow this up by non-partisan judging of the situation, offer solutions as per the customer’s preferences, and address the issue to prevent a recurrence.
How To Celebrate Stop Bad Service Day
Stop bad service
If it's happening to you, stand up and say something. Make your feedback as polite and constructive as you can so that you don't put people on the back foot.
Compliment good service
Ensure future customers get this benefit, too, by praising the good service you've received. This really helps ward off future bad practices.
Improve your service
For those dealing with customers and clients, make sure your services are up to the mark. Reflect on your practices and send out satisfaction surveys to get feedback on how you can improve. Spread the word about Stop Bad Service Day and celebrate with other businesses committed to giving people the best quality of service.
5 Interesting Facts About Bad Customer Service Experiences
Amazon's $7,000 toilet paper
Despite the customer complaining almost seven times, the company shirked responsibility for this third-party charge, until their hand was forced by bad press.
The irreplaceable microwave
Whirlpool refused to replace a microwave that broke down five times in six months; they only did so after being publicly called out.
Easy subscription, but leaving...not so much
A user tweeted that a company called Baremetrics would not simply let him quit their product; he had to jump through hoops and call someone called Brian before he was unsubscribed.
Defamatory reviews are expensive
Two places — Mollymook Ocean View Motel in New South Wales and the Union Street Guesthouse in New York — charged guests money for writing what they called 'defamatory' reviews; both places faced severe backlash, and the New York place got more bad reviews.
Singer SZA tweeted about being racially profiled at Sephora's Calabasas store and received a not-apology; hundreds of similar stories later, Sephora closed all their U.S. stores temporarily to give their employees diversity training.
Why We Love Stop Bad Service Day
The day can curb bad service
Everyone deserves to be treated as a human being, and this day can help with that.
It even leads to change
When businesses seek to improve their customer service, they start taking feedback seriously. Sometimes, this can lead to new (better) policies and inclusive staff and management.
There's a snowball effect to this day
The personal development this day causes leads to highly skilled workers in our workforce and all-around better human beings in society. That's better for the community and all of us.
Stop Bad Service Day dates