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It has long been proven that providing excellent customer service spurs customer retention and loyalty. It is the primary reason why almost every business thinks of fresh strategies to improve their customer service every now and then. But while businesses recognize the importance of satisfying customers’ needs, being able to fulfill them is a completely different story.

In an article entitled The Essence of Customer Service, author Tanvir Zafar defined customer service as a conversation between a business and a customer. Just like any conversation, he said, both parties hope for the best outcomes. For the former, it’s customer loyalty. For the latter, it’s problem resolution.

In achieving customer loyalty, however, he emphasized the need for businesses to ensure that their frontline employees are at their best possible selves when dealing with customers. Among many others, they should be proactive, sensitive, persistent, willing to listen and temperate. 

These traits are the reason why technology still can’t replace human beings in customer service jobs. However, in as much as it will be great to say that staying consistent in showing these traits is easy, it’s not. First and foremost, human beings are imperfect. They are capable of making mistakes. But these mistakes are also what makes them better human beings. Putting things in context, they are also what will make your customer service employees better at their jobs.

Worst customer service stories 

To help start the process of improving your customer service staff, here are some of the worst customer service stories in recent years that they can surely learn from.

worst customer service stories

Old man forced to get off of the plane

In 2017, United Airlines removed a passenger from his seat because of the overbooking of the flight he was in. The passenger, who was a doctor, told the officials that he needs to be on that flight because he has patients he needs to attend to at the destination.

Indifferent to his pleas, the officials continued to wrestle him out of his seat and dragged him down the plane’s aisle by his arms. As seen in the video below, the incident resulted in the bleeding of his mouth. Several passengers expressed distress and horrification from what they had witnessed.

There were passengers who captured the scene on video and posted it online. The video spread quickly on social media and garnered a lot of negative reactions.

Dog died due to suffocation

Just recently, the airlines faced another customer service issue. A passenger’s dog died during a flight because of suffocation. According to dog owner Catelina Robledo, a flight attendant pressured her and her daughter to put the dog in the overhead compartment despite it being in a TSA-approved carrier.

Fellow passengers reported that they heard barks initially, but none anymore by the time they landed. Officials, later on, saw that the dog had already died because of suffocation. 

dog died united airlines

Image courtesy: The New York Post


Dog switch

There was another pet incident involving the airlines that happened recently as well. United Airlines shipped a Kansas-bound pet dog, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo, to Japan!

When dog owner Kara Swindle came to retrieve Irgo from the United Airlines Cargo Facility, she discovered that the airlines mistakenly switched her dog to a Great Dane which was the one supposed to be shipped to Japan. Thankfully, Irgo arrived in Japan safely and was returned home the day after. 


dog japan united airlines

Image courtesy: Facebook / Kara Swindle



Starbucks was in hot water early in 2018 because of a racial issue involving one of its employees and two African-American customers. Apparently, an employee of Starbucks in Philadelphia called the police to report two African-American men who were waiting for a friend inside the shop. She stated that there were two men in the cafe who refused to neither make a purchase nor leave the store’s premises.

There were also reports that said that the employee declined one of the two men’s request to use the bathroom. The police arrived at the scene and arrested the two men for trespassing. Starbucks didn’t file any charges, and officials released the two men eventually. 

The incident prompted a number of protests against Starbucks. Responding to the issue, the giant coffee shop company issued a public apology and conducted a mandatory racial bias training for its employees from 8, 000 shops in the United States. According to reports, more than 175, 000 employees participated.

In the training, Starbucks tasked participating employees to watch tutorials about customer service and participate in discussions about race and identity. You can view the whole curriculum of Starbucks’ racial bias training here.

Providing excellent customer service

Providing excellent customer service should be the rule, not the exception. Everyone from your team, key leaders down to employees, must work on giving a superb customer experience that will foster good customer relationships. 

Anderson Group BPO is an outsourcing solutions provider that offers customer support services via phone, chat, email, and social media. While we are human beings who are capable of making mistakes too, the mature process that we have and the expertise of our agents can minimize possible mistakes during an interaction with your customers. 

Want to start providing excellent customer service for your dear customers? Our team is more than ready to help you!