Written by Ian Landsman in

When Business Decisions Create Customer Service Problems

Sorin Alupoaie made an interesting point in his post last week when discussing best practices for help desk ticket tags (my own emphasis added):

“Often, there are customer questions that you haven’t thought of and are not captured by the current list of tags, and each new software release can introduce new problems and topics that were not captured by the existing set of tags.”

Let’s apply this technical concept more broadly:

Each new change you make to your product or business opens the door to questions or complications you didn’t expect and are not experienced in addressing.

For instance, software bugs are found. Try as you might to find them all, you can expect a product glitch or two may have to be addressed after customer roll-out. There is always room for product improvement.

But what about when the change creates problems that aren’t limited to the product itself? We’ve been watching the fall-out of MoviePass’ decision to drop its prices from $30 per month to $9.95 and the wave of customer service problems that resulted. The product became in such high demand, the company has become unable to accommodate its customers, even after growing the customer support team significantly.

It’s a quick reminder to us that customer service problems aren’t just caused by bad design, product flaws, and one-off bad interactions with support staff, but rather, can arise out of business decisions made with good intentions. You might think dropping a price by 66% would make customers happy - but at the end of the day, that’s only true if the customer service experience isn’t chopped, too.

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About the author

Ian Landsman of UserScape

Ian is the founder of HelpSpot and also podcasts at Bootstrapped.fm.

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