Is There Such a Thing as Stupid Customers?

Gladly Team

Read Time

6 minute read

Angry, frustrated, and difficult customers can be a handful. They can take up more time and energy from your agents, and they often overshadow other, less noisy or confused customers.

Working with customers who are consistently confused with something begs the question: is there such a thing as a stupid customer, and should you be disregarding some of these angrier, more confused customers?

The short answer to both of those questions is a vehement NO.

When it comes to customer service, your customers aren’t stupid, there’s no such thing as a stupid customer, and trying to discount rowdy or difficult customers as stupid is a serious mistake that will hold you back.

Why things are seen as stupid in customer service

The question of the “stupid customer” might seem harsh, but there is a tendency in customer service to disregard certain customers or issues as “stupid.”

If you’re going to understand this tendency and correct the mistake of viewing customers as stupid, we have to look at the source. Below are a few reasons why customer service agents might view a question or customer as stupid.

  • It’s common knowledge – You probably hear this all the time, and you may have even had the thought for yourself, “What an obvious question. Isn’t that common knowledge?” For customer service reps who eat, sleep, and breathe their business, a lot of these questions will seem like common knowledge.
  • It is able to be learned elsewhere – Another big one is that the information a customer is seeking is readily available elsewhere, like on the website or in the email, so why would they be asking a question that is readily available to them?
  • It is a frequent misunderstanding – It’s very easy to fall into the temptation of assuming a large swath of your customers might not be all that bright if they’re falling for the same mistakes over and over.  The more they inquire about a frequent misunderstanding, the more your bias is confirmed that these customers just aren’t that smart.

All of these reasons, and others, are tempting to fall into because they reinforce the idea that you are doing nothing wrong. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth, and embodying this attitude is actually harmful to your business and your success.

The issue with seeing customer support inquiries as stupid

Most of the above issues don’t necessarily come down to customer stupidity; a lot of them will be rooted in design issues and a lack of critical thinking. If you’re going to start really connecting and understanding your customers’ needs, you have to identify the actual source of their confusion.

  • Simply put, If something is “common knowledge” then the customer wouldn’t be asking about it. It’s also important to remember that common knowledge is only considered common knowledge within a specific field. So common knowledge in the sports world is going to be totally different from common knowledge in, say, geography or physics, and expecting everyone to be privy to your specific field, or company’s policies, isn’t all that productive or realistic.
  • If you expect customers to learn the answer elsewhere, yet they are still seeking help, then it is probably too difficult to find. This very much could be a website design issue or an email issue where the information is possibly in small print, hidden in a hard-to-reach page, or tucked in some corner of the website. Additionally, not all customers like doing things online, and they might prefer to limit their screen time and seek support through traditional customer service means.
  • If it is a frequent misunderstanding, then it has to be better explained. Assuming that customers continue to ask the same questions because they aren’t intelligent is simply the wrong attitude. The truth is that either you haven’t explained it well enough on your website or there is an actual systematic weakness in your business model that is leading multiple customers to have an ongoing issue.

There are a plethora of reasons why customers could be having issues or questions, and looking at your own business model and website layout is the best way to help solve those issues and bolster your future growth.

Ways to combat “stupidity” in customer service

By combatting “stupidity,” we mean making sure that you are as clear and thorough as possible in both how you communicate your information and how easy it is to access that information. Following the below points will help you minimize questions and confusion in the future.

  • FAQ pageMake it easier to find – If you’re seeing a lot of common questions and inquiries that your FAQ page addresses, then maybe customers are having a hard time finding your actual FAQ page.
  • Make it easier to navigate – Huge blocks of text, lack of spacing, and really long FAQ pages that require customers to scroll and scroll aren’t necessarily all that helpful. Having an FAQ drop down menu is one simple way to solve this issue.
  • Expand its knowledge base – Your FAQ might just be a little too limited. Consider expanding your knowledge base to include more of what customers need.
  • Market it better – Make sure the FAQ page is easy to find on your website. Including a link to your FAQ page in every footer of your website is a sure way to increase your FAQ visibility.
  • Educate your customers – If your product or service does have a barrier to entry, consider finding ways to educate your customer. Develop video tutorials, webinars, onboarding education, and a YouTube channel to get your customers using and understanding the goods and service you’re offering. If they can’t understand it, then the onus is on you to help them understand, or you might lose their businesses.

Taking a proactive approach to combating customer “stupidity” is the most productive way to solve the issue of customer confusion.

Why Gladly is your answer

At Gladly, we believe that connecting with your customers as people is the first step to good customer service. When you personalize the customer service process and place people at the center of the experience, you’re going to build empathy and understanding, and you’re going to root out toxic thoughts like customer stupidity.

With Gladly, your agents can access life-long chat history to quickly understand what your customers’ problems are and resolve those issues with ease. Gladly ensures that regardless of how confused your customers might be, your agents will always be one step ahead of them.

Get more personal with customer service and try Gladly today.

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