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7 Customer Support Challenges and Ways to Overcome Them

A customer support team faces different challenges every day. It’s a job known for high pressure because the reps have to interact with the customers directly.

It’s one thing when you can respond to tickets via emails or text, but the dynamic changes when a representative has to accept phone calls and talk to the customers on the line.

Customer support is a link between the company and its consumers. Unhappy customers are known to share negative feedback, which can damage a company’s reputation.

It is up to the customer support department to ensure that customers are always happy, regardless of how frustrated they are.

And while it’s true that artificial intelligence is slowly replacing real people in customer support, the complete switch is still too far. Real people still run the show in customer support, and they need to work in an environment that supports them.

Let’s consider the most common customer support challenges and take a look at how to overcome or minimize them.

1. Customers demand unrealistic expectations

Customers expect that support will solve all their problems. They build up unrealistic expectations and reach out, thinking that a short conversation will be enough to find a solution and get on with their day.

However, as soon as they contact customer support and start explaining what the problem is, they slowly realize that it’s more complicated than they thought at first.

For example, somebody purchases a used MacBook and decides to reinstall the operating system, making mistakes because they did not pay attention to the tutorial they found online.

Frustrated, they contact Apple’s customer service, list macOS versions in order, and say they installed an X OS version on a Y Mac model.

Even if the representative is well-versed in Apple computers, the odds are that they will not be able to provide a solution without looking at the device themselves.


Customers with unrealistic expectations, regardless of how frustrated they are, require some talking.

More often than not, the solution is to find a different company or service that specializes in such problems. In our example, it would be a local Apple service shop that can fix the person’s MacBook.

It is up to the rep to remain cool and explain that they should be talking to somebody else who can actually help.

2. Reps trying to deal with multiple customers simultaneously

Depending on the workload, customer support reps may struggle to accommodate everyone. Imagine a scenario where live service software goes down, and the support team receives hundreds or even thousands of queries at the same time.

Multitasking is one of those things you’d like to avoid. Dedicating full attention to a single customer lets reps focus and get down to the bottom of the problem.


The solution to this challenge is to hire more reps if the workload becomes too much to handle. Or alternatively, utilize chatbots and AI. Creating in-depth FAQ pages and knowledge bases of other kinds would come in handy as well.

Reps can redirect customers to a source that provides the information, reducing the workload this way.

3. Customers are angry

Angry customers are more or less inevitable. Many reach out to customer support because they are frustrated.

From a rep’s point of view, dealing with angry people is taxing. You are trying to help, but they keep shouting and interrupting you.


There really is no right or wrong way to deal with angry customers. Each case is different, and it’s up to the rep to determine how to approach the situation.

Sometimes, it’s best to let the customer yell it all out because they are looking to vent. It’s not the most pleasing experience, but once they calm down, you can start discussing how to address the issue.

4. Burnout and mental health issues

The mental toll it takes to work in customer support is not for everyone. Many people give up and seek a job elsewhere because they cannot take the stress from dealing with unhappy customers.


If somebody wishes to continue working in customer support despite all the stress and other mental health issues, they can look to make the best out of the situation.

For starters, employers could offer support by hiring psychologists to reps who want to talk to one. Compensating for the extra efforts is another option. Higher salaries or benefits like paid time off go a long way in motivating employees.

5. Lack of the right software and tools

One’s work goes much smoother when they have access to the necessary software and tools. Customer support is no exception.

Technology solutions should be there to make things easier for customer support reps. Being stuck at work with outdated tools is hardly a positive. If anything, it creates a negative environment and leads to less efficiency.


It’s pretty straightforward to solve the lack of necessary work tools. Employers have to spend money and ensure that their support reps (and other workers) have access to what they require.

Otherwise, it will not take too long before you get complaints not just from the customers but also those working in customer support. At the end of the day, it’s about ensuring efficiency.

As an employer, you should not disappoint your workers so long as their demands for software and other tools are within reason.

6. Unique customer cases

Working in customer support, you encounter a case that you have no knowledge about despite working for a while.

Customers that present unique cases pop up now and then. A support representative might struggle to find a solution despite their best efforts. If that happens, the customer has to wait. And the longer they have to wait, the more frustrated they get.


The solution to this particular problem is to realize that you cannot solve the problem yourself due to the nature of it. The sooner a support rep realizes it, the sooner they can take the necessary steps to diffuse the situation.

More often than not, such occurrences require seeking help from other departments with more knowledge.

One can redirect the customer directly to the right department or reach out to them directly and request help to then explain the details to the customer.

7. Language barriers

Language barriers occur now and then when somebody from outside the region reaches out to customer support.

Globalization encourages more people to try various goods and services. However, the problem arises when somebody who does not speak English, for example, calls customer service and tries to explain their issue.

The reps who don’t speak a foreign language will not be able to solve the problem.


There are a couple of ways to address the language problem. The first is to redirect the customer to somebody who speaks their native tongue.

If no such person is available on the customer support team, then the original rep could try using a translator tool and explain to the customer that they should send an email.

Exchanging emails is more convenient when dealing with foreign customers. You can translate the text and send a message. It might take longer than a usual conversation would, but the odds of solving an issue this way are much higher.


To sum it all up, there are a lot of things potentially holding customer support reps back. It’s a department that plays a prominent role in building a bridge between customers and the brand.

Whether a business is small or large, it has to ensure the best possible environment for customer support reps so they can thrive and do an effective job.


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