An example of bad customer service is when a company makes false promises in order to get customers in the door and then fails to deliver on the promise. Like all bad customer service, such behavior discourages customers from using that business in the future.
Good customer service entails a business treating customers in such a way that the customers feel good about their transactions with the business. It leaves customers wanting to work with the company again, and encourages them to recommend the business to family and friends. Bad customer service has the opposite effect.
There are many ways a business can botch customer service. One common way is to be inaccessible to customers. Failure to answer phones and return messages suggests to customers that they are not valued; poor communication on any level has the same effect. About.com suggests that businesses should be helpful, even if there is no immediate profit.
Every business receives complaints on occasion, and although the experience is never pleasant, it does afford the opportunity to deliver excellent customer service. Good customer service practices validate customers' concerns and acknowledge their importance to customers even when the complaints seem unreasonable. Whereas good customer service solves problems in a way that leaves customers feeling that they've been treated fairly, bad customer service attempts to sway customers into thinking their concerns are unfounded. Rarely is this effective.
Business owners attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of their customer service policies need only to ask themselves whether their customers' experiences make them feel good enough to return, or leave them ambivalent or feeling negative about using the company in the future.