5 WAYS TO DELIVER EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE

Good customer serviceWhen was the last time you provided good customer service?

Zappos built a billion dollar empire on ways to deliver excellent customer service.

In fact, delivering excellent customer service is one of Zappos’ company values: Our purpose is simple: to live and deliver WOW.”

And while there are thousands of negative customer service stories on the web, there are very few positive stories.

Whether you provide customer service by phone, emaillive chat or social media, we’ve gathered some of our favorite stories online and share our thoughts on what makes them so good.

What is good customer service?

Here’s 5 stories to inspire you and your team to provide professional and high-quality customer service.

5 good customer service examples to provide great service

Here are five ways to stand out from the crowd to help you deliver excellent customer service.

Let’s get started!

1. Respond as quickly as possible

One of the biggest factors in good customer service is speed, especially when a client is requesting something that’s time sensitive.

Several years ago, STELLAService conducted a response time report and found that the average email response time for the top 100 retail companies was 17 hours. Today, it’s not much better as own customer service study found that the average response time is 12 hours.

average customer service response times

While Frost reported that 41% of consumers surveyed listed being put on hold as their biggest frustration. Make sure you don’t leave customers waiting.

A great example of this is when Lexus recalled a series of Lexus ES 350 sedans and asked car owners to visit a dealership to bring their cars in. Instead of having to sit in a waiting room watching their cars being worked on, their customers were given a brand new Lexus instead.

2. Know your customers

Great interactions begin with knowing your customers wants and needs. Customers love personalization. Get to know your customers, remember their names and previous conversations. If needed, make a note of what was discussed previously so you can refer to it the next time you meet.

In January 2020, Starbucks launched their “Every name’s a story” campaign focusing on improving relationships with their customers. The award winning campaign promotes inclusivity, recognition and acceptance at Starbucks stores across the world. The video, a focal point of the campaign, has generated more than 2.8 million views on YouTube.

3. Fix your mistakes

Not taking responsibility of your mistakes is a sure fire way to getting a bad reputation. Transparency is important in business and customer service is no different. Always strive for a high quality output as it shows you have a high level of standards.

An Amazon customer ordered a new PlayStation for his son for Christmas. When the shipping company delivered the parcel, the customer was away and had a neighbor sign for the package. The neighbor left the package outside the customer’s house and unfortunately, it soon disappeared. When the customer realized what had happened, he was left in complete shock!

Even though Amazon was not to blame for this mistake, they were quick to resolve this by not only sending a new PlayStation in time for Christmas, but did not charge for the extra shipping.

The Customer Success team at Amazon showed great empathy here towards the customer. Rather than sticking to their refund policy, then chose to do good. And that’s what matters most.

4. Listen to your customers

Listening to your customers will not only result in an indebted and happy customer, it can also go a long way in terms of keeping yourself on their radar for future business.

A three year old named Lily Robinson wrote a letter to Sainsbury’s, a UK grocery store, a letter asking why ‘tiger bread was called tiger bread and not giraffe bread?’. Lily was clearly onto something, as the bread really does look like a giraffe print!

In most cases, these types of suggestions are met with a simple “Thank you”.

But, to Lily’s surprise, Chris King, the customer service manager of Sainsbury’s responded with “I think renaming it to giraffe bread is a brilliant idea!”. Several months later, the bread was renamed to giraffe bread.

Listen to your customers

How’s that for appreciating your customers?

5. Think long term – A customer is for life

Think long term when dealing with customers. By keeping customers happy, they will be loyal and through word of mouth, will do the marketing for you. In fact, according to author Pete Blackshaw, a satisfied customer tells at least three friends (whereas an angry customer tells 3,000!)

Peter Shankman, author and business consultant, was ready to board a flight before tweeting “Hey, @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. :)”.

Personalized customer service

A fun attempt at humor, right?

Peter admitted he was joking. He never expected anything after he sent that Tweet…

But, as soon as Peter landed, a gentleman wearing a tuxedo was holding a bag that contained a porterhouse steak, shrimp, potatoes, napkins and silverware. Knowing that Peter was a regular customer and having tracked down his arrival details, Morton’s traveled more than 23 miles to deliver his food and with – one of the greatest customer service stories of all time.

Would you travel 23 miles to provide one of the most legendary stories on customer service?

I know I would.

How important is it to deliver excellent customer service?

Customer service has an impact on both existing customers and potential customers. A recent survey found that 68% of consumers would react by telling family and friends about a bad experience by posting it on a social network. And as each Facebook profile has an average of 155 friends, one negative experience can quickly reach thousands!

However, there is great value in ensuring you deliver a positive customer service.

A RightNow Technologies Customer Experience Report

 found that 86% of U.S. adults are willing to pay more for a better customer experience and 73% of U.S. adults said a friendly customer service made them fall in love with a brand. Not only will brands get happy, loyal customers but will see increased business.

Customer service benefits

3 ways to improve customer service

If you want to improve relationships with your customers start by making small changes to your customer service.

No matter how great your business is or how talented your team may be, customers will always remember the interactions they have with your company. 

Here are a few customer service tips to deliver a better customer experience:

Improve customer service

1. Deliver contextual-based support

When customer service teams have a 360-degree view of a customer’s needs are better at finding opportunities to improve customer experience. 

In Microsoft’s report on the State of Global Customer Support

, more than 75% of consumers expect customer service reps to have visibility into previous interactions and purchases.

Yet, nearly half say agents almost never or only occasionally have the context they need to most effectively and efficiently solve their issue.

Customers feel frustrated whenever they have to repeat themselves or believe that customer service lacks the knowledge about their issue. By unifying customer information with a CRM, customer service reps gain the context and ability to resolve inquiries in a single interaction. 

2. Innovate the customer journey

Customer experience has become the driving force that determines whether a customer will stay or abandon your business. However, the methods of delivering a memorable customer experience has changed over the years.

Back in 2013, Walker Information surveyed more than 300 customer experience professionals from large B2B companies to gain insights on future trends for customers in 2020.

While email was the most common communication channel (77%) with customers, they predicted that online communities (68%), social media (63%), and corporate websites (61%) would come to dominate the way customers interact with companies. 

Were they right?

Sprout Social’s report shows that 88% of marketers understand the importance of customer service appearing on social media with nearly 45% of consumers surveyed saying they have reached out to a company on social media

While this is just one sample of the evolution of customer support, companies must innovate their customer journeys to adapt to today’s technology, platforms, and demands. 

3. Invest in human and automated service channels

Losing loyal customers is detrimental to every company’s bottomline.

In CallMiner’s 2020 Churn Index Report, 43.3 billion people are switching companies and 88.3 million are considering to switch for reasons that could have been avoided. That’s more than $35.3 billion in lost revenue due to unplanned churn.

Companies that fail to invest in a combination of human and automated self-service channels are missing opportunities to create loyal, satisfied customers. 

Automated self-service channels, such as a knowledge base, offer customers with the ability to solve issues on their own. 

However, if they can’t find the information that they need, that’s when human service channels, such as real time chat, serve to complement customer support and address issues quickly before frustrations escalate.

Conclusion

Business should be built around how to deliver excellent customer service. It’s easy to forget its importance when you are building your brand’s web presence and marketing your website. But, these five examples above have stood the test of time and provide truly excellent customer service.

Do you have any stories of a company that deliver excellent customer service?

Please let us know in the comments section below.

P.S. One of the best ways to deliver excellent customer service is to provide fast customer support. Download our free customer service templates.

Author:

Steven MacDonald

Steven MacDonald

Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia. Since working with SuperOffice, he has led the growth of the blog from 0 to 3 million visits per year. You can connect with Steven on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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