Five Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Service
- There’s a lot of negative press coverage for companies that deliver poor customer service. If you want to stand out, you need to rethink how you treat your customers.
- The number one reason why a customer leaves is because they feel like you don’t care about them. But, how can you show them that you care? It’s simple. Provide excellent customer service.
- We share 5 ways to help you deliver great customer service, including real-life examples from Lexus, Starbucks, Amazon and more.
When 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.
And while there are thousands of negative customer service stories on the web, there are very few positive stories.
But, it’s the great customer service stories (see Nordstrom’s tires refund story) that stand out the most!
Whether you provide customer service by phone, email, live chat or social media for customer service, we’ve we’ve gathered some of our favorite stories online and share our thoughts on what makes them so good.
Use these stories to inspire you and your team to provide professional and high-quality customer service.
5 customer service examples that 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.
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.
When Starbucks launched a new campaign focusing on improving relationships between their staff and customers, each person who introduced themselves by name received a free latte. In total, more than 350,000 free drinks were given away.
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 service 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. Go the extra mile
Going the extra mile 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.
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. :)”.
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.
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 below!