Good customer service is essential for any business that wants to retain customers and grow. But what exactly does "good customer service" mean?
At its core, good customer service means providing assistance and advice to customers in a friendly, speedy, and thorough way. Good customer service builds relationships with customers that promote long-term satisfaction and loyalty.
When customers receive good service, they are more likely to return to the business and recommend it to others. On the other hand, poor customer service drives customers away and damages a company's reputation.
So what does good customer service mean to customers? Here are some of the key factors:
Here are 7 tips to help you take your customer service from good to great:
1. Offer Omnichannel Support
Allow customers to reach you through their preferred channel, whether that's phone, email, live chat, social media, or messaging apps. Integrate channels through CRM software so conversations can be picked back up seamlessly.
2. Personalize Interactions
Use CRM data and analytics to understand each customer's unique needs and preferences. Then provide tailored content, product recommendations, and solutions.
3. Empower Employees
Invest in thorough customer service training. Give employees access to knowledge bases. And allow them flexibility to truly help customers. Empowered employees provide better service.
4. Set Realistic Expectations
Be transparent about product delivery times, service response times, and policies. Underpromise and overdeliver.
5. Listen to Customers
Actively seek out customer feedback through surveys, reviews, and social media monitoring. Listen to both complaints and compliments. Then use insights to improve.
6. Fix Problems Quickly
When issues arise, take ownership and resolve them as swiftly as possible. Customers resent being bounced around departments.
7. Offer Self-Service Options
Create FAQs, help centers, forums, and chatbots to allow customer to help themselves. This reduces burden on support staff.
Now that we’ve covered the key characteristics of good customer service, let’s look at some examples of companies providing excellent experiences:
The shoe etailer is famous for its over-the-top service, including free shipping and free return shipping. Zappos doesn’t outsource or offshore its call centers. Instead, call center employees are trained to have friendly, personal conversations with customers without time limits. Zappos empowers employees to go above and beyond to make customers happy.
This pet supplies retailer solidified its reputation for excellent service when it sent a customer flowers after her cat died. Employees had gotten to know the grieving customer while helping her return unused cat food. This level of empathy and personalization is rare. Chewy executives say they aim to make every interaction feel like "talking to a neighbor."
This drive-through coffee chain grew from a single kiosk in Oregon to hundreds of locations through word-of-mouth about its upbeat, personalized service. Dutch Bros baristas are famous for dancing, singing, and decorating drinks with fun drawings. They also remember regular customers' orders and names.
The ecommerce giant offers customers a huge selection, rapid shipping, hassle-free returns, and excellent post-sales support. Features like live chat with customer service reps makes it easy to get questions answered quickly without having to call or email. Amazon's customer obsession has fueled its growth.
These companies recognize that good customer service drives growth. Their focus on optimizing every customer interaction has allowed them to disrupt their industries.
To know if you're providing excellent service, you need to actively monitor key customer service metrics. Some top metrics to track include:
Track these metrics over time to catch dips. Then drill in to understand what's causing changes and how processes can be improved.
Delivering excellent customer service takes work. But the investment pays off through improved customer loyalty, word-of-mouth, and revenue growth. Use these tips and best practices to optimize your support operations.
Focus on understanding each customer's needs, resolving issues quickly, and providing personalized, omnichannel experiences. When you make customers feel valued, they reward your business with enduring loyalty and repeat purchases.
To me, good customer service means being treated with kindness, respect, and empathy. It's when an employee truly listens and takes action to resolve my problem quickly. Good service feels personalized and thoughtful.
Some top skills for delivering excellent customer service include active listening, problem-solving, product/service knowledge, patience, empathy, communication, and ability to personalize interactions.
Ways to improve customer service in a company include listening to customer feedback, monitoring key metrics, empowering employees, offering comprehensive training, integrating channels, and using CRM to personalize interactions.
Good customer service is important because it leads to improved customer retention, loyalty, word-of-mouth, brand reputation, and sales revenue. Poor service drives customers away.
Some companies renowned for their excellent customer service include Zappos, Nordstrom, Ritz-Carlton, Southwest Airlines, Amazon, Chewy, Dutch Bros, Chick-fil-A, and USAA. They make service a priority.