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5 Ways to Deliver Excellent Customer Service

Customer service

Post summary:

  • 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.

Average email reply time top 100 retailers

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 inclusitvity, 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. 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.

Sainsbury's Giraffe cake

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. :)”.

Peter Shankman Morton's Tweet

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.

Improving customer service increases revenue

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.

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Comments

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Get rich Radio

6 years ago

Great article.

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Shahbaz Shahbaz

4 years ago

Alot of amazing ideas for earning customer smiles. Thank you for this nice post.

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Steven MacDonald

4 years ago

Glad you like it, Shahbaz!

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Ashish

4 years ago

A great post that illustrates the relevance of customer service. Businesses should be built around delivering amazing customer service that constantly delights the customers. This example featuring how Amazon rates high on customer satisfaction surveys ( https://goo.gl/sxnNno ) will help you understand their approach to delivering effective customer service.

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Johnny McCarron

4 years ago

I really liked that you pointed out how important a good customer service experience is, particularly when it comes to a "word-of-mouth" reputation. Often, people will express their disdain for poor customer service to their family and friends. That can really lead to a loss in potential customers, which is something you undoubtedly want to avoid.

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Steven MacDonald

4 years ago

That's very true, Johnny. Thanks for the comment.

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Bob

3 years ago

The importance of customer satisfaction coupled with excellent delivery of goods and services can not be underestimated because from it alone comes the defining moment for the company and its endeavor to grow as a business. Such a brilliant article right here.

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Steven MacDonald

3 years ago

Thanks, Bob!

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David

one month ago

Great customer service article. Keep up the good work!

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Nickki

3 years ago

Very Informative .. Thanks For Sharing

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kilindo

3 years ago

Great post! Helps explain the how and why customer service reps go extra mile in providing excellent service to customers in an organization.

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Erin

3 years ago

Kudos! It's very informative and easy to understand. Indeed, customer satisfaction is a great plus in a company, better than any marketing strategies. Thanks for sharing.

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maggie

3 years ago

Point out what you have that competitors don't, instead of pointing out what is wrong with your competitors, because bad advertising is still advertising. The customer will shop around and end up asking the competition about what you pointed out you had they didn't and come right back to you. Its a mistake that politicians are making these days in campaigns. Bashing only makes the basher look bad, and gives free advertising to their opponent or competition.

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David

3 years ago

Well said, Good info. From above Always get confirmation from the customer that the issue has been fixed. Don’t assume that simply telling them what to do is enough. They may be having trouble following your instructions. If you’re on the phone/in person stay with them until they’re up and running again. For email support, follow up messages you’ve sent. This final “Are you ok?” goes a long way.

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James Roberts

3 years ago

Very useful post.

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Sabrina Costain

3 years ago

Great article , word of mouth can make or break a business. Going the extra mile to ensure your client is happy never hurts anyone, and helps build a better business for you and them.

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David

3 years ago

Great points. Thank you for this article. So, if so much is known and proven about creating quality service. Why are there 'so many' establishments with poor to dismal service? I've been in the hospitality/customer service industry for 39 years. Our present service in America really is quite dismal. Yet, most owners are happy with 'okay' (what THEY think is okay). I really believe most Americans are lazy, and are very happy if they are doing 'okay'. It does take extra work to create a quality experience for every customer, but it would seem most managers/owners don't want to work that hard. Of course when their business/restaurant closes in two years. They blame everyone else but themselves. Every business has the potential to become profitable. It all depends on how hard the owners/managers want to work and if they want to work 'pro-actively instead of re-actively. Thank you for your time.

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Steven MacDonald

3 years ago

Well said, David, and I completely agree. Far too many business owners put good customer service at the bottom of their priority list. It should be at the top!

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Matthew Doherty

2 years ago

Great and well-written post. Customer satisfaction plays a vital role in the business success, so it is important to make your customer as happy as you can. Thanks a lot for sharing the information.

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Shep Hyken

2 years ago

Great article, and especially love reading the examples. It doesn’t matter if these happened yesterday or ten years ago, the perfectly make the point. Thank you!

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Abdul

one year ago

These tips are great. It is the best option to reply fast to customers and take care of them, talk to them politely and solve their problems as soon as possible. These are the major issues customers feel while doing business with companies.

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Steven MacDonald

one year ago

You nailed it, Abdul!

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Angela Brezovsky

one year ago

Would you agree that "The Strategic Sweet Spot" in a company should be excellent customer service? Do you feel that this could have a great advantage on setting you apart from your competition the most?

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Steven MacDonald

one year ago

Definitely!

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Louis Mattel

one year ago

Thanks for sharing this beneficial information with us and I especially like the customer service examples. No doubt every customer wants the best service when they purchase products and their feedback really helps to know the customers experience.

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Alex Bryan

one year ago

Indeed, a great article Steven! The ways it explained the service really helps in understanding the value of customer satisfaction. Decreasing the respond time to going extra miles to jump into the customer’s shoe, all are the key metrics for great customer service.

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Megha Jain

one year ago

I totally agree with what this article communicates. The customer is indeed the king!

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Alvin Moore

one year ago

Learning new ways to improve your customer service is necessary for keeping your customer's trust and positive feedback to the product or services you offer. Thank you for sharing these helpful tips I can use on our lovely customers.

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Ken Briesemeister

one year ago

Steve, You and I are exactly on the same page. Customer service has always been my #1 priority. Because of my dedication to my customers we are the #1 rated roofing company in America for having all 5 star reviews.

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Steven MacDonald

one year ago

That's amazing, Ken. Well done!

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SARAH LUCAS

10 months ago

Thanks Steven, for such an impactful article.

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Samreen

9 months ago

Thanks, Steven your article is really hopeful to understand about customer service. I hope I can get a job and provide great customer service to all great people.

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Perry A.

6 months ago

Hey Steven, thanks for sharing this useful article. Indeed, great customer service can sustain customers and potential customers. Business people should put customers as their no 1 priority. Keep up the good writing, by the way :D

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Taylor Hansen

3 months ago

It's interesting that 41 percent of consumers say that being put on hold makes them frustrated. I'm trying to train my team for customer service since our customers have been complaining about their service. I'll be sure to remember these tips and see if we can get a professional to train my team.

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Deepak dhiman

2 months ago

I think the long term is the most important thing regarding customer management. We have to build that kind of bonding with customers so that in future they come to us frequently. Great blog, Thanks for sharing this Steven!

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Maria Kassapidis

one month ago

Great article on customer service, Steven!

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Brad

one month ago

Great read! In addition to your tips, I believe live chat has helped businesses bring the best of both worlds together in one single place to provide better customer service.

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David Law

one month ago

Great post. I really believe in responding to customers as quickly as possible. Whenever a company has a KPI for response times I say that it should be the maximum amount of time to respond not the minimum! If you can reply to an email in five minutes then do it! Its such an easy way to provide great customer service!

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Bhooshan

19 days ago

Great list of customer service tips!

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Deepak dhiman

16 days ago

A very knowledgeable blog for a beginner like me. Thanks for sharing these customer service tips. Great work.

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Fiona Nabi

8 days ago

Customer service is important for any business. Thank you for sharing these tips!

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