Ultimate Guide to Excellent Customer Service
Good customer service is only achieved if the entire company follows certain principles, not just those related to customer service directly. It includes having to do certain things that create an atmosphere of selflessness, sacrifice and ambition in the workplace.
The first thing to be noted whilst talking about good customer support is that it is not something that can be achieved in isolation to one department but it must be the basic foundation of the company as a whole. There are many reasons as to why this works so well. If the entire company is built on the concepts mentioned above, your company’s teams will constantly look for new ways to better their service standards and maintain a happy relationship with their customers. This method helps the company offer its customers with the best possible value they can and it improves the overall service by a fair margin.
The next step into achieving great customer service is respect, not just for the customer’s time and money but for the customer as an individual as well. You must honor the customer, it is not about the company or you, it is about how you represent your company to the customer.
“The Best Service is No Service” is the title of Bill Price and David Jaffe’s book on customer service and it sums it up quite well. Eradicating points of contact is very important in any company. Whether or not your customer support was impeccable, there shouldn’t have been a problem to begin with. Even if the customer eventually got rid of the problem, they must still have been irritated by the problem existing in the first place. It is always best if there are no issues in the first place so there isn’t any agitation on the customer’s side.
This brings us to the most important factor, quality control. It doesn’t need to be said out loud that in order to have great customer service, the service itself needs to be efficient, fast, and without any hassle for the customer. Considering it has come to the point where the customer needs assistance, this means there are already extra, unwanted steps being taken. In light of this, you must make sure the service itself is up to standard. A Fast, active and efficient service is the only way to ensure the customer that he came to the right company and is being taken care of by people who know what they’re doing. Resolution is what the customer requires in every situation; they need their problem resolved by the end of the first interaction so they can continue using what they paid for, without any hindrances.
The representatives need to know how to control the situation and customer support experience. The customer would not have called you if he or she had complete control over the problem at hand, so the customer has called you for help. In this situation, you are required to reassure the customer that everything is handled and there is nothing that they can’t deal with. The customer must feel like they can fix the issue themselves with your help and support.
We then come to another key but slightly more complex factor in good customer service and that is speed. Speed matters to customers; a customer will not be pleased with waiting around for some kind of support from your company. However, speed is much less important than quality meaning that it is far more important to do a good job than it is to do a fast job. If things are rushed and messed up in the process, the customer won’t care about how fast you responded or how fast you failed to take care of the problem. Competence is the main focus of great customer service, speed and all other factors come second basic competence. At the same time, you should also make sure that the service is not lethargic or slowed down because a quick response is what is needed. A balance between quality and pace is what every great customer service department is made of.
Communication is a very important factor as well. There are three layers of communication that need to fluid in order for the customer support to up to standard. The first layer is between the department heads and higher-ups with the support team, the second between the team itself and the third is between the team and those they are providing for. Every person involved in this communication loop needs to be fluid within the entire team. As we discussed earlier, good customer service does not work if the support team is isolated, it only works if the entire company works together with the same principles in mind. It is pivotal to keep customers especially in the loop even after their problems have been sorted.
At the same time, while we talk about communication, you need to make sure that all communication with the customer is purposeful and does not lack direction. There is no point in communicating with a customer if there is no purpose to it; that will only waste the customer’s time and energy. Everything said to them must show them what your plan to help them is or it must show them what they must do to utilize the products they paid for in full capacity. There should always be a plan set to tackle the customer’s complaints and it should be scheduled by dates so the customer is reassured that everything is happening smoothly.
The last thing we’re going to talk about might be the most important. Dedication, this is something that the company cannot run without especially the customer service department. There will be many unsatisfied customers that will say many disheartening things but if one stays dedicated to the cause of making sure the customer is happy, the customer service will be impeccable.
Customer Service isn’t just something that a company needs to handle for their own sake; it’s something that company’s need to handle for the sake of their customers, the people that they serve.
About This Customer Service Guide
This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about customer service from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.
What is Customer Service?
Today’s customer service goes far beyond the traditional telephone support agent. It’s available via email, web, text message, and social media. Many companies also provide self-service support, so customers can find their own answers at any time day or night. Customer support is more than just providing answers; it’s an important part of the promise your brand makes to its customers.
What is Good Customer Service?
Good customer service is a company-wide strategy to (1) eliminate the root causes of support, (2) honor a customer’s time, preferences, and humanity, as well as (3) sacrifice ourselves in the service of exceptional support.
The Importance of Customer Satisfaction
Businesses need money to survive. To make money, businesses need customers. Ideally, these customers are happy, tell their friends about you and keep coming back. While your business might survive with angry, single-purchase customers, only businesses with a focus on customer satisfaction will thrive. Customer satisfaction is the difference between surviving and thriving.
Customer Satisfaction: Achieving Competitive Advantage
An organization with loyal customers is subject to advantages over competition within the marketplace, which results in increased profitability; Thus, an organization’s ability to satisfy its own goals and needs of growth and profitability, is dependent upon the satisfaction of its consumers, where the consumer satisfaction is reached by providing a valuable product through a comfortable transaction.
Types of Customer Needs
A customer need is a motive that prompts a customer to buy a product or service. Ultimately, the need is the driver of the customer’s purchase decision. Companies often look at the customer need as an opportunity to resolve or contribute surplus value back to the original motive.
Who is Your Customer?
We need to know both who is our customer and who isn’t before positioning our marketing efforts. Marketing is vague and scary activity but that is only until we don’t have clarity on whom to market.
The Essentials To Excellent Customer Service
Customer service is more than waiting on customers. It includes trying to exceed customer expectations. More common retail and customer service interview questions and sample answers are a good place to start. Customer service is the service provided to customers before, during and after purchasing and using goods and services. Good customer service provides an avenue for follow up. Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.
Learn about the essentials in this 13-minute video.
The Benefits Of A Customer Centric Mindset
At the heart of a customer-centric business is customer service — how your company manages its customer relationships. Customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.
How to Create a Customer Service Plan
In creating and evaluating your customer service plan, avoid too much internal analysis. Instead, defer to customers’ perceptions of efficiency, responsiveness, and courtesy. Your own hunches, biases, or interpretations shouldn’t interfere with the unfiltered knowledge that your customers can provide. They are your ultimate judges.
Before a Crisis Hits, Create a Customer Service Action Plan
It’s common for companies to have disaster recovery and technical redundancy plans in place in the event of catastrophes. But what about a customer service action plan? What’s the strategy to work with customers who will undoubtedly have questions? Which channels will be open? How will the social channels handle the traffic? Is your business prepared to staff up to handle a five- or tenfold increase in inbound customer inquiries?
Excellent Customer Satisfaction Survey Examples
If you want to obtain valuable feedback from your customers then you have to be asking them the right questions. Sharing information isn’t always an easy task, and it’s not the customer’s job to provide your business with constructive criticism. Instead, it’s the surveyor’s responsibility to create a thought-provoking prompt that engages the participant.
Ways to Build a Customer-Centric Culture
To successfully implement a customer-centric strategy and operating model, a company must have a culture that aligns with them — and leaders who deliberately cultivate the necessary mindset and values in their employees.
To build a customer-centric culture, business leaders should take six actions.
Creating a Customer-Centric Business
Ranjay Gulati, Harvard Business School professor and author of “Reorganize for Resilience: Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business,” on how to deliver what customers really want.
Why Understanding Expectations Is Crucial For Customer Service
Customer service is about expectations. And the expectations that customers have today were shaped by their previous experiences. Businesses need to meet or exceed these customer expectations.
Service is praised or criticized because of expectations.
Customers talk about it only when the service exceeds expectations or does not meet expectations. If service meets expectations, it’s doing what’s expected and won’t receive any praise or criticism.
How to Measure Customer Satisfaction
Measuring customer satisfaction doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, it’s fairly simple to incorporate customer satisfaction measurement into your current customer success strategy.
No matter how you cut it, measuring satisfaction comes down to gathering customer feedback via surveys. To accurately gauge customer sentiment, we’ll simply need to ask them how their experience was.
The Effect of Customers’ Emotional Responses to Service Failures
This study examines the role of customer emotions in the context of service failure and recovery encounters. It investigates how customers’ emotional responses to service failures influence their satisfaction judgments after accounting for cognitive antecedents of satisfaction. The study also considers how customers’emotional responses to service failures influence how they evaluate an organization’s recovery efforts. The research is conducted by surveying customers about their satisfaction judgments in two service settings, restaurants and hotels. The results suggest that customers’ emotional responses to service failures will influence their recovery effort evaluations and satisfaction judgments in some circumstances and that the effects of emotion vary across industry settings
How to Create Better Customer Experiences With Emotion
The lifetime value of an emotionally-connected customer is more than twice than that of a highly satisfied customer. This clearly has implications for every company that sells products and services to customers. If incorporating positive emotion into the customer experience isn’t at the core of your customer service philosophy, it’s time to recalibrate.
Why Customer Segmentation in Customer Service is Important
By segmenting, you do a lot more than just get closer to your customers. You make them feel at home, too. When customers feel comfortable in interacting with your brand, it does wonders in increasing sales, loyalty and long-term engagement. This markedly increases the value you can now extract from each customer.
Best Practices for Providing the Best Customer Service
Here are nine customer service best practices that need to be embraced by every employee in your company, every day that they’re on the job. These are bedrock customer service essentials that I use (with some variation) on each of my customer service consulting engagements and initiatives; I promise you 100% that they can help you create truly exceptional customer service—if and only if you reiterate them at every possible juncture to your employees.
Case Study: Nordstrom’s Customer Service is the Definition of Above & Beyond
Surprise and delight customers, and they’ll be thrilled to share their memorable experiences. Personalized customer service paves the path for positive, long-term customer relationships. Nordstrom’s phenomenal customer service is simply legendary. They live employee empowerment and are dedicated to true customer happiness.
Case Study: Apple's Secret of Great Customer Service
We all know about the phenomenon that is Apple. But what is their secret? Well, I am pleased to report it is what we have been preaching for ten years. Their secret is focusing on Customer Emotions and looking at the psychological aspects of a Customer Experience as revealed by Gizmodo. They obtained Apples Genius Training book and Gizmodo comments: No need to mince words: This is psychological training.
Case Study: Marriott Increasing Sales by Service
Marriott International knows that customer satisfaction is directly related to its managers’ ability to motivate their frontline customer care associates. Thus, in a company for which repeat business and brand loyalty are vital, the training of new managers has a direct effect on the bottom line.
Airbnb: How its Customer Experience is Revolutionising the Travel Industry
Airbnb started in 2008 and got its name when its three founders rented out air mattresses on the floor of their San Francisco apartment during a conference.
Since then, the company has come a long way.
It’s been disrupting the travel industry by understanding, and moving with, shifts in consumer behavior. Here’s how Airbnb is shaping the future of the travel industry.
I Was Seduced by Exceptional Customer Service
Boccuzzi Jr. discusses why customer service, as opposed to traditional marketing strategies, has the potential to be the greatest form of marketing for a brand. John Boccuzzi Jr. has more than 20 years’ experience as a sales, marketing and customer experience executive, with a proven track record of strategic thought leadership in both private and public companies.
Further Reading: Best Customer Service Books
The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service. This book is a step-by-step guide to help you develop a customer-focused culture in your company, department, or location. Whether you’re just beginning your journey, or have been working on culture for years, this handbook will prepare you to take the next step. You’ll receive actionable advice, straightforward exercises, and proven tools you can utilize immediately.
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service. Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Now, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the original Be Our Guest, Disney Institute, which specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace, is revealing even more of the business behind the magic of quality service.
Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service. This book uses a brilliantly simple and charming story to teach how to define a vision, learn what a customer really wants, institute effective systems, and make Raving Fan Service a constant feature–not just another program of the month.
Ignore Your Customers (and They’ll Go Away): The Simple Playbook for Delivering the Ultimate Customer Service Experience. This book spells out, step by step, how to craft a customer service culture and customer experience so powerful that they’ll transform your organization and boost your company’s bottom line.
Further Learning: Best Customer Service Courses
Marketing Fundamentals: Who Is Your Customer? In order to compete in an ever-changing market, business leaders must assess and respond to consumer needs and wants. Marketing is a means of creating value for consumers and engendering loyalty and enthusiasm for your product or service. In this marketing course, you will learn how to assess the value you provide to the consumer as well as the value the customer offers your business.
Customer Service Mastery: Delight Every Customer. Be flooded with ideas on how to delight customers. Stand out from competitors with unique customer experiences. Create customers who are loyal for life and sing your praises to friends and family. Help your team or employees give great service and be creative with new ideas.
Brilliant Customer Service: How to Impress your Customers. The course is aimed at providing you with the opportunity to enhance your people skills in a way that will truly differentiate you from the competition. The course explores different models of high-quality customer service, strategies to improve your skillsets, and tactics that your customer service representatives (CSRs) can easily acquire and implement immediately.