11 Good Customer Service Examples Retailers Can Learn From
We all know that feeling when we’re treated well by a company’s customer service department. It’s like a breath of fresh air, and it makes us feel appreciated as customers. We often take for granted the companies who provide great customer service, but they deserve our praise! Below are 11 companies that provide good customer service examples.
What is good customer service?
Good customer service is all about being prompt, friendly, and polite. This can mean different things depending on the industry you’re in. In retail stores, good service could mean helping customers find what they’re looking for or helping them with an issue.
Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. Without it, your company will struggle to retain customers and grow. Investing in good customer service pays off: businesses with great customer service see 60% higher loyalty rates from their customers. If you want your business to succeed in the long run, make sure you’re providing the best possible experience for your shoppers every time they visit your store.
To help you better understand this concept, I put together a few good customer service examples and actionable steps you can take to take your retail service levels up a notch.
Why is it Important to Deliver Excellent Customer Service?
Good customer service impacts both current customers and potential ones.
Did you know that 68% of consumers are very likely to tell their friends and family about a negative experience with your company? And 50% of customers are even willing to switch brands after one negative interaction. That’s why it’s so important to provide excellent customer service.
Any negative experience on Facebook can quickly reach thousands of people due to the large number of friends each user has on average.
The most important thing is to ensure your customer service is positive. This can provide great value for your business.
Customer service plays a huge role in the success of a business. In fact, 1 in 4 people would be willing to pay up to 10% more for a product or service if they received exceptional customer service. Additionally, 93% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company again if they provide great customer service.
11 Ways to Provide Great Customer Service
Here are 11 ways to excel at customer service:
1. Be Friendly
Providing great customer service means being friendly and greeting customers with a smile on your face. Always be courteous, polite, and respectful.
Listen to your customer’s concerns before jumping in with solutions.
It is important to always be professional and understanding with your customer, even if they are angry or upset. This way, you can help resolve the issue as best as possible.
2. Respond Promptly
It’s important to respond to customer requests in a timely manner. If a customer has a question or request, it’s important to get back to them as soon as possible.
For great customer service, try to respond to all calls and messages you receive from your customers in 24 hours or less.
3. Know Your Product
Providing excellent customer service means having a complete understanding of your product or service. That way, you can answer any question that a customer may have.
When speaking to customers, it’s ideal to be able to discuss all of the features of your product, show them how the product works, and answer any questions that they might have. By being knowledgeable, you can ensure that customers are satisfied with their purchases.
4. Listen to Your Customers
Providing great customer service starts with listening. Sometimes, all a customer needs is someone to listen. Make sure you give them your full attention and show them that you truly care about what they have to say.
5. Say Thank You in Different Ways
A genuine “thanks” goes a long way when serving customers. They will remember your kindness, and it will help them remember that they trusted you with their purchase. Thanking your customers after every single sale is a simple way to show how much you value their business.
Here are other ways you can thank customers for their business.
Send a personalized thank you note. A handwritten thank-you card is a personal touch that shows you appreciate your customers. This is different than an email, which can be sent in seconds.
Provide free samples. Free product samples are a great way to not only thank a customer but also promote a product.
Throw in something extra. Including a small gift in your customers’ packages is a nice gesture. Candies, stickers, or promotional items work great.
Offer a special discount. Another way to thank your customers is by offering them a discount on their next purchase. Not only will this show that you appreciate them, but it may also encourage them to make another purchase.
6. Get to Know Your Customers Better
When you understand who your customer is and what motivates them, you’ll be better able to provide them with personalized service.
Here are a few tips on how to get to know your customers better.
Ask questions. The quickest way to get to know your prospects is to ask them a few questions. This is a great way to find areas where you stand out from the competition.
Check them out on social media. Social media provides a wealth of information about your clients. You can learn about their interests, their habits, and what they are purchasing. You can also post on social media to learn about what clients think about your products and services.
7. Ask for Feedback
Showing customers that you value their input makes them feel important. Feedback can be collected through customer surveys, questionnaires, or first-hand feedback when customers are completing their orders.
8. Leverage That Feedback
Once you have customer feedback, you should use it to make changes to your customer support.
You should take time regularly to review the feedback you are getting from customers. This will help you identify areas where you can improve your customer service process.
9. Focus on Customer Relationships
If you want to ensure customers return, you need to have a positive relationship with them. This includes caring about them and inspiring their loyalty and appreciation.
You can personalize your service by greeting them by their first name, and take notes of your previous conversations with them so you can refer to them the next time you’re together.
10. Keep Your Word
If you promise something to a customer, make sure to keep it! Remember that any commitments you make to a customer, whether written on the website, mentioned on a ticket or said during a phone conversation, are promises.
Customers appreciate it when a company or representative keeps their promises. It builds trust and shows that the company is reliable.
If you make a mistake and break a promise, make sure to apologize and make things right.
11. Follow Up
If you want to go the extra mile for your customers, follow up with them at a later date to check in on their experience with your product or service. This will help you ensure that they’re happy with their purchase and let them know that you care about their satisfaction.
Taking the time to reconnect with customers who haven’t been in touch for a while can give them the impression that you value them.
If you follow up with a customer, they might buy from you again or refer someone else to you.
3 Important Qualities of Customer Service
As you look at different examples of good customer service, you will notice that all 3 of these traits are present in great companies.
- Professionalism: Customer support reps, agents, and retail staff display a positive and professional attitude to everyone they interact with.
- Patience: Great customer service requires patience, understanding, and flexibility to deal with varying situations.
- People-focused: Good customer service is centered around building a great relationship with the customer.
11 Good Customer Service Examples
Below are eleven of the best companies that go above and beyond to provide good customer service.
When Paul Brown casually tweeted that he was missing his morning coffee before a flight, JetBlue responded immediately, delivering his drink to his seat.
Your customers don’t always need large gestures, but just want to know they’re appreciated.
Customers love how Tesla mechanics come to their homes and service their cars. This eliminates the need to waste time sitting around a repair garage and allows them to schedule the appointment on their own terms.
While you can’t always physically meet customers where they’re at, there are multiple support options to allow customers to contact your support team most conveniently. The Tesla example highlights how the delivery of services can be a game-changer.
When an AWS issue caused an interruption in service for one of their programs, they posted a humorous video to distract their customers. While there were some complaints about the downtime, many customers were distracted by the cute puppy in the video.
Technology is far from perfect, and things can go wrong. It’s often better to apologize and acknowledge the issue before it becomes a bigger problem. And in this case, making light of the situation and poking fun at yourself made the situation more relatable.
4. Trader Joe’s
An 89-year-old man was stuck at home during a snowstorm and his granddaughter was worried about him. She called up several stores in the area and asked if they would be willing to deliver the groceries to him, but none would. However, when she called Trader Joe’s, they said they would help. They delivered all the items on her list free of charge.
Just like the story of Chick-fil-a handing out sandwiches to stranded motorists during an Atlanta snowstorm, this story ended up going viral. Why? Customers love to see companies help out someone in need. It’s inspiring and shows the company really cares.
Since 1984, Coke has given back more than $1 billion through the Coca-Cola Foundation. The company gives back at the local level too — like the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund in Ireland which gives €100K to local charities every year to empower young people, foster sustainability, and encourage diversity and inclusion.
The millennial generation prefers to do business with companies that share their values. By donating your resources to charitable and social organizations, you can gain their trust and set yourself apart from your competitors.
Zappos responds to every email it receives, even if it’s addressed to the CEO. In one instance, a woman sent a letter to Tony Hsieh which received a humorous and engaging email response.
By replying to customers’ emails, you show you care about their specific needs. Additionally, companies like Zappos offer tours of their company headquarters to show their loyal customers what they do.
At Qualtrics’ annual conference, the “Dream Team” is sent out to fulfill customers’ to make the event truly an exceptional one. From food, drinks, and gifts, to accommodations, and even vacation and massage services, they try their best to make everyone’s dreams come true.
If you want to delight your customers, you have to provide them with a unique, memorable experience. It can’t be something they can get from anyone else.
When UK supermarket Sainsbury’s received an email from 3-year-old Lily Robinson, they rebranded a product altogether. The little girl believed that their “tiger bread” didn’t look like tiger stripes at all, but more like a pattern on a giraffe. The company responded and changed the labeling to share with customers.
When customers suggest ideas, it’s your job to figure out a way to make them happen. If you can do that, then you’ll create loyal customers for life.
9. American Express
American Express maintains its position as a top-tier credit card company by offering lots of perks: complimentary travel flight credit, travel insurance, and access to VIP lounges, plus Amex’s 24/7 support line and a global partner network that connects with you wherever you are.
Your customers want to be able to access your service wherever they are, whether it’s in another country or a different time zone.
A 101-year-old employee of Wal-Mart celebrated her birthday with employees and family. Her coworkers posted her picture and story on their Facebook page, inviting customers to wish her a happy birthday.
Instead of focusing solely on celebrity images, share photos of real people who represent your target audience. Showing that the brand is relatable and fits with consumer perceptions can help establish trust. Sharing heart-warming stories about how customers have celebrated birthdays with your company makes people feel valued and part of something bigger than themselves.
11. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Ritz-Carlton employees are allowed up to $2,000 to fix any guest problem, no questions asked. One memorable example was when a customer left his laptop charger at The Ritz Carlton in Sarasota. Within 24 hours, he received a package with his charger and an additional one for his computer.
When a customer makes a mistake, take the opportunity to exceed their expectations. By predicting that customers will need their chargers for their laptops, you can surprise and delight them with your attentiveness and care.
How do you handle difficult customers?
Even with all the tools available, you might still encounter unhappy or irate customers who are just looking for a fight. In these instances, there are still ways to deliver good customer service.
- Practice reflective listening. This means showing that you’ve understood their problem and that they’ve been heard.
- Demonstrate empathy and give a sincere apology.
- Ask the customer what type of resolution they would want.
- Stay calm and compassionate, speak in a low tone, and keep your body language relaxed. Remember, customers aren’t angry with you, but frustrated.
We can all learn a thing or two from these good customer service examples! By providing great customer service, you’ll not only make your customers happy, but you’ll also stand out from the competition. So don’t forget to show your appreciation for your customers – they deserve it!