Top 13 Excellent Customer Service Examples
In this article, let’s talk about some excellent customer service examples. The best customer service is always responsive, timely, and courteous.
- In retail, this could imply remembering and appreciating repeat clients, establishing a local connection with customers, putting your product knowledge to good use, and more.
- Customer management features and reporting in the top retail systems give you insights that you can incorporate into your sales, marketing, and customer service operations.
There are many factors that can affect the in-store experience, including
The product itself, the price point of that product, and even what your store looks like (design, environment) are all things that will impact how shoppers perceive you. But no matter who you’re dealing with or where they live in the world – customer service is always going to be one of their top considerations.
And the good news is that you are in control of customer service. You can make it your mission to deliver an excellent experience for every single person who interacts with your company.
You can’t control the weather or your competitors, but you are in complete control of how good a customer experience that shoppers have. So be sure to constantly work on ways to make them happy.
To put it more bluntly, I now know that customer service is what needs to be improved.
So, to help you visualize the concept of improving customer service at your retail store, I’ve compiled a list of real-life examples and action steps for taking it up a notch.
What exactly is good customer service?
Customer service is important for many reasons. It means meeting the needs of your customers in a timely, efficient, and pleasant way so that they keep coming back.
In retail, you might have to help customers find what they are looking for or solve a problem with the product.
What are some excellent customer service examples?
In retail, a great way to provide good customer service is by remembering repeat customers and appreciating them for their business. Providing local connections with shoppers can also be an effective strategy as well as putting your product knowledge to work in the best possible ways.
Below, you’ll find tips on how to create a customer-centric culture.
1. The shopkeeper who recalls – and appreciates – returning customers
So make sure you keep them happy. They’re not just grateful for being remembered – they also spend more money when they come back.
I made the mistake of not letting my customers know that I was grateful for their purchases. The next time you’re at the store, make sure to let them know.
One of my favorite examples of this in action comes from T-We Tea, a tea shop in San Francisco. I’ve purchased from them a number of times, and with my previous order, I found a sweet note that read, “OMG, Hi Francesca! So lovely to see your name come up! We miss you dearly up here but know you are always doing epic things!”
T-We Tea is one of my favorite places to shop because they do something that no other retailer does: send me a handwritten thank you note. It’s such an individualized touch and I don’t get it from any store, even the ones where I spend most of my time.
2. Each new customer receives a customized video message from the online merchant.
Sending a video message to new customers is not that uncommon in the world of online retail, but this guy has found something else that’s less common: thanking them for their first purchase with a personalized video.
I was pleasantly surprised when I made my first purchase with Magic Mind. Not only did they give me a personal video message from Rebecca, one of their team members but also included an extra bottle for free!
I got a personal email from the CEO of Magic Mind and she made me feel like I was an important customer. She took the time to mention my name, tell me about her company’s brand, and said that their customers have had good results.
Make sure that you find ways to welcome new customers. You could opt for personalized videos or other means of contact, like Magic Mind.
Sometimes, the best way to motivate someone is not with a big check or phone call.
You can’t just keep doing the same thing and expect to get different results. You need to be creative with your strategy, look at what competitors are doing and do it better.
3. The online store that proactively addresses shipping issues
I don’t want to scare you, but when selling online there are a lot of problems that could arise. From lost packages and late deliveries to damaged goods, it’s all part of the game.
And while it’s not your fault that they’re having problems, you are still responsible for providing a satisfactory customer experience.
There are so many different ways that you can lose customers these days, which is why it’s important to stay on top of their orders and make sure they get what they want. If something goes wrong, don’t wait for them to contact you–get in touch with the customer right away.
Yumble, a food delivery service that I had never heard of before this article, does not wait for its customers to contact them when there are delays in deliveries. Instead, they proactively email their clients and offer credit as an apology.
If you’re selling online, keep a tab on your customer orders and shipments. If anything goes wrong or if the delivery status changes for any reason, stay ahead of it by proactively reaching out to shoppers instead of waiting for them to contact you.
4. The employee who comes up with the ideal greeting
There are many ways that can happen–make sure your greeting is one of them.
Every customer is different, so instead of saying the same thing to every person who walks in your store, you should say something that feels more personal. If they come up and ask if there’s anything I can help them with then I might respond by asking what brought them into my store today.
I was walking through the city of Los Angeles and noticed a woman in an apparel store. I walked up to her, she immediately greeted me with a smile.
She offered to take my bags and asked for my name.
Make sure to greet every customer with a personalized hello that will make them feel like they are your most important guest.
We’ve got you covered! Read our guide on how to greet customers in retail and learn some tips that could help make your sales floor a success.
In the comments below, post 10 creative ways to greet customers and add them in your store!
5. Employees who go out of their way to make a customer happy
Don’t let a customer’s mood ruin your day. If they look down, give them an honest compliment and cheer them up!
Other times, you have to try a different approach. The best way is going to vary from one customer-to-the next so it’s important that you be creative and use your imagination.
Watch this video of an employee at Trader Joe’s singing and dancing to stop a toddler from throwing tantrum.
If you see a customer who is not having the best day, don’t be afraid to make them feel better.
6. The retailer who discovers a means to avoid stockouts.
If you want to avoid stockouts, the best thing is not to have them at all. But if they do happen then try and turn it into a positive situation by providing great customer service.
Here’s a really neat idea from Real Canadian Superstore. Customers can order their groceries online and then pick them up at the store!
In a recent Instagram post, Lisa claims that she ordered some of her favorite products from Superstore and they were unavailable. So one of their employees called to offer substitutes.
I was really impressed with the customer service at Real Canadian Superstore. They were friendly, helpful and efficient which made for a great experience! The best part is that they’re so good I wrote about them on social media.
Have a backup plan for stock-outs – When a customer asks you about a product that’s unavailable, make sure you have a better response than “Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do.” Always be ready to recommend substitutes so you don’t miss out on the sale.
In the era of online shopping, you need to offer more than just a storefront. You should also have an option for customers who want something shipped from your warehouse or store so they don’t have to wait on shipping.
If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, then the only way to offer free shipping is by not charging customers for it.
7. The cashier who establishes a local connection with customers
Customer service is an area that’s not just limited to retail, but this particular example still serves as a great one.
I was buying a drink from this coffee shop and the cashier behind me noticed that I had an eyebrow threading business card.
“Oh, you go there too? Aren’t they the best?” she said.
After that, we got to talking about why this business is so great and what it’s been like for us.
I had a quick encounter with the cashier, but it was memorable. I loved that he made an effort to connect by referencing something we both liked in common.
When I first started, customer service was a breeze. It’s not like people don’t want to be nice and polite when they’re dealing with the public – it just doesn’t happen very often.
When I first began working as a cashier, my main job was to just ring up sales and say things like “How was everything?” or “Have a nice day.”
. That means being friendly with them.
The next time you want to get in touch with a customer, try reaching out and asking them how they’re doing. This can help keep your business top of mind for potential customers.
Use your similarities to connect with customers. It’s not enough just to have a common interest, you need something more personal than that.
You don’t always have to push a sale. Sometimes you just need the customer to feel connected with your business, even if they’re already spending money on it.
If you’re a store owner, try to have similar policies. Don’t just chat up customers for the sake of making money off them.
Do it to build a relationship.
When you’re looking for new ways to greet customers, it’s helpful to get ideas from other retail stores. This post offers 20+ examples of store-specific greetings that are sure to please.
8. The retail employee who is familiar with his customers
One of the best ways to make customers feel special is by knowing them on a personal level. Whether you know their name or what they usually buy, this will create an even more memorable experience for both parties.
A 7-Eleven employee would notice when a customer’s order was wrong right away.
Nathan Hughes, the marketing director at Diggity Marketing, went to his usual 7-Eleven store and noticed that there was no Kimchi Fried Rice on the menu. He settled for another product but he couldn’t believe it when an employee recognized him as a regular customer.
“One of the employees noticed it somehow. He came to the table and told me that my usual order would be here soon as they are restocking,” Nathan recalls.
“I was quite surprised but true to his words, the Fried Rice was restocked and he himself microwaved the meal for me!”
When you notice that someone is not buying what they usually buy, it might be a sign of trouble. Ask them why and try to figure out if there’s anything else you can do for your customer.
Customer management systems are one of the best ways to mitigate this problem.
9. The salesperson who takes the effort to locate the ideal match
I was in the Sunglass Hut store on SoHo and needed some new sunglasses. The associate there noticed that I wasn’t sure what to buy so he offered his help.
When I went to get a new pair of sunglasses, the salesperson took her time and really listened. She found out what I needed in terms of style and fit, then picked out some different pairs for me to try on. It was so easy because she brought an eyewear tray with all sorts of options.
I had a great experience with this employee and I was very impressed by their dedication.
The people who are shopping in your store need to be treated with care and you should do everything possible to make sure they find the perfect product. This could mean different things, depending on what kind of business you have.
It’s important to go the extra mile when it comes to customer service, and that means taking your time. You could always accompany a shopper who is looking for an item on one of the shelves or bring out different products so they can compare them.
Customers can be a tough bunch. You need to read them appropriately in order to determine if they want your help or not. For example, some customers may prefer that you leave them alone and give them space while others would appreciate the attention.
But if you can’t help your customers find what they need, at least be nice about it.
10. The associate who makes effective use of her product expertise
Knowledge of your products is essential to good customer service. You and your staff must always be on top of the details. This comes in handy when a customer asks:
- When it comes to your best-sellers
- Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of certain goods
- Educating customers on how to use a product
I just bought some dry shampoo for the first time and I wanted to go shopping in person. In this day of online reviews, there’s nothing better than feeling a product before you buy it.
I had the pleasure of visiting Birchbox’s SoHo store and was pleasantly surprised by their selection. What really made my experience stand out, though, were the employees who went above and beyond to help me find what I needed.
My colleague was an expert on the products, which she explained to me in detail. She also had her own favorites and gave me a rundown of their best sellers.
When I went to buy dry shampoo, the salesperson suggested that I purchase a travel-size bottle because she thought it would be more economical. She also showed me how to apply the product.
That Birchbox store really knows how to keep me coming back for more! I walked out with a product that excited and reminded me of the power in-store customer service has.
One of the most important aspects of selling is remembering what each product offers. The “FAB” formula, which stands for Features, Advantages, and Benefits helps you remember how great your products are.
The features of a product are what it can do, while the advantages refer to how good those features work. The benefits are what you get out of using that product and understanding its functions.
In order to best please the customer, you need to understand what they want and offer them a unique experience.
For example, let’s say you’re selling a pair of sunglasses. You could tell customers about the frame size or that it is polarized.
The advantages of these glasses are that they’re durable and can reduce glare. Plus, the customer will be able to see better.
Knowing your top sellers is an important step in retail management. With the right system, you can stay on top of trends and best sellers so that you always have something to recommend.
When it comes to the best retail systems, they’re not just about data analytics. They also provide insights that you can use in your sales and marketing efforts.
11. The retailer expresses heartfelt regret.
Sometimes the things you sell don’t work out for your customer, and it’s during these moments that having good customer service skills is really important. The best way to react will depend on what happened, but often times apologizing can help make up for any problems.
DSW offers a great example of the right way to deal with mishaps. According to Mikaela Kornowski, Marketing & PR Executive at OFFPRICE Show, “Lost packages, website glitches, and other unforeseen issues are always going to plague retailers, but excellent customer service in light of those mishaps will be rewarded with loyal shoppers.”
“DSW’s website crashed this fall, leaving many shoppers like myself stranded mid-checkout. The next day I received an apology in my inbox with a note letting me know their flash sale was extended because of the mishap. And guess what? I bought the shoes… and a few more pairs since then!”
Even if you didn’t do anything wrong, it’s always a good idea to apologize when something goes wrong. It will help your customer feel better about the situation and they’ll be more likely to want to work with you again.
When you make a mistake, it’s important to be willing to admit that and then do what you can in order to fix the problem. You need to take responsibility for your actions.
12. The retailer who goes out of their way to upsell and educate customers.
Think upselling is sleazy or bad for customer service? Think again. I guarantee that the shopper will leave happy if you take the time to educate them before they purchase and tailor your recommendations based on their needs.
I remember when I took my toddler to the shoe store. He had a blast trying on all sorts of shoes, and an employee helped him find just what he wanted.
The associate then came up to me and said, “I noticed your son’s feet were a bit sweaty. What types of socks is he using?”
I told him that we had never used any other socks.
“Cotton isn’t ideal for sweaty feet,” he replied. Do you want me to show you some of the socks we have that can help?”
I was at the store and I noticed that they had socks for kids, so I asked one of the employees to tell me about them. He proceeded to show me all sorts of different types and brands before we finally agreed on a couple of pairs. Now my son’s feet are doing better than ever.
Teach your employees to upsell and cross-sell by encouraging them to make note of any potential needs or wants the customer may have.
I remember one time when my son had sweaty feet and the associate recommended to me that he needed a specific type of socks. She made an excellent call.
Don’t just tell them to buy a product, educate shoppers on the benefits of what you’re selling and why they should purchase it.
13. The kind janitor who went above and above for a visitor
When you see a customer in need, be compassionate and do what you can to help them out. Not only will it make the customer’s day brighter but they’ll likely become your lifelong fan.
Jeslin Tan, a writer at Good Noise Music, knew this first-hand when she was working as an entertainment cast member for Disney California Adventure Park.
“As someone who has been to many Disneyland parks in different countries, I am familiar with the good hospitality of Disney. However this encounter still warms my heart,” she says.
So, she went to Disneyland with a friend and it just so happened that the time of her monthly cycle coincided. That meant an increased flow which made for some messy times.
“I brought a spare sanitary pad but the second one overflowed after a few hours. I went into the restroom alone and it had a sanitary pad vending machine but the machine was not working,” she explains.
“I started panicking, and then this kind and helpful janitor came into the restroom, I told her what happened and she went out to get the keys to the vending machine, she came back and opened it, gave me a few sanitary pads. I wanted to pay her some money for the sanitary pad but she said don’t worry about it. She even helped me to check my skirt from the back, making sure I was okay before I left. I am so thankful to her and still remember her kindness to this day.”
Technology and tools can only do so much to improve the customer experience. In fact, nothing beats a genuine smile or handshake.
Make these values a part of your company culture and work to demonstrate them in all aspects of the business.