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What makes customer service outstanding?

Before we start talking about what makes customer service outstanding, and how you can provide it, we need to explain why it matters.

Why quality service matters

Delivering good service is a key ingredient to maintaining long-term profitability in today’s diverse and highly competitive marketplace. According to Microsoft’s 2018 State of Global Customer Service Report; an overwhelming 95% of respondents cite customer service as an important factor when choosing loyalty to a brand.

Moreover, consumers don’t just expect great service, they are ready to pay for it. According to Genesys State of Customer Experience research; one in three consumers is actually willing to pay more to receive a higher level of service. Meanwhile, Aspect Software’s 2018 Consumer Experience Index indicates that two-thirds of consumers are willing to pay for great customer service. 31% willing to pay as much as 10% more for exceptional service.

The NewVoiceMedia’s 2018 “Serial Switchers” report also showcased that if provided better customer service;

  • 55% of consumers would be more loyal
  • 47% would recommend the business to others
  • 26% would use the company more frequently and would spend more money

Down below, there are elements of customer service that help you understand and improve at the same time.

5 Qualities of good customer service

1. Responsiveness

The Customer Service Benchmark Report showcased that 62% of companies do not respond to customer service emails. Being easily accessible through various support channels, acknowledging service requests, and actually responding to customers in a timely manner are must-have aspects of great customer care.

2. Speed and efficiency

Modern consumers are impatient and expect their service requests to be handled quickly and efficiently. According to a study conducted by the CMO Council; the most important attribute of good customer service is fast response time. The first contact resolution is also critical. Because consumers hate having to contact a company over and over again regarding the same issue. 

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3. Competence

The professional competence of frontline employees is one of the most essential characteristics of quality customer service. According to ThinkJar, 84% of customers are frustrated when service agents are not up to speed. While 29% of customers switch brands because of poor staff knowledge.

4. Courtesy

Common courtesy is the foundation of high-quality customer service. For instance: being polite, friendly, and following proper service etiquette when interacting with customers. The level of courtesy demonstrated by service employees greatly affects a customer’s experience. In fact, 73% of consumers say friendly customer service reps can make them fall in love with a brand; according to a survey by RightNow.

5. Consistency

Providing consistent positive experiences is very important as consumers use multiple channels to engage with brands. Moreover, the consumers increasingly demand effortless and unified service experience across every touchpoint during every interaction. As said by McKinsey, consistent customer experience across the entire customer journey increases customer satisfaction and builds trust.

5 Must-have qualities of support reps

In addition to excellent product expertise and basic customer service soft skills, there are other important elements of customer service. To be specific, certain qualities and characteristics are necessary for service reps to ensure quality service.

1. Passion for helping others

Frontline employees should be naturally passionate about customer service and helping people. If an agent is not willing to engage with customers and doesn’t enjoy assisting others; it’s nearly impossible to create an emotional connection or to deliver a delightful and memorable service experience.

2. Empathy

Being able to put oneself in customers’ shoes, truly understand and relate to their feelings is an integral part of excellent customer care. Showing empathy is especially important when service agents have to deal with angry customers. It helps to soothe their frustration even if immediate solutions to their problem cannot be provided.

3. Positive attitude

Because support jobs are stressful by nature, maintaining a positive attitude is necessary when handling challenging situations and interacting with unhappy customers. An agent’s positive attitude translates into positive experiences for customers and improves customer satisfaction.

4. Good communication

Service representatives need to be top-notch communicators at all levels. Apart from excellent oral and written communication skills, it also means being a great active listener. 

5. Problem-solving

Customer service is mostly all about resolving customers’ queries; that’s why problem-solving is a fundamental characteristic of a good service professional. Essentially, problem-solving involves a clear understanding of the problem, coming up with potential solutions, presenting the best possible solution, and then actually implementing it successfully.

Outstanding customer service examples

  • To ensure top-quality service at all times, Ritz-Carlton employees are empowered to spend up to $2,000 for issue resolution per incident,  without asking for a manager’s approval. 
  • At Amazon, if a customer receives a damaged or defective item, or if a package gets lost in the mail, they will send a replacement. If Amazon’s self-service FAQs or community forums can’t solve the problem, callers can get 24/7 support and are almost never put on hold.
  • Zappos service agents are expected to spend 80% of their time in customer-facing interactions, whether it’s 100 calls or only 1 – no matter how long it takes to make each customer happy. A Zappos employee once took a customer service call that lasted a record-breaking 10 hours and 43 minutes. 

10 Quality customer service quotes to inspire your team

1. “Good customer service costs less than bad customer service.” Sally Gronow – Head of Customer Service at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water

2. “Great customer service doesn’t mean that the customer is always right, it means that the customer is always honored.” Chris LoCurto – Leadership and Business coach

3. “Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.” Tony Alessandra – Professional keynote speaker

4. “Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the customer gets out of it.” Peter Drucker – Management consultant, educator, and author

5. “You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be too easily duplicated. But a strong customer service culture cannot be copied.” Jerry Fritz – Professional keynote speaker

6. “When you serve the customer better, they always return on your investment.” Kara Parlin – CRO and Content Strategist at Weiter Marketing

7. “One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” Jim Rohn – Entrepreneur, Author, and Motivational speaker

8. “Good service is good business.” Siebel Ad

9. “The longer you wait, the harder it is to produce outstanding service.” William H. Davidow – General partner with Mohr Davidow  Ventures 

10. “Always keep in mind the old retail adage; Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.” Lauren Freedman – Real estate agent and author

Discover On Your Own

Knowledge is important, but only when put into practice. Test the elements of customer service right inside the LiveAgent.

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