Customer Service: What Makes It Great?

Customers always have some questions, doubts or problems when it comes to using some kind of product or service – and it’s these customers that you can easily lose! If your customer service is excellently organized and works perfectly, it helps to rectify the situation and restore customer’s trust and loyalty!

In this article, we will tell you in detail what are the things that make great customer service great. We gonna:

  • give a clear definition of excellent customer service;
  • tell you the main rules for great customer service;
  • show you some great customer service examples;
  • and share with you some amazing customer service ideas to surprise and delight your customers!

Customer service definition

A customer support service is a company department (if the company is small, it can even consist of one employee) created to solve the problems customers have using product or service

The customer service team answers users’ questions, helps to choose the right product for their needs, deal with payment and delivery, etc.

Why quality customer service matters?

According to the HubSpot survey, 90% of Americans consider customer service the main factor when making a decision on whether to deal with the company. 

If customer service is well organized, it helps to:

  • form the loyalty of the potential customer;
  • increase the company’s revenue;
  • expand customers base;
  • create the basis for long term cooperation with the client;
  • popularize the brand;
  • build the perfect image of the company!

If your customer service does not solve customers’ problems, they may leave, and your business may lose profits.

If you want to increase the level of your customer service, you need to automate it. Innovative software allows you to effectively use a number of channels of communication between customers and company specialists. 

This software helps to collect data for analytics to make sure that all requests receive timely and high-quality answers, and that customers are fully satisfied with the service.

Read the full guide about Customer Service Software!

Definition of great customer services

Generally speaking, it is a customer service that makes customers happy! For that, you have to organize periodical education courses for your employees and conduct permanent surveys to evaluate the work of the department.

Just imagine: it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience! This is one of the most important reasons to create great customer service in your company!

Let’s go into the details and compare Good VS Great customer service:

  1. Good customer service provides basic support, Great customer service keeps the customers coming for more exceptional experiences;
  2. Good customer service finds a common language with the potential customer, а Great customer service develops it;
  3. Good Customer Service responds client’s email within 24 hours, Great Customer Service responds via chat within minutes. For example, in Weblium company, that offers modern online tools for creating a website within a few hours, they solve the client’s problem within 15 minutes on average; 
  4.  In Good customer service, client gets first few answers from a chatbot, that suggests various options to solve the problem; Great customer service offers live chat, where a living person immediately responds to the client (for example, Weblium website builder had put it into practice from the first days of the company’s existence. Since then, this has become one of the company’s competitive advantages);
  5. When the customer wants to get his money back, Good Customer Service: willingly accepts this fact. Great Customer Service not only graciously accepts it but also lets the client know he will waive all fees associated to ensure that his experience is a good one. Then, it would suggest alternative products/services that might fit the customer needs based on his previous feedback.
  6. When the Good Customer Service employee doesn’t know the answer, he puts a customer on hold to sort everything out and then comes back to the customer with it. Great Customer Service employee explains to the customer why he can’t solve the problem right away, and that he will immediately start solving the problem. He tells a customer that he understands that his time is valuable and offers to either put him on hold or give him a call right back. If the customer chooses a callback, the employee gets the answer and calls back within minutes, letting the customer know he is a priority.
  7. In Good Customer Service, when your customer is irate, the employee does his best to help him. In Great Customer Service, the employee apologizes (even if he has nothing to do with why the customer is upset), then the employee accepts responsibility and lets the customer know that he will work to resolve this and actively searches for ways to turn customer’s frustration into satisfaction.

6 rules for great customer service

To begin with, if you really care about your customers and want to get the expected feedback from them, your website (a real must-have of any business today) will meet all customer`s expectations: 

  • attractive design, 
  • clear navigation, 
  • user-friendly interface,
  • excellent page load speed, 
  • availability of all contact info and any other necessary information.

Yesterday, developing a good site could be a costly headache, but today many entrepreneurs use some more affordable solutions – modern website templates, using website builders to create a business website within just a couple of hours!

1. Know/love your products

Customer service staff must have a deep understanding of the product and know how it works. Moreover, it is very important to look at the service with the customer’s eyes and know everything about customer interactions with a product or service.

2. Don’t leave customers hanging

The responsiveness of the customer service team directly affects the level of customer satisfaction and his desire to work with the company in the future. This is especially important if you sell technical products or a product that involves additional services.

3.  Solve problems! But promise only what you can deliver

Each employee of an excellent customer service team should be focused on the result: solving the problem of the client, but not just to finish his shift. This is the basis of long term cooperation with any client.

But you shouldn’t forget about the main function of customer service: providing reliable information.

Never deceive the potential customer! It’s better to say as it is than to make promises that you can’t keep. Losing a few customers is not as scary as getting angry reviews online.

4. Ask questions; listen to your customer; offer alternatives

Willingness to listen and solve other people’s problems, combined with deep knowledge in a field makes the customer service team employee a real savior in the client’s eyes. 

And even if you can’t solve the problem right away – it is important to find a temporary solution that allows the client to wait for it without any stress, or completely replaces what the client lacks.

5. Be courteous; know how to apologize and how to be thankful

If a customer contacts support, this already means that he is experiencing some problems with the company’s product or service. In such a situation, there is nothing better than apologizing, because this means you are able to feel empathy and recognize that the company has made a mistake. But never apologize for what you are not responsible for – it’s always better to start solving the problem the potential customer had faced with. And do not start your message with an apology: start with a constructive proposal, or with an explanation, and apologize only at the end of the conversation.

6. Be empathic and make your customers smile 🙂

If a potential customer complains about something, you should try to sincerely sympathize him. This works great and the customer will be pleased.

«I understand how you feel», – this phrase can change the tone of the conversation in any situation. The fact that you recognize the problem and cheers the client up.

6 great customer service examples

1. JetBlue: Thank your regular customers with tiny gestures

Paul Brown, the regular customer of JetBlue airlines jokingly tweeted that he wasn’t able to get his favorite Starbucks coffee before getting on a plane because he was flying from a small terminal at Boston Logan International Airport. 

A few minutes after seeing the tweet, JetBlue started to act: the airport customer service team delivered Paul’s favorite drink to the plane. Brown was delighted and expressed his admiration for JetBlue on Twitter.

2. Trader Joe’s: Help customers when they really need it

On Christmas Eve, the caring daughter of a Pennsylvania resident (senior citizen) phoned tons of stores, but no one agreed to deliver groceries to her father.

The Trader Joe store showed their concern and care and not only delivered the products but also sent special ones for free.

3. Weblium – Assist customers along the way

The speed of customer support is Weblium’s strong suit. Support managers provide customers with detailed answers and are ready to help 24/7. At Weblium, customer satisfaction and loyalty are the most important indicators of business success. Take a look at the reviews of Weblium users that prove the information mentioned above.

Weblium is the most convenient website builder, powered by AI Design Supervisor and trusted by more than 35,000 creators around the world. With Weblium, you can create a professional-looking site in a few hours.

Building sites with Weblium is free, efficient, and attainable for everyone. You don’t need to be a tech-savvy programmer—the only things required are a bit of imagination and a clear vision of why you need a site!

In case you want to build a site for your business, create it with Weblium for free.

4. Tesla: Meet your clients where they’re at

Tesla has outstanding customer service! They literally go out to meet their clients where they’re at and fix their car problems. It’s a great offer because the clients don’t have to waste their time and go to a repair shop, and they can schedule the service on their own time. Cleantechnica research shows that Tesla’s customers have an overall satisfaction rating of 90%.

5. Sainsbury’s: big steps closer to customers

The girl Lily (3,5 years old) asked her mother to write a letter to the Sainsbury’s customer service stating that the «tiger bread» product does not look like a tiger, but a giraffe, and it’s better to rename it.

The head of the customer service department responded to the letter: he agreed with the young client, indicating that the bakers could be a little stupid when naming the bread. He also sent her a £3 gift card.

6. Morton’s Steakhouse: Surprise your customers

Arriving on business and being very hungry, Peter Shankman, a regular customer of Morton’s Steakhouse, wrote a small post on the restaurant social media page, jokingly asking them to deliver the steak to the airport.

And, surprisingly, he received the delivery to the airport. Of course, Shankman shared this fact on his blog, which also increased the restaurant ratings.

Bonus: 3 Customer Service Ideas to Surprise and Delight Your Shoppers

1. Make your website’s live chat window easy to find and easy to use.

2. Try to solve the problems of your customers immediately – and once and for all: this applies to bugs, missing features, unclear or hidden functions – all these mistakes won’t let you establish long term relationships with your customers!

3. Invest in new technologies: take care of the convenience and stable work of any software that helps to provide customer support.

Wrap Up

Here are your general tips on how to create great customer service:

  • help the customer to quickly find a form to contact a specialist on the site and provide all contacts he may need;
  • constantly increase the level of training of your service team, delegate the necessary authority to the strongest team members to help them solve customer problems in no time;
  • maintain a database of resolved customer issues;
  • greate a strong knowledge base for your product or service;
  • keep track of the reasons the customers contact your customer service on time and correct them, as well as permanently test the quality of your product/service – don’t let your customers deal with the problems;
  • perform continuous customer service quality control;
  • motivate the customer support staff to make them want to be the face of the company (and to feel this way!), make them understand the great responsibility for their work.
  • invest in website design and customer support software.

Niki Vajdova

Marketing Intern

Student at Faculty of management - Comenius University in Bratislava.

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