11 Examples of good customer service practices
Unfortunately, it’s true that bad news travels faster than good news, especially in the age of social media. Most customer service stories online are about bad customer service experiences, and consequently, you don’t always hear about companies who are doing it right.
What does good customer service look like?
Good customer service experiences are more often than not the result of kind, customer-centric employees who are good at the following things:
- Responding quickly: A customer will appreciate a fast response when they want to ask a question or highlight a problem.
- Acting on feedback: When an employee acts on the feedback they received from a customer, it shows the customer that their opinion mattered.
- Having empathy: Employees that try to understand a customer’s point of view make a customer feel valued.
- Maintaining customer self-service options: When customers want to find their own solutions to service problems, having an up-to-date FAQ page or knowledge article base can be very helpful.
- Providing omnichannel support: Different communication channels can support customers that have busy schedules or want flexibility. Your employees need to be prepared to offer support through email, phone, live chat, and social media.
- Going the extra mile: When an employee delivers value beyond the customer’s expectation, it can leave a positive impression and increase customer loyalty.
Good customer service examples
It's one thing to talk about what good customer service is in theory, and another to apply it to real-world companies. Below are eleven customer service stories of companies going above and beyond to provide good customer service:
- JetBlue - Thanks frequent customers with small gestures
- Tesla - Meet your customers where they're at
- Adobe - Respond to customer service complaints before they happen
- Trader Joe's - Help those in time of need
- Coca-Cola - Get involved in social causes
- Zappos - Personally reply to every email
- Us! - Provide an exceptional event experience
- Sainsbury’s – Don't be afraid to change everything
- American Express – Give customers benefits that can be used globally
- Walmart - Invite customers into the company family
- The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company – Turn customer errors into service opportunities
1. JetBlue - Thank frequent customers with small gestures
Paul Brown was flying JetBlue airlines when he casually tweeted that he couldn’t grab his Starbucks coffee before boarding the plane because he was flying out of the smaller terminal at Boston’s Logan airport. Within seconds of seeing the tweet, JetBlue sprang to action and the airport customer service reps delivered a Starbucks venti mocha to his seat on the plane. Brown was elated and raved about JetBlue on Twitter.
Customer service takeaway: Your customers don’t always need large gestures, but just want to know they’re appreciated. In fact, 68 percent of customers leave because they perceive you don’t appreciate them. I’m sure after knowing his request was heard, Mr. Brown feels appreciated and he’ll be a loyal customer for a long time. To keep your company top of your customer’s mind, do smaller acts for more people, instead of a few large things for a lot of people. It’s the little things that count and produce loyal and happy customers.
2. Tesla - Meet your customers where they’re at
Tesla literally meets customers where they’re at by going to customer’s home and fixing issues on their car. It’s convenient for the customer because they don’t have to sit around a repair shop and it can be scheduled on their own time. This is excellent customer service.
Customer service takeaway: While you can’t always physically meet customers where they’re at, you can use omni-channel feedback and multiple customer support options to allow customers to contact your support team in the way that’s most convenient for them. Customers value time and convenience, and as evidenced by Tesla’s high prices, will even pay more for it.
Flat tire on Sunday. Called Tesla, git a loaner tire within 40 minutes. Today they came to my house to replace the tire in 10 minutes. scheduled to come back to fix a small issue next week. What other car company does this? @elonmusk @TeslaModel3 @Tesla #mobileservice pic.twitter.com/GiNwOM3RJZ
— Chris Kern (@cjk7216) October 31, 2018
3. Adobe - Respond to customer service complaints before they happen
When Adobe had an outage due to an issue with Amazon Web Services, they posted a tweet about it before they started getting customer complaints. The tweet contained a video of a puppy stampede as a distraction and lightened the mood. While there were some comments asking when the program would be running again, many replies focused on the adorable puppies.
Customer service takeaway: Sometimes it’s better to acknowledge an issue before it arises and let your customers knowing you’re working to fix it. Many customers know technology doesn’t work 100 percent of the time and like when you apologize for making a mistake. In this case, also making it lighthearted helped.
— Adobe Customer Care (@AdobeCare) February 28, 2017
4. Trader Joe's - Help those in time of need
An 89-year-old man was stuck in his house during a snowstorm and his granddaughter was worried he wouldn’t have enough food. She called around to several grocery stores and asked if they would deliver, to no avail. Finally, Trader Joe’s said they normally don’t deliver, but they would help. She read off a big list to the store and they delivered the entire order and more within 30 minutes, free of charge.
Customer service takeaway: 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? People love championing companies that help the underdog and those in need. It shows corporate responsibility and that the company truly cares about its customers.
5. Coca-Cola - Get involved in social causes
Since 1984, Coke has given back more than $1 billion through the Coca-Cola Foundation. What’s great is they give back at the local level and not just to large organizations. For instance, Coke in Ireland initiated the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, which gives €100K annually to local charities that empower young people, foster sustainability, and encourage diversity and inclusion.
Customer service takeaway: Millennials especially want to do business with companies that have similar social values and use their resources to give back to those in need. By donating to social causes, you can burnish your reputation and gain millennial’s trust.
6. Zappos - Personally reply to every email
Zappos responds to every email it receives, even if it’s to the CEO. In this case, a woman sent a request to Tony Hsieh and even though he was unavailable, his representative sent a humorous and engaging email back.
Customer service takeaway: When customers take the time to send you an email they expect a reply. It shows you value them as customers and care about their needs. As bonus, Zappos also gives headquarter tours to give their loyal fans a taste of what goes on behind-the-scenes.
7. Us! - Provide an exceptional event experience
During many conferences that we attend we send our “Qualtrics Dream Team” to fulfills customer’s needs and wishes to make the event a truly exceptional experience. From food and drinks, to swag to even vacations and massages, they try to fulfill as many requests as possible. They also collect customer feedback and make changes like room temperature and provide phone chargers.
Customer service takeaway: Today’s customers don’t just want products or services, they want unique experiences that they can’t get anywhere else. Customer’s want to be delighted at every touchpoint, and anytime you can go the extra mile to make it even more special, you’ll gain loyalty.
Curious to know how we run the Dream Team using our own software, or why we bring it to events like #CXOLeadersSummit? Stop by our booth and we'll share all the secrets! Our team is here till 4pm AEST. pic.twitter.com/pEjfd2Jl8K
— Qualtrics (@Qualtrics) August 8, 2018
8. Sainsbury’s – Don't be afraid to change everything
When Sainsbury’s, a UK supermarket chain, received a letter from three-and-a-half-year-old Lily Robinson, they ended up rebranding one of their products entirely. Lily thought their "tiger bread" didn’t resemble a tiger’s stripes at all – it looked more like the pattern on a giraffe. Sainsbury’s responded that the little girl was right and made new labels to share Lily's insight with other customers.
Customer service takeaway: Lily and her mother were probably not expecting the response they got. Sainsbury’s was able to take a customer suggestion and act on it immediately – and in a big way. If you can find opportunities to be creative and go all-in to help your customers, they'll never forget it.
9. American Express – Give customers benefits that can be used globally
American Express maintains their position as a top-tier credit card company by offering its customers plenty of extra benefits: complimentary travel flight credit, insurance, and access to airline lounges to name a few. Combine these worldwide benefits with American Express's 24/7 support line and its global partners network and you have a company that truly connects with you wherever you are.
Customer service takeaway: Provide benefits that can be used as widely as possible: across borders, time zones, and languages. Customers are mobile and want their service to be available wherever they go.
10. Walmart - Invite customers into the company family
Walmart has a reputation for being focused on providing value to every-day families. They live out their family-focus through the way they treat their employees. When one of their associates turned 101 years old, they shared the news on Facebook, and invited customers to participate in the celebration.
Customer service takeaway: You don't have to wait for customers to reach out with problems to begin to engage with them. Rather than sharing images of celebrities, focusing on real people is a good way to show that your brand matches up with customer perception. Giving your customers feel-good stories about birthdays celebrations makes them feel connected and part of the brand family.
11. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company – Turn customer errors into service opportunities
Ritz-Carlton employees are allowed up to $2,000 to fix any guest problem, no questions asked. One example was told by customer John DiJulius, who left his charger behind at The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. He received a next-day air package with his charger and a note saying ‘Mr. DiJulius, I wanted to make sure we got this to you right away. I am sure you need it, and, just in case, I sent you an extra charger for your laptop.’
Customer service takeaway: A customer’s error can be a great opportunity. Use it as a chance to go above and beyond. By anticipating that John would need his charger for his laptop, employees were able to be proactive and delight him with their thoughtfulness and concern.
Want to learn more about how to delight your customers?
You can easily measure and improve your customer experience (CX) by gathering feedback from your customers. Check out our free survey template for customer service and contact centers. You can download it here.
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