Excellent customer service is essential for business. In fact, consumers are willing to spend 17 percent more with companies that deliver great customer service, according to American Express.
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 a bad customer service experience, and consequently, you don’t always hear about companies who are achieving customer satisfaction.
Keep scrolling to find customer service examples that will inspire, as well as tips for improving your customer experience.
Read now: How to improve customer satisfaction with more effective, engaged agents
What does excellent customer service look like?
The definition of “good” customer service is flexible, because it entirely depends on the level of expectation that customers have for your brand. This can be affected by variables such as your industry, product cost, brand reputation and more.
For example, if you’re flying in Economy, you don’t expect a 5* service with champagne and snacks – but if you were flying Business class, you’d be annoyed if those things weren’t provided for the higher cost of your seat.
What consumers expect from your customer service experience is the key factor in whether they perceive your brand to be great or terrible. Do they want to be able to resolve issues on multiple channels, or do they go to one channel for specific problems? Is your average response time more important to them, or is it how many self-service options you provide that matters? Is poor customer service the main reason why they might try a competitor?
Your support teams are your front line, shaping customer experience on a day-to-day basis. They can be proactively helpful in providing customer service that’s memorable, and turn a bad customer service experience around.
Investing in great service is worth your while. Don’t lose customers and brand loyalty by failing to meet and exceed expectations – grow your business’ revenue by ensuring that your excellent service keeps customers coming back.
Examples of good customer service experiences are more often than not the result of a kind, customer-centric service agents who are good at the following things:
- Responding quickly: A customer will appreciate fast response times when they want to ask a question or highlight a problem. Research has shown that the average
- Acting on customer feedback: When a customer support agent acts on the feedback they’ve received, it shows them that their opinion mattered.
- Showing empathy: Employees that try to understand a customer’s point of view make a customer feel valued, and can turn an angry customer into a happy one.
- Maintaining customer self-service options: Sometimes customers would prefer to find their own answer to problems rather than getting in touch with your customer service center. 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 in how they connect with businesses. Your customer service teams need to be prepared to offer support through email, phone, live chat, and social media.
- Going the extra mile: When an employee is able to deliver excellent customer service beyond the customer’s expectations or adds a personal touch to the service experience, it can leave a positive impression and increase customer loyalty.
Why is delivering excellent customer service important?
There are several reasons why great customer service is important for your business. Below we list the most important ones.
Satisfied customers will spend more
According to Hubspot, 68 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for products and services from brands associated with excellent customer service. When you invest in delivering great customer service, you’re creating happy customers but also generating enough brand equity to charge a premium for your offering.
Your ROI will improve and profits will increase
Deloitte found that brands that were customer-centric were 60 percent more profitable when they were compared to companies that neglected to focus on customer experience. Your support team should be empowered to provide excellent customer service, not just for the customer’s benefit, but for your brand’s financial benefit as well.
Customers are more likely to forgive you
If you provide good customer service, you can convince customers to return, even if something didn’t go as they expected. Salesforce found that 78 percent of consumers will do business with a brand again after a mistake is made if the customer service is excellent.
Customer loyalty improves with great customer service
Microsoft says that a whopping 96 percent of customers believe customer service is vital when they’re choosing to be loyal to a brand. If you don’t provide customer service that meets expectations when dealing with an upset customer, you risk alienating them from returning to spend more. Quality service will help you to increase customer lifetime value.
A great customer experience means a higher chance of recommendations
Consumers who have a good customer service experience are more likely to recommend your brand to other people. Our own XM Institute found that consumers who rate a brand’s service as “good” are 38% more likely to recommend that company to others.
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 examples from companies that go above and beyond, as well as the customer service tips we’ve taken from their stories.
- JetBlue – Thank 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.
Good customer service takeaway: This is definitely one of those great customer examples other companies can learn from. The main 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. Keep your company at the top of your customer’s mind, with good customer care by doing small acts for more people, instead of a few large things for a lot of people. Believe it or not, it’s the simple 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 the 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 an example of excellent customer service.
Good 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. The Tesla example highlights how when it comes to quality customer service, delivery of services can be a game-changer.
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.
Good customer service takeaway: Sometimes it’s better to acknowledge a potentially bad customer experience before it arises and let your customers know you’re working to fix it. Many customers know technology doesn’t work 100 percent of the time and appreciate it when you apologise for making a mistake. In this case, also making it lighthearted helped.
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.
Good 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.
Good customer service takeaway: Millennials in particular 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 brand’s reputation and gain millennials’ trust
6. Zappos – Personally reply to every email
Zappos responds to every email it receives, even if it’s addressed 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.
Good customer service takeaway: When customers take the time to send you an email, they expect a reply. A response demonstrates that you value them as customers and care about their needs. As a bonus, Zappos also gives tours of their headquarters to show 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 fulfill customers’ needs and wishes to make the event a truly exceptional experience. From food and drinks, to swag, to even vacations and massages, our team tries to fulfill as many requests as possible. They also collect customer feedback and make changes for a better event experience, such as room temperature and providing phone chargers.
Good customer service takeaway: Today’s customers don’t just want products or services, they want unique experiences that they can’t get anywhere else. Customers 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.
Not a legal comment, but every other company listed here has some example of a customer thanking them for good customer service. I think our example would be stronger if we had something like that.
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.
Good customer service takeaway: Lily and her mother were probably not expecting the response they received from Sainsbury’s, but it made a big impact. The brand was able to take a customer suggestion and act on it immediately – and in a big way that was obvious to other people (and the media). 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.
Good 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. Once you’ve gained a customer’s trust on an international scale, they’ll be reluctant to go to a competitor and risk a negative experience.
10. Walmart – Invite customers into the company family
Walmart has a reputation for being focused on providing value to everyday 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.
Good customer service takeaway: You don’t have to wait for customers to reach out with problems to begin providing excellent customer service. 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 birthday 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.’
Good customer service takeaway: A customer’s error can be a great opportunity. Use it as a chance to go above and beyond to deliver exceptional customer service. By anticipating that John would need his charger for his laptop, employees were able to be proactive and give him customer satisfaction with their thoughtfulness and concern.
How to provide great customer service
The best way to provide a good customer service experience is to gather feedback, set metrics and take action on your overall customer experience (CX).
Why not check out our free survey template to collect feedback for customer service and contact centres? You can download it here.
With Qualtrics, you can track key metrics with a customer service benchmark report to help you to understand how your service is improving over time. Track interactions and feedback across the customer journey and customer service experience, and set action into motion to gain customer trust and loyalty.