Exceptional Customer Service as Business Imperative
⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
According to predictions, almost 50% of companies will focus their investments on customer experience innovation. Considering businesses lose around $75 billion due to poor customer service, it’s pretty easy to conclude that customer service is more relevant than ever.
Nowadays, exceptional customer service is not a request but a demand from customers around the world. A business that wants to generate more revenue and increase customer loyalty, needs to go the extra mile to win over the hearts of their customers.
Let’s dig into the practices and qualities of exceptional customer service with examples!
What is Exceptional Customer Service?
Exceptional customer service is a deal-breaker in today’s online noise. Companies with exceptional customer service are the ones providing users with a customer experience exceeding their expectations. Moreover, those companies delight customers with genuine care and an innovative approach.
In practice, that means that customer service is no longer just a reactive department, activated only when a customer reaches out to file a complaint, no. Exceptional customer service goes beyond selling the products and services.
Rather, they think of the brand and a customer in terms of an ongoing long-term relationship, where cumulative experience is based on user preferences. They take into consideration what customers think, feel and how to solve their problems.
The internet is full of examples of bad customer service. If you want to stand out, you need to overview your customer service, and if there is an opportunity to improve your customer service, read these simple steps.
Features of Exceptional Customer Service
Chris Hurn, CEO of Fountainhead Commercial Capital claims that exceptional customer service actually never really ends. Moreover, according to him: ‘Exemplary customer service distinguishes your brand, builds repeat business, combats price competition, and even improves employee morale.’
According to Salesforce, amazing customer service is:
- Empathetic – Get your customer service agents to understand your customers, how they feel and what they need
- Timely – Timing is everything, right? Delegate tasks to right people and prioritize the requests based on time-sensitive needs
- Solution driven – Instead of focusing on problem, offer a solution!
- Generous – Going beyond what is strictly necessary or expected,can be a highly effective growth strategy.
- Unexpected – Exceptional customer service is personal and friendly. When you delight a customer with more than they expect, company is likely to have a loyal customer for life.
Learn more about your customers using the customer journey mapping and buyer persona. Create a pattern of excellent service in your small business.
How to Provide Exceptional Customer Service?
Here are some great tips on how you can stand out from the crowd and give your customers more than they expect.
No one likes to be on hold while waiting for an answer from customer service. Based on recent findings, 60% of customers find being on hold for even one minute is too long. Speed is one of the essential factors in exceptional customer service.
Companies are trying to be more available to their customers, providing faster ways of communications such as Live chat on the website, WhatsApp notifications, or with SMS marketing.
Picture 1. Customer service response times according to SuperOffice
Fix Your Customer Service Mistakes
If you take a small survey on how companies would rate their customer service, most of them will say they have good customer service. However, do companies see their mistakes when they provide customer service?
Not taking responsibility for your mistakes is a one-way road to poor reviews and a bad reputation. Transparent and accurate information is essential in business but also in customer service.
Picture 2. YouTube down notification
Always Go the Extra Mile
Going for the extra mile is always good recipe for happy customers and good customer experience.
Example: Tesla knows how to provide exceptional customer service with flexible car service. While other car brands provide service in specialized repair car centers, Tesla meets its customers 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 they can schedule it on their own time — a perfect example of exceptional customer service.
A Long-term Relationship with Customers
Keeping your customer happy will asure that they are loyal. While negative customer service impressions will result in negative reviews, loyal customers are likely to become your brand ambassadors. Loyal customers gladly spread positive word-of-mouth. There is no better promotion than one that comes from satisfied and loyal customers.
Take your relationship with customers as a long-term journey. According to author Pete Blackshaw, a satisfied customer tells at least three friends about your brand. In comparison, an anrgy customer tells 3000 people about his negative experience, bringing additional emphasis to the importance of customer relationship management.
How Important Is Exceptional Customer Service?
Customer service impact to business growth is enormous. Supporting that fact, PwC Future of CX report announced that 73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions while 65% find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising.
With these statistics in mind, the conclusion is that businesses today should be built around exceptional customer service and amazing customer experience.
Digitally advanced businesses struggle their way to win over the noisy internet space. Oftenly, brands invest much of their efforts in advertising and developing new services, forgetting the importance of customer service. However, the examples above provide genuinely excellent customer service, which helped them to build a positive reputation and high rated reviews.
Not only will brands get happy, loyal customers, they will also increase business.
Picture 3. A customer service agent
Our TOP 5 Examples of Exceptional Customer Service
The internet is full of examples of excellent customer service, but we decided to highlight our favorite cases. Here are five fantastic customer service examples.
Ritz-Carlton Takes Care of a Teddy Bear Joshie
Ritz-Carlton hotels are the five star hotel chain well known for their exceptional customer service. But this time they went for extra mile.
One hotel guest with two children had stayed at the hotel chain’s Amelia Island, Florida location and when they returned home realized they accidentally left the son’s favorite toy; a plush giraffe named Joshie. The father, who was on a business trip, later told his troubled son that Joshie had stayed back at the hotel to relax for a few more days. That evening he called the hotel and talked to the loss prevention team, and asked if they would take a photo of Joshie relaxing by the pool on a sunbed to support his story.
The Ritz-Carlton staff gladly accepted the fathers’ story and even took it a step further by putting together a cover of photos that of Joshie’s extended stay at the hotel, and he had been up to, including enjoying a relaxing massage at the spa and hooking up with some work with the loss prevention team.
Picture 4. Exceptional customer service example: Teddy bear Joshie with a bunch of activities
Sainsbury’s Takes Advice from All Customers
Three-and-a-half-year-old Lily Robinson was confused as to why Sainsbury’s tiger bread wasn’t named giraffe bread, as she thought it looked more like a giraffe than a tiger.
She wrote to the supermarket chain with her pressing questions and, to everyone’s surprise, customer representative Chris King wrote back telling Lily that was a great idea and explained the original baker named it tiger bread a very long time ago as he thought the food resembled the stripes of a tiger.
After an entertaining campaign, Sainsbury’s took to officially changing the name in all its stores and even put a small ‘thank you’ note up for the little girl.
Picture 5. Sainsbury’s thank you note
Starbucks Employee Learns Sign Language
Ibby, who is deaf, used to place his order by typing it out on his phone every day and showing it to the Starbucks staff to begin preparing it for him. However, one day when one of the baristas responded in American Sign Language and then handed him a note which said: ’I’ve been learning ASL so that you can have the same experience as everyone else.’
What an amazing gesture from the staff!
Picture 6. Starbucks staff learns ASL
Spotify Thank You Song Message
After Jelena, a Spotify user, sent the company some positive feedback, a customer service rep decided to leave her a special message on her playlist.
It was named ‘A Hidden Message’ and featured songs whose titles cleverly spelled out the message: ‘Jelena / You Are Awesome / Thanks a Lot / For These Words / It Helps Me / Impress / The Management’.
This example is a very creative way to capture your customer’s attention.
Picture 7. “Hidden Message” from Spotify sales rep
Domino’s Workers Save a Loyal Customer’s Life
Two Domino’s workers in Oregon, manager Sarah Fuller and assistant manager Jenny Seiber, marked one day that one of their regular customers, Kirk Alexander, hadn’t ordered his almost daily pizza order in over two weeks. They decided to send a delivery driver to Alexander’s home, who then reported that the lights and TV were on, but no one came to the door when he knocked.
Getting even more worried, the ladies brought it upon themselves to call 911 and report their concerns. When police arrived at Alexander’s home, they could hear him calling out for help; they broke the door down and found him in a critical condition and need for immediate medical attention.
Exceptional Customer Service as an Ongoing Process
Changing company culture isn’t an easy job but it’s worth of hard work. If you implement good customer service standards into your customer service department you will notice changes in all aspects of your business.
While a majority of customer service department believes their work ends as soon as they address a customer’s concern, other brands recognize the opportunity they have to stand out. They go the extra mile not only to resolve customer problems, but leave users with a great impression, a smile, and a story they will gladly tell their friends, family, and followers.
If your customer service team develop needed customer service skills and carry out into daily support, not only you will have a happy customer, you will become recognized as an excellent brand who cares about his customers.
Having that in mind, don’t forget to provide quality education for your customer support team. There are expertise training courses for customer service agents who can help them to provide the best service and enjoy their work.
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