How do you define great customer service?

What makes great customer service?

The customer is always right as the old saying goes, and in today’s competitive world there is less margin for error than ever before if you want to retain your customers. Whatever your industry, the chances are your prospective and existing customers have plenty of choices when selecting a supplier and what is more with information at their fingertips in the form of the Internet, they are more than aware of what their options are! Customer expectations are high so we have to deliver a great product experience, a great buyer experience, and a great after-sales experience.

Here are six ideas to consider when looking to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Listen to build trust

Buyers want to feel in control during the decision making process and to exercise an element of choice. Today’s salesperson’s job isn’t to sell it is to listen, ask relevant questions and add some value that potentially solves a problem.

Establishing trust doesn’t stop with the sales team, it underpins all of your customer interactions. It is crucial to ensure that your employees show empathy by putting themselves in the customer’s shoes. When resolving a difficult issue it helps to slow down and allow them vent any frustrations they have.

Feedback, both positive and negative is invaluable in the quest to improve your customer service. Customer comments on social media and responses to feedback surveys provide invaluable insight into your customers’ experience and gives you the opportunity to train staff and refine your processes. It is also important to listen to the views of those on the front line of customer service as they often have a strong sense of what customers really need and want

Call Recording, included in Universe

Be proactive

Businesses who make the first move to help customers are offering proactive customer service. Whilst a reactive approach to answering customer questions might satisfy the customer it won’t delight or surprise them. Alerting your customer to a problem before they call in to complain is a great example of proactive customer care. If you tell them what you are doing, perhaps offer a discount, and give them a point of contact for the issue you will have opened communications with them before they’ve had the chance to get annoyed. It is also worth giving customers easy access to content that answers common questions – an FAQ page on your website is perfect for this.

Offering a Live Chat option on your website and using an Interactive Voice Response on your phone system are proactive actions. Live Chat enables you to positively interact with visitors to your website and an IVR ensures that callers never get an engaged tone and to get through to the right department first time.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response), included in Universe


Humans are being removed from manual tasks and customers are becoming more and more accustomed to automation, but this does not mean that the personal element should be removed from business altogether. If your customer service agents are interacting on social media or via SMS they should view this as an opportunity to establish a human presence. People still do business with people and by introducing themselves and demonstrating empathy, as well as personalizing emails, they will help create the impression of a caring individual who wants the best for their customers.

Timing is everything

In today’s always-on culture responding in a timely manner is crucial. Your customers expect messages on social media channels and chat to be answered in real-time. It is really important that staff are trained to switch to a more appropriate channel if an email or chat interaction is taking too long or becoming too complex. And let’s not forget that the phone is still the number one tool when it comes to resolving an issue in a timely way.

Engage your staff

Of course customer service staff should be confident and informative when communicating with customers, but companies who want to really delight their existing and prospective clients hire and train customer focused individuals throughout the organisation. If you make the customer central to everything you and embed this in your company culture you ensure that every interaction with your company will be a positive one and cement your brand image.

It is essential that customer service agents should be well-trained and confident when communicating with customers and they should be adept at speaking in everyday language rather than confusing them with highly technical terms.. Great customer service should extend beyond the realms of the customer service department and should be embedded in the company culture. If you hire and train customer focused individuals throughout your organisation then every interaction that anyone has with you will be a positive one and instill confidence is existing and prospective customers.

Give something extra

If you want to truly delight your customers you need to give something more than is strictly expected. Examples of this could be making a follow-up call after closing a deal or a customer service case or providing detailed tracking information on an order, or offering discounts and rewards for customer loyalty. It could even be something as simple as taking the time to thank a customer for their business and to check that all is well with the product or service they are taking from you.

In short, great customer service builds your brand, garners repeat business and even boosts employee morale. A happy customer is a loyal customer and exceeding expectations by going above and beyond is key to offering the very best.

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