It’s no surprise that customer experience is a high.

Research by American Express found that 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.

While recently, the Temkin Group published a study and found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within 3 years of investing in customer experience.

That’s a 70% increase in revenue within 36 months!

Put simply:

Companies who successfully implement a customer experience strategy achieve higher customer satisfaction rates, reduced customer churn and increased revenues.

Great customer service is essential for business. In fact, consumers are willing to spend 17 percent more with companies that deliver excellent 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 bad customer service experiences, and consequently, you don’t always hear about companies who are doing it right.

To help you inspire you to improve the quality of customer service, we’ve gathered some of our favorite stories online and share our thoughts on what makes good customer service.

5 customer service examples that provide great service

Here are five ways to stand out from the crowd to help you deliver excellent customer service.

Let’s get started!

1. Respond Quickly

One of the biggest factors in good customer service is speed, especially when a client is requesting something that is time sensitive.

Several years ago, STELLA Service conducted a response time report and found that the average email response time for the top 100 Internet companies was 17 hours. Today, it’s not much better as own customer service study found that the average response time is 12 hours.

Average email reply time top 100 retailers

While Frost reported that 41% of consumers surveyed listed being put on hold as their biggest frustration. Make sure you don’t leave customers waiting.

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 excellent 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 you in a 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.

Customer Service

2. Know your Customers

Great interactions begin with knowing your customers wants and needs. Customers love personalization. Get to know your customers, remember their names and previous conversations. If needed, make a note of what was discussed previously so you can refer to it the next time you meet.

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.

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 headquarters tours to give their loyal fans a taste of what goes on behind-the-scenes.

zapppos CEO responds on twitter customer service

3. Fix your Mistakes

Not taking responsibility for your mistakes is a sure fire way to getting a bad reputation. Transparency is important in business and customer service is no different. Always strive for a high quality output as it shows you have a high level of standards.

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.

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– Respond to customer service complaints before they happen

4. Make an Extra Effort

Going the extra mile will not only result in an indebted and happy customer, it can also go a long way in terms of keeping yourself on their radar for future business.

Sainsbury’s –  ‘tiger bread was called tiger bread and not giraffe bread?’

A three year old named Lily Robinson wrote a letter to Sainsbury’s, a UK grocery store, a letter asking why ‘tiger bread was called tiger bread and not giraffe bread?’. To Lily’s surprise, Chris King, the customer service manager of Sainsbury’s responded with “I think renaming it to giraffe bread is a brilliant idea!”. Several months later, the bread was renamed to giraffe bread.

Sainsbury's Giraffe cake

5. Think Long Term

Think long term when dealing with customers. By keeping customers happy, they will be loyal and through word of mouth, will do the marketing for you. In fact, according to author Pete Blackshaw, a satisfied customer tells at least three friends (whereas an angry customer tells 3,000!)

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 team delivered a Starbucks venti mocha to his seat on the plane. Brown was elated and raved about JetBlue on Twitter.

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 customers.

JetBlue– Thank frequent customers with small gestures

How we do things!

B2B research can be a bumpy road

As compared to B2C research, B2B research can be more difficult to conduct. It might be hard to get in touch with our target customers and users. 

This is why the Sherlock Holmes approach is without doubt our way forward in acquiring as much information as possible about our target customers from different sources. Spice up customer interviews with a greater understanding of trends in your target market, competitors and desk research to paint yourself a better picture of your end users.

Needless to say, before we conduct any customer research, we establish what problem we are solving, who we are solving it for, and have a product idea. We try to be as specific as possible on both the idea and the ideal customer. 

Use the template below for stating your product vision:

Sherlock Holmes approach

From an early stage, we try to describe the problem we want to solve, the assumptions we have about the problems and sketch out our customer persona. We stay aware of potential competitors too.

Continuous Health Monitoring

A new term, customer health, is all about monitoring the customer relationship to ensure it remains in a vibrant state. Because not all businesses are receptive to proactive support or additional conversations, the concept of customer health has evolved because it allows a business to further understand the impact of their interactions.

Rather than spending time and money on proactive communication campaigns with customers that already love us or don’t want to be contacted, customer health analyses the information already present in past communications. This deep dive into existing data provides valuable insights into what customers have problems and what we need to do to diagnose these issues so you can get the relationship back on the right track.

Because each industry is unique, it’s important to choose an appropriate way to monitor customer health

We here at PurpleRain use the RAG (Red, Amber, and Green) status. What is RAG Status you ask?

In project management, RAG is an acronym that stands for Red, Amber, Green and relates to project status. But this method can be adapted in monitoring customer health as well, you just need to make up your own definitions and tolerances for what makes a customer ‘Red’ since we had these already, we just work within those boundaries. If you are setting up RAG for your customer then think about what you want the statuses to mean for you.

In fact, you can make up whatever categorization makes sense for your customer. However, everyone agrees that Green means things are going to plan – it’s only Red and Amber that you’ll have to define yourself or use one of the many examples online.

Advocate Customers

We try to develop and deliver helpful, user-focused resources that will address our customers’ pain points with our product, but also larger issues in their day-to-day jobs. Educational content plays a vital role in retaining customers. 

We believe we can help our customers be successful, they’ll accomplish amazing things using your product. And if our customers depend on our product to achieve their goals, they will stay customers for a long time.

We customize what content they see based on specific interests they’ve expressed, that way they see more value in our programs—and our overall engagement grows.

Prioritize feature requests

We frequently ask customers for feedback, that makes them feel heard. We inviting customers to have an impact on our company and product that makes them feel closer to our brand. Continuously asking customers for their feedback and showing them how their insights influence our decision-making makes us seem like true partners in their success. It also helps us to better understand how customers feel about our offerings.

To garner the most customer feedback, we make your requests fun, easy, and clear, and embed them into as many experiences and touchpoints as possible. We have made it a habit to regularly ask for feedback on:

  • Our product roadmap and features.
  • Their experience with your team and engagement programs.
  • Our content and marketing strategy.

Customers who give the most in-depth feedback are likely to be our greatest potential advocates.

We understand customer feedback and update product managers to provide them the best features and product updates.

Conclusion

A business should be framed around how to address excellent customer service. It’s easy to forget its importance when one is building their brand’s web presence and marketing their website. But, these five examples above and our own experience with customer service provides a raw insight into the topic.

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Anushka Pandey
Anushka Pandey