Customer service – some see it as a necessary evil, while others view it as the key to business success. But here’s the thing: nowadays, high-quality customer service is non-negotiable. Mediocre just doesn’t cut it anymore in our digital, customer-focused world.

So, how do you take your customer service from ‘meh’ to ‘amazing’? We’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll give you 21 practical tips, tricks, and examples to truly wow your customers. Get ready to learn some game-changing strategies to turn customer service into your competitive advantage.

And with the right tools, delivering 5-star service at scale is totally doable.

With so many companies offering on-par quality and experiences, the winner is usually the one with the most excellent customer service that keeps them coming back for more.

We know this is what you want to deliver, so let’s dive in and explore 21 ways to amaze your customers, boost satisfaction, and take your business to the next level.

A graphic that shows the definition of good customer service, which is consistently fulfilling customer expectations.

What is Good Customer Service?

What exactly counts as “good” customer service these days?

The bar keeps rising, and “good enough” just doesn’t cut it anymore.

At its core, good customer service means consistently fulfilling customer expectations. It means being prompt, professional, and personal in every interaction. Things like warm greetings, accurate information, and quick responses all matter.

Personalization is also key right now, which means adjusting your messaging to suit the tone, style, and language your customer uses, as well as using their name (a whopping 72% of customers expect businesses to know their individual name and interests).

As customer expectations continue to evolve, companies must go beyond basic politeness and competence to truly stand out.

This progression introduces the concept of ‘great’ and ‘excellent’ customer service, where the boundaries between them can often seem fluid and challenging to define.

‘Great’ customer service transcends mere reactions to customer needs; it’s about proactively anticipating these needs. It involves a hyper-personalized approach, adapting to each customer’s unique journey and preferences.

‘Excellent’ customer service, on the other hand, represents an even higher standard. It’s about consistently maintaining top-notch service quality over time, fostering loyalty, and building a community around your brand. It’s a commitment to creating an experience so unique and engaging that customers feel an integral part of your business ecosystem.

In this landscape, a one-size-fits-all approach to customer service is obsolete. It’s about innovation, personalization, and a relentless drive to exceed expectations at every turn.

Good vs. Great vs. Excellent Customer Service

Let’s break down the differences between good, great, and excellent customer service with good customer service examples, so you know what this looks like in the real world.

Say you buy an item online that turns out to be faulty. If customer service simply issues a refund, that’s good service—the basic expectation is met.

How could you make this better?

Well, if the customer service team not only processed the refund but also filed an investigation into why the product wasn’t good enough and suggested a few alternative options you may like better, now we’re entering great territory.

They’re going above and beyond to be helpful.

Taking it to the next level, imagine if the team analyzed why that original item wasn’t a good fit for you based on your purchase history before the customer had even checked out.

Then, they recommend a specific alternative that’s a better match and make a note to prevent similar mismatches moving forward.

That’s excellent service—anticipating needs, personalizing recommendations, and continuously improving.

The key differences:

  • Bad customer service ignores the customer and their needs and shows no care for their experience
  • Good service reacts to issues
  • Great customer service provides guidance
  • Excellent service anticipates needs and takes proactive steps.

When it comes to providing customer service, striving for excellence means putting the customer at the heart of everything, customizing their experience, and consistently exceeding expectations.

It transforms satisfactory transactions into meaningful relationships. And in today’s digital landscape, this shift from good to excellent is a must, not just a nice bonus.

Graphic of a keyboard and five stars, representing a five star review

Why Customer Service is Important

Okay, before we actually jump into some of the ways you can actively strive to achieve outstanding customer service, let’s really break down why taking the time to provide excellent customer service is so crucial for business success.

Quite simply, 70% of a customer’s buying experience is now based on the quality of treatment the customer receives. 60% of customers now expect all their needs to be met, with 61% of customers more than happy to leave to a competitor if they have just one negative experience.

That’s right – customers expect the world, and in today’s hyper-connected world, they know that if you’re not offering what they want, there’s another company out there ready to bend over backward for them.

That said, a staggering 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases if they receive excellent customer service, with 71% of people recommending products simply based on the “great customer service they experienced.”

TLDR?

Offering consistently great customer service doesn’t just keep people around; it encourages them to spend more and even helps you grow your business.

And on top of this, there are a few other considerations to think about, including:

  • Your customer service is your direct line to clients. It’s the foundation for building real relationships and loyalty. Not just a department – it’s the backbone of your whole company.
  • To provide great customer service isn’t just a cost – it’s an investment. The secret sauce behind acquiring, satisfying, and retaining customers. When you wow clients, they don’t just stick around – they become advocates, bringing in referrals and boosting your reputation.

In fact, companies that prioritize great customer service experience 4% – 8% more revenue growth than those that don’t. They’re also better at avoiding the $75 billion that U.S. businesses lose annually from poor customer retention.

The bottom line?

Customer service is the lifeblood pumping through your organization.

It directly fuels growth and shapes your brand reputation.

Skimp on service, and you’re missing out on your best opportunity to connect with clients and stand out from the competition.

Prioritize it, and you gain a competitive edge that’s hard to match.

So don’t think of outstanding service as a “nice to have.” It’s a must-have and one of the smartest investments your business can make.

The customer experience you build today will determine your success tomorrow.

21 Ways to Deliver Great Customer Service (with Examples)

Enough theory – let’s get tactical. It’s time to put these principles into action and take your customer service to the next level!

Remember, “good” just doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to wow customers with great or even excellent customer service. But how to get there? These 21 customer service tips offer concrete strategies to make it happen.

From optimizing response times to personalizing interactions, you’ll find practical ways to improve each touchpoint and exceed expectations. Consider it your playbook for customer service success!

#1 – Always Put the Customer First

Put customers first, always.

It’s not just about meeting demands – it’s about truly understanding needs, anticipating expectations, and consistently improving their experience. Make them your true north in all decisions.

Prioritize comprehending and fulfilling their needs over everything else. The customer comes first – now and forever.

Examples

  • Bad: A store with limited product descriptions and no provision for queries or assistance.
  • Good: A store where the staff promptly answers customer queries and assists in purchases.
  • Great: An outlet where the staff not only helps with purchases but also suggests products based on customer preferences.
  • Excellent: A business that can deliver exceptional customer service informs customers proactively about suitable products, offers personalized discounts, and seeks feedback for improvements.

#2 – Use Positive Language

Words matter. Adopting a positive attitude builds trust, eases tensions, and makes customers feel confident in your brand. Even in difficult situations, ensure your customer service reps maintain an upbeat, can-do tone.

Avoid negative phrasing that could undermine the customer’s perspective.

The words for you, your customer service manager, and your customer service representative shape how people view their experience – so make them count!

Examples

  • Bad: “Unfortunately, your delivery will be delayed.”
  • Good: “Your delivery will arrive by the end of the week.”
  • Great: “We’ve prioritized your delivery to ensure it reaches you by the end of the week.”
  • Excellent: “We’ve fast-tracked your delivery to make sure it reaches you swiftly! We’ll keep you updated and are here to assist you anytime you need.”

Smiling retail employee helping a customer

#3 – Enhance Your Product Knowledge

Know your stuff inside out. Master every detail of your products and services. Comprehensive knowledge allows you to give customers accurate, relevant help. Take time to learn the ins and outs.

When your customer service team fully understands your offerings, they can have informed conversations, not just generic replies. Knowledge is power – empower your team to assist customers seamlessly.

Examples

  • Bad: Providing incorrect information about the product, which results in customer dissatisfaction.
  • Good: Offering accurate product descriptions and answering customer queries precisely.
  • Great: Guiding the customer about the best practices of using the product to achieve maximum benefit.
  • Excellent: Anticipating customer queries based on their usage and preferences and providing proactive guidance and advice, ensuring they fully utilize the product.

#4 – Be Accessible

Make it easy for customers to reach your customer service teams.

Offer multiple, convenient contact channels – phone, email, chat, social media. Meet them where they are. Seamless accessibility means no query gets left behind. Don’t make people jump through hoops to get support.

Promote all contact options clearly. Being accessible strengthens bonds and shows you’re eager to assist.

Examples

  • Bad: Only one communication channel is available, which is often unresponsive or busy.
  • Good: Providing multiple channels like phone, email, and social media for customer inquiries that are regularly monitored.
  • Great: 24×7 support available across channels and instant query acknowledgment.
  • Excellent: Omnichannel assistance, where a customer can easily switch channels without repeating information, AI-enabled chatbots for immediate assistance, and a committed team to rapidly resolve issues around the clock.

#5 – Respond Promptly

Time is of the essence today.

Respond to inquiries ASAP. Slow replies frustrate and lose customers’ trust. Set expectations, then meet or beat them. Have robust systems to monitor and respond to messages at top speed.

Show customers their time is valued by making their issues a priority. Fast, efficient service conveys respect and strengthens loyalty.

Examples

  • Bad: Responding to customer inquiries after several days.
  • Good: Acknowledging customer queries within 24 hours.
  • Great: Immediate acknowledgment of customer issues with a follow-up resolution within a few hours.
  • Excellent: Real-time interaction with customers to address issues instantly, with follow-ups to ensure customer satisfaction.

Smiling call center customer service rep

#6 – Implement a Customer-Centric Policy

Build your policies around the customer. Develop rules and processes to optimize their experience, not just operations. Show that their needs come first in all you do.

Create a culture focused on enhancing lives and strengthening loyalty through top-notch experiences. Customer-centric policies signal you care about their happiness above all else.

Examples

  • Bad: Rigid return policy with many preconditions, causing inconvenience to customers.
  • Good: Flexible return policy allowing customers to return products with ease.
  • Great: Implementing a ‘no questions asked’ return policy, instilling a sense of trust in the customer.
  • Excellent: Offering ‘easy return’ along with a proactive reach out to understand the customers’ dissatisfaction with the product, acting upon the feedback, and providing incentives for future purchases.

#7 – Personalize Your Interactions

Make every interaction feel personal. Get to know customer preferences and tailor your service accordingly. Don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. Anticipate needs, provide recommendations, and acknowledge loyalty.

Recognition and personalization build real relationships. Take service from robotic to relational with customized care.

Examples

  • Bad: Generic emails sent to all customers without addressing them by name.
  • Good: Personalized emails addressing the customer by name and mentioning past purchases.
  • Great: Customized messages based on browsing history, offering personalized product recommendations.
  • Excellent: Creating a unique customer experience where preferences, browsing history, and purchase habits are harnessed to provide personalized offers and content, seamlessly integrating with the customer’s journey.

#8 – Resolve Complaints Efficiently

Handle complaints swiftly and thoroughly. Never shy away from them or ignore them completely. There are few worse examples of poor customer service.

Slow or botched issue resolution frustrates and loses customers’ trust. Empower staff to fix problems on the spot when possible. For escalated issues, keep customers updated on timeframes and next steps. Efficiently resolving matters demonstrates you take customers seriously and value their business.

Examples

  • Bad: Ignoring or overlooking customer complaints.
  • Good: Acknowledging customer complaints and addressing them within a given time frame.
  • Great: Actively seeking customer feedback to uncover and resolve their grievances before they escalate.
  • Excellent: Proactively addressing issues by anticipating potential complaints, rapidly resolving them, and implementing preventive measures to avoid their recurrence, ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.

#9 – Empathize with Your Customers

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Genuinely listen and empathize with their perspective. Understanding their feelings allows you to provide compassionate service tailored to them.

Empathy builds trust and shows you care about more than transactions – you care about them. Share their feelings, and they’ll share their loyalty.

Examples

  • Bad: Ignoring customer emotions and handling all interactions purely transactionally.
  • Good: Expressing understanding towards customer issues and showing a willingness to help.
  • Great: Demonstrating empathy with personalized messages, providing solutions tailored to their emotional state.
  • Excellent: Continuously engaging in empathetic customer interactions, providing highly personalized experiences that comfort and delight the customer, and building a reputation as a caring, customer-focused brand.

#10 – Have a Proactive Approach

Don’t just wait for customers to ask – anticipate their needs. Address issues proactively before they become problems. Surprise and delight them with relevant offers and suggestions.

A proactive approach shows you’re committed to optimizing their good customer experience at every turn. Stay one step ahead to provide five-star service.

Examples

  • Bad: Reactive customer service, handling issues only after they arise.
  • Good: Regularly checking up on customers to ensure their needs are being met.
  • Great: Identifying potential issues based on customer patterns and addressing them preemptively.
  • Excellent: Incorporating data-driven insights to predict and address customer issues before they are even aware of them, creating a seamless and positive customer experience.

#11 – Make Use of Customer Feedback

Listen to customers and act on their feedback. Survey them for insights to improve offerings, experiences, and satisfaction. Feedback shows customers their voice matters.

Addressing pain points and enhancing strengths based on input cultivates loyalty. The customer perspective is invaluable – let it guide your business decisions.

Examples

  • Bad: Ignoring customer feedback or considering it irrelevant.
  • Good: Taking note of customer feedback and thanking them for it.
  • Great: Using customer feedback for making meaningful changes in products or services.
  • Excellent: Instituting regular feedback mechanisms, analyzing feedback for trends and patterns, employing insights to deliver superior customer experience, and informing customers about improvements made based on their feedback.

Customer holding up reward card

#12 – Reward Your Long-term Customers

Loyalty deserves recognition. Reward long-term customers for their continued business. Offer exclusive perks, discounts, and personalized gifts conveying your appreciation.

Use your good customer service skills to make them feel special and valued. Gestures validating commitment promote stronger bonds and advocacy. Show customers their loyalty is noticed and reciprocated.

Examples

  • Bad: Providing the same treatment to all customers, irrespective of their relationship length with the brand.
  • Good: Sending a ‘thank you’ note to long-term customers.
  • Great: Offering exclusive discounts or early access to new products to long-term customers.
  • Excellent: Establishing a comprehensive loyalty program, continually rewarding long-term customers with exclusive benefits, and enriching their association with the brand.

#13 – Offer Multichannel Support

Give customers options. Offer support across multiple channels – phone, email, chat, social media, online portals. Omnichannel access provides convenience.

Customers can reach you how and when they prefer. Meet them on their channel of choice. Clear communication in every interaction via their favored medium optimizes their experience.

Examples

  • Bad: Providing only one mode of communication, which may not be accessible at all times.
  • Good: Offering multiple channels like phone, email, and live chat for customers to contact.
  • Great: Ensuring real-time support on all channels with quick response times.
  • Excellent: Delivering an omnichannel customer experience, integrating all channels for seamless interaction, allowing the customer to switch channels conveniently without losing the context of the conversation.

#14 – Adapt to Customer Needs

Evolve along with customers. Stay flexible ready to adapt offerings to suit changing needs. Don’t cling to stagnant products/services when usage shifts.

Track customer journeys and respond to new preferences proactively. Meeting needs as they develop shows customers you’re paying attention and willing to change for them.

Examples

  • Bad: Insisting on strict adherence to established protocols without considering specific customer needs.
  • Good: Willing to bend some rules or adapt processes to meet individual customer needs.
  • Great: Regularly reviewing and adapting processes or services as per customer feedback and requirements.
  • Excellent: Implementing a culture of flexibility and adaptability, anticipating evolving customer needs, and staying ahead of trends to offer products and services customers need before they realize it themselves.

#15 – Train Your Team Properly

Proper training transforms staff into customer service rockstars capable of providing exceptional customer service. Ensure they know your offerings inside out. Set clear expectations for service style and tone.

Roleplay scenarios to polish communication skills. Knowledge plus etiquette instills confidence in handling inquiries. Investing in robust training enables employees to deliver consistent excellence.

Examples

  • Bad: No formal training, leading to inconsistent and inefficient customer service.
  • Good: Providing induction and basic training on products and services.
  • Great: Regular training schedules that cover product knowledge, soft skills, and customer handling etiquette.
  • Excellent: Comprehensive development programs, refresher courses, and workshops focused on continuous learning and enhancement of skills, enabling team members to excel in their roles and deliver superior customer service.

Team at work attending customer service meeting

#16 – Learn from Your Competitors

Your competitors provide an invaluable perspective. Regularly assess their customer service strengths and weaknesses. What do they do right? Where do they miss the mark? How do they deal with an upset customer? What do they define as a good customer service representative?

Use insights as inspiration to fine-tune your own strategies. Wisely leveraging competitors’ knowledge helps you improve experiences and get ahead.

Examples

  • Bad: Ignoring competitors’ strategy and customer feedback.
  • Good: Monitoring competitors and noting the differences in customer service.
  • Great: Identifying and learning from best practices in competitor customer service.
  • Excellent: Actively incorporating industry best practices, regularly analyzing competitors’ strategies and customer feedback, and employing these insights to continually improve and innovate in customer service.

#17 – Leverage Technology

Technology can elevate service when applied strategically. Automate repetitive tasks to increase efficiency. Use data insights to personalize interactions.

Enable omnichannel access through new platforms, enabling you to keep providing great customer service wherever your customers are.

However, avoid letting tech hinder human connections. Blend it with a personal touch. When it comes to a good customer service experience, tech should simplify, not complicate, the situation.

Leverage it to help customers, not replace them. The customer service role is not dead.

Examples

  • Bad: Manual processing of all requests, causing delays and inefficiencies.
  • Good: Using a CRM system to manage customer interactions and data.
  • Great: Implementing a chatbot for 24/7 support and quick issue resolution.
  • Excellent: Harnessing advanced technologies like AI and machine learning for personalized customer experiences, real-time analytics, predictive problem solving, and providing seamless omnichannel support.

#18 – Communicate Effectively

Master the art of clear communication. Avoid jargon; keep it simple and concise. Listen attentively to understand needs. Summarize issues to validate comprehension. Set proper expectations.

Make sure your customer support reps follow up to ensure satisfaction. Good communication conveys respect and value. Do it well, and customers will feel heard.

Examples

  • Bad: Confusing, unclear communication leads to misunderstandings and dissatisfaction.
  • Good: Clear direct communication, addressing customer needs.
  • Great: Regular and meaningful communication that reassures customers, keeping them informed of progress.
  • Excellent: Consistently clear, empathetic, proactive, and solution-oriented communication that makes customers feel valued, cared for, and confidently informed about their interactions with the business.

#19 – Show Appreciation to Your Customers

Never take customers for granted. Sincerely thank them for choosing your business. Send welcome messages to new patrons and appreciation notes to loyal regulars.

Offer incentives as a gesture of thanks. Show that you don’t just value their transactions but their whole relationship. Sincere shows of gratitude stick with customers.

Examples

  • Bad: Taking customer business for granted without expressing appreciation.
  • Good: Sending timely thank you messages or emails after a purchase.
  • Great: Offering exclusive promotions or discounts as tokens of appreciation.
  • Excellent: Continuously finding ways to recognize and celebrate customer milestones, like anniversaries or birthdays, creating a strong emotional connection between the customer and the brand.

#20 – Maintain High Service Consistency

Strive for excellence every time. Consistent, quality service is vital. Ensure staff provides friendly, knowledgeable support consistently across channels.

Follow up, track metrics, and refresh training to prevent lapses. High standards for every interaction, big or small, is what transforms good service into great. Don’t let it slip.

Examples

  • Bad: Inconsistent service quality, leading to unpredictable customer experience.
  • Good: Adequate service levels maintained across all customer service touchpoints.
  • Great: Regularly monitoring and improving processes to ensure consistent, good-quality service.
  • Excellent: Implementing strict quality control measures, actively seeking feedback, and refining strategies and processes to deliver an exceptional and consistent customer experience at every interaction.

#21 – Measure Your Success

What gets measured gets managed. Track key customer service metrics regularly – response times, resolution rates, CSAT, etc. Monitor social media and reviews. Analyze the data to pinpoint what’s working and what’s not.

Address weak spots, play to strengths, and improve continuously. Measurement provides invaluable insights to optimize service and exceed expectations.

Examples

  • Bad: Not monitoring any customer service metrics or feedback.
  • Good: Gathering basic customer service metrics such as response times and customer satisfaction scores.
  • Great: Regularly reviewing comprehensive metrics and using the data to make informed decisions for improvement.
  • Excellent: Continuously optimizing customer service, combining quantitative and qualitative data, and setting targets to strive for excellence in service quality.

Conclusion

There you have it – 21 tips to transform customer service from top to bottom!

Remember, exceptional experiences build real relationships. Go above and beyond through great training, communication, and empathy. Anticipate needs, customize interactions, and handle issues swiftly.

Do You Need Help Delivering Stellar Service?

To meet these goals of having satisfied customers and offering five-star service 24/7, partners like Absent Answer are invaluable. Our expert team makes every interaction feel personal, ensuring your company is represented in the very best way in every single interaction you have.

Check out what we can do for you today, or book a free consultation call here.

The future of service is yours to shape. Now get out there, put these tips into action, and create customer experiences that truly wow! With the right strategies, you’ll build a base of loyal customers that lasts and stands out from the competition.

Related articles