There’s no denying that good customer service is important. However, many don’t realize just how crucial it can be to a business’ success. A single bad experience is enough to make half of customers switch from your company to a competitor, while on the other hand, 52% of consumers go out of their way to buy from brands to which they’re loyal.
Great customer service can therefore be the difference between losing and gaining business, loyalty and profit. However, it’s not always clear what counts as truly great service. One way to find this out is to look to the companies that are doing better than anyone else. Here are four of the best businesses for examples of customer service done right.
1. Zappos: Take your emails seriously
Emails are a huge area in which many companies fall down. When customers get in touch with you, they’re hoping for - and in many cases, expecting - a prompt response. However, 62% of businesses don’t respond to customer service emails at all, and the average response time to handle such an issue is over 12 hours.
In a Zendesk report, it was revealed that the most important aspect of good customer service is the ability to resolve issues quickly, while the most frustrating part of bad service is long wait times. Your company’s emails are therefore an essential part of great customer service, and a fantastic example of how to do this well comes from Zappos.
The company’s policy has been to read and respond to every single email, even the ones sent to the CEO. Many people have been amazed at the positive experiences they’ve had by sending out an email without expecting a response at all, only to receive one that surpasses their expectations. While not possible for many organizations, this is certainly something to aim towards.
2. Glossier: Treat customers like friends
One trend that’s emerged in customer service recently is personalization. Rather than treating customers like customers, brands are increasingly providing them with a service tailored to their individual needs. This is something that’s advanced customer relationships in 99% of cases, and had a “strong” or “extremely strong” impact in 78% of cases.
Skincare and beauty products firm Glossier has built this into its business. From the company’s beginnings, it’s always encouraged its consumers to guide its direction, such as by telling the firm what products they would be interested in. This has enabled Glossier to create a customer service experience that builds relationships and greatly impresses its users.
The company’s customer service team is called the gTeam, and their focus is on making sure every interaction their users have feels friendly and relatable as well as getting across the brand values. This means going out of their way to have more interactions with their users; they want customer service that feels like something to enjoy, not like a chore.
3. Chick-fil-A: Deliver everywhere that matters
The problem with customer service is that it doesn’t just depend on one or two things. Your employees could be as polite and friendly as it’s possible to be, but if they can’t fix a customer’s problem due to a company policy, that user is likely to still develop an extremely negative opinion of your business.
This can be seen whenever customer service is ranked. For example, Newsweek recently named Viking Cruises as the company with the best customer service in the US. The cruise firm’s score was based on a range of categories, including quality of communication, range of services and accessibility.
Chick-fil-A is the master of this. The company’s drive-thru’s consistently reach the top of customer service surveys, largely because they excel in every area. They provide a lesson in making sure no aspect of your customer service strategy is left out, as even one area that lets you down can ruin a user’s experience with your business.
4. Ritz-Carlton: Customer communication with care
When a customer comes to you with a problem, the first thing they want to know is that your company cares about their complaint. It's crucial to provide that early reassurance to build a foundation of trust and deliver the best resolution - and one company that takes this matter seriously is hospitality powerhouse Ritz-Carlton.
The firm prides itself in offering a luxury service and ensuring all of its customers' needs are met. So, when an issue does arise, the brand has a clear set of rules for staff on how to interact with the public. Key to this is the principle of customer advocacy language.
Ritz-Carlton trains its employees to communicate in a way that demonstrates the business cares about their outcome. It uses professional, crisp but friendly phrases to speak to the customer in a manner that reassures them they're concerns are being taken seriously. Ultimately, the hospitality giant has built a reputation for outstanding service by communicating in a consistent, professional but caring tone that leaves its customers happy that they've been heard.