As examples of good customer service, we chose brands most of you will know. Although the companies are large, the principles of great company service are universal. Tailor these successes to even the smallest startup, and keep your clients coming back for more.
Surprise customers with a gift.
The little, personal touches delight customers and increase feelings of brand loyalty. Consider even the cafe where the waiter brings an extra side order such as a cookie or slice of desert. Not only will you likely tip especially well that day, but that cafe has created a more loyal customer.
Online pet supply center Chewy took gift-giving to heart. When one customer needed to return a package, Chewy asked her to send a photograph of her dog with the return. What the customer later received from Chewy both surprised and delighted her: a commissioned oil painting of her pet from Chewy. In fact, it is widely reported that Chewy provides approximately 1,000 paintings a week to its customers.
Provide self-service options.
Customers sometimes need self-service the most. That’s because when someone is new to a product, they likely have the same questions on getting started as anyone else. They can tinker and figure it out themselves or call customer service. Both options are time-consuming. A great e-commerce website needs a strong knowledge base. These self-help pages may include FAQs, instructional videos, chatbots and community assistance message boards.
The Spotify Self Help page serves as an excellent example of getting self-help right. The page opens with a familiar, search engine style input field. Following that are well-categorized topics. The solutions provided are short, succinct, and everything works great from mobile. Plus, you’ll find a community forum to get help with potentially deeper issues.
Invite customer feedback.
Inviting customer feedback serves multiple purposes. Whether you ask open-ended questions or only one to understand your Net Promoter Score, it provides an opportunity to learn your customers’ likes, dislikes, and unmet desires. Inviting customer feedback also lets your client know you value their opinion and care about their experience.
Although many companies provide loyalty rewards programs, Best Buy goes a step further. After making a purchase from its site, reward program members are requested to leave a review. Doing so awards the customers with valuable points, thus incentivizing consumers to tell the company more about their experience.
Make every customer feel special with a memorable experience.
Every one of your friends, family members, and coworkers likes to feel special in your presence. And if you can offer something so fun—so immersive—they forget about their worldly troubles at least for a while, you’re an especially fun friend to have. Your customers are no different.
Across its properties, Disney excels at making every patron feel special during their visit. It offers more than a vacation—it provides an experience. Cruise packages go beyond the usual with colorful characters, dolphin swims, and pre-and post-cruise hotel stays. Digitally interactive ride queues and photo ops with your favorite characters ensure that Disney World remains immersive at every turn. It’s no wonder that Virgin Galactic hired Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde as its first experience architect for commercial space flight.
Social listening and response is key.
Social listening at its simplest means paying attention to your social media pages. Client interactions such as responding to complaints, thanking customers for positive reviews, and paying attention to interactions overall can help customers feel special and keep them engaged. Similar to customer feedback forms, it also allows you to learn about your clients’ unmet needs. Social listening tools such as Sprout Social and Meltwater can take social listening to the next level by finding references to your business on other social media channels.
Although social listening examples abound, Wendy’s Restaurants has become renowned for taking social listening to the next level. Yes, they address customer issues. But they are famous for their fun, light-hearted approach. From feuds with other fast food chains to feigning incompetence on a computer, they hit the right note of humor without offence that keeps customers engaged. See Wendy’s Facebook Page at any time, and it’s sure to bring a smile.
Empower employees to resolve customer issues.
Isn’t it nice when one employee can assist you with nearly any issue? It’s a better experience than being asked to hold repeatedly for another representative. The same goes for in-person visits, where each employee is empowered to assist you with nearly any common issue. It requires employees trained to be confident.
Training magazine awarded Dollar General the No. 1 spot for employee training for good reason. Their training program empowers their employees both inside the store and out. That includes educational development, but also the ability to resolve issues within the store. At nearly any location, each employee will know stock placement, rapid checkout, return policy and more.
Deliver to your customer.
Home delivery is nothing new, as any pizza shop can tell you. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic expanded food delivery across the dining spectrum, from small delis to grocery store chains. Although home delivery might not seem as obvious for other industries, the public nearly always welcomes this sort of personalized service.
Tesla served as an early trendsetter in the home delivery experience for automobiles. In fact, they integrated several technologies to create a much-copied, end-to-end personalized buying experience. Self-service includes how-to videos and an opportunity to choose every aspect of your Tesla from a touch screen. From there, the customer orders with the option of home delivery for their new vehicle. This process alleviates a major pain point for people seeking a new vehicle: feeling pressured by car sales representatives.
Make your own customer service great.
Yes, the above examples of great customer service come from companies larger than your own. But part of what made them so large and long-lived is strong, innovative, customer care. The principles themselves while basic were employed in new and meaningful ways.
In closing, consider how to:
- Make your customer’s experience memorable
- Make your customer’s experience simple
- Allow for self-help when possible
- Ensure quality training for any an all employees
- Address customer pain points in new ways
- Garner and search for feedback to address other issues