The world is changing. Five-star customer service is no longer a “nice-to-have.” Today’s most successful companies are investing in providing an exceptional customer experience that goes beyond simply answering questions or solving problems. They strive to deliver world class customer service!
If you feel your customers deserve more than just a “service” and want to give them a memorable experience every time they interact with you, these tips will help you succeed!
What is world class customer service?
World class customer service isn’t just about how front-line staff interact with customers. It’s about the business as a whole. It’s about leadership being aware of what your customers want and what you’re doing to deliver those needs.
The definition of world class service support is open to interpretation. But if you look at successful organizations such as Zappos and Disney, world class customer service means that customers feel like they’re cared for and their needs are important. It’s not just about delivering the bare minimum – it’s about going above and beyond your customer’s expectations.
These companies strive to offer more than expected, whether through skilled workers, customer incentives, or advanced technology.
What does world-class customer service mean for business?
Customers want to feel like they’re important and that you truly care about them. When it comes to your customers, there’s no such thing as a small problem. If users complain on social media or, while speaking to your support team, make sure their feedback is heard regardless of the issue. Your customers should be able to contact representatives quickly whenever they need assistance and receive fast resolutions.
A business only gets one shot to make an excellent first impression. The good news is, your customers want you to succeed, and they’re willing to help.
By striving for excellence in every interaction with their customers, businesses can receive helpful feedback from ready-to-assist customers!
So how do you achieve world class customer service?
Key elements of world class customer service
In order to meet a high standard of quality, you must be aware of your customers’ needs and what it takes to delight them.
This requires a thorough understanding of their goals and their relationship with your organization. Unexpected extras will go a long way in making sure your customers remain loyal!
You’re only as good as the people who work for you! All employees must be up-to-date on industry news because this will help them address customer issues faster and more accurately.
By listening to your customers, you can discover what you’re doing right and where improvements are needed. You can also use satisfaction surveys to measure the quality of your interactions with your customers. This information will help you set future goals!
Make every customer feel like a VIP! No matter their issue, your customers want to feel like they’re important. That’s why it’s critical that you express gratitude or offer a personalized apology for mistakes. If you show you care about the customer and what they think, they’ll feel respected and valued!
With these points in mind, remember – no business is too big or too small to provide world class customer service. Businesses can become industry leaders by putting their customers first and going beyond their expectations with excellent support!
World class customer service examples
A world class customer service satisfies the customer’s needs in every way possible. It includes planning for contingencies, being open with information, being knowledgeable of products, being accessible to customers, and striving to be the best in the field.
Let’s look at a few examples of world-class customer service strategies:
#1 Google’s Home Support phone system
It allows for remote assistance via remote troubleshooting or advice from a live support person, which is available 24/7, 365 days a year with no long-distance charges
#2 Amazon Prime package delivery services
They guarantee their high standards of customer service by providing fast service around the clock. They also offer free returns and refunds to ensure customer satisfaction and easy exchanges and refunds.
#3 Starbucks customer loyalty rewards program
Their mission is to fulfill their promises to customers, including serving exceptional coffee, becoming a rewarding place to work, and giving back to the community.
What do all of these world class customer service companies have in common?
They all strive to provide great customer experiences, and they also go to great lengths to ensure these experiences. These businesses invest time and resources to train their employees to provide excellent customer service. As a result, they have a loyal customer base and customers who continue to love their service.
Secrets to providing world class customer service
#1 Be knowledgeable in all aspects of your business
Customer-facing employees should know how to answer questions about any products they sell, company policies, and customer service-related issues.
To ensure all staff members are knowledgeable in all aspects of the business, companies can hold regular meetings so everyone is always up to date. Companies should also invest in proper staff training because it not only shows that you care but also ensures that customers receive satisfactory answers to their questions.
#2 Be willing to bend the rules, just a little bit
World-class customer service providers go the extra mile to ensure that their customers are happy. This could mean bending the rules just a little!
For example, if your business does not accept returns, but one of your customers is in a tough situation, go the extra mile and give them another chance. Sometimes providing excellent customer service means bending the rules just a little to ensure that you keep their business or even turn them into an advocate for your company.
No matter how well you plan for contingencies, there will always be issues that arise unexpectedly. It’s important that businesses create room in their budgets for unforeseen costs. If your company cannot afford changes or unexpected expenses, these constraints may result in poor customer service.
Customers will sometimes have unreasonable expectations. If you’re unable to meet their expectations, be willing to bend the rules ever so slightly by offering them something of value (e.g., 10% off future purchases) or additional services.
#3 Listen to what the customer is telling you
When it comes to providing world class customer service, listening is just as important as talking. You have to actively listen and be fully engaged in the conversation with your customers. Even if their complaints are unreasonable, it’s important not to dismiss them without first understanding why they’re upset.
Active listening is the first step to identifying the problem, which allows you to solve their issues or at least offer them a satisfactory solution. Collecting customer feedback is also important and can be done via surveys, phone calls, and online reviews. These types of insights can be very valuable to the overall performance of the business.
Making assumptions about your customers is one of the main reasons companies fail to provide exemplary customer service. Assumptions range from simple (e.g., customers are too busy to reply) to more complex situations (e.g., they don’t read emails). Making assumptions instead of asking questions can result in lost sales. That’s why carefully listening and asking questions is so important.
Here is an audio tutorial covering 20+ effective probing questions you can ask your customers. Take a look!
#4 Be proactive, not reactive
Managing expectations in advance can help avoid unnecessary stress for both companies and customers alike. Making sure that your customer knows what to expect when they contact your company is a good way to manage expectations. It also gives customers confidence in your company because you’re making it clear from the start what they can expect from you.
Being proactive means going beyond the basic customer service-related issues and offering ways to enhance your customer’s experience. For example, if a customer is required to pick up a product from a store because it was ordered online, send them an email with direct links to easily find their way around without asking for directions or having to call ahead.
If you’re staffing someone at the front counter, make sure that they are not only available for customers who need help but actually engaging customers waiting in line.
Don’t wait until something goes wrong. It’s important that companies take action before anything goes wrong. Good businesses keep track of data like sales figures, inventory information, etc., to make sure their performance is as efficient as possible to avoid any unnecessary problems.
In addition, following up on orders and services ensures that customers are satisfied with what they purchased from your company. It also gives companies a better idea of how to improve their products or services to gain a bigger share of the market.
#5 Turn complaints into opportunities
Don’t ignore customer complaints. Turn them into positive experiences for both yourself and the customer by learning from mistakes and making changes based on what was said.
Negative feedback is a part of growth and is necessary to make changes for the future. The more feedback a company gets, the more ways they have of improving their current service.
A complaint is an opportunity to make a change. When customers complain, they’re actually giving you a chance to make it right and gain their trust back.
Delivering world class customer service
Now that you know why customers are important and how you can provide excellent customer service, it’s time to put this knowledge into action.
What many businesses don’t seem to understand is that customers are the ones who provide you with your most important resource. They buy your products and pay for services!
Your job is to be sure customers always feel welcome, appreciated, and well taken care of. If you do, they will return and recommend you to others!