Good customer service: 10 ways to deliver great customer service
In this comprehensive guide, we share with you important qualities and examples of good customer service — and great customer service
Published January 15, 2020
Last updated July 19, 2021
Maybe it was the barista who knew your name and just how you like your latte. Or that time you called customer support, and the agent sympathized with you, then went out of their way to fix the issue.
An excellent customer experience can change the way customers think about a company. It can also build loyalty.
A guide to the customer service resources below
Secrets to 5-star customer service
- 77 percent of customers report being more loyal to a company that offers a good customer experience if they have an issue
- 75 percent of customers are willing to spend more to buy from a company the offers good customer experiences
- 80 percent of customers will go to a competitor after just one bad experience
- Half of customers say that CX is more important to them now compared to a year ago
Great customer service means meeting customer expectations—from interacting with customers over messaging channels because they expect convenience to investing in your knowledge base because they expect to find answers on their own.
"Many businesses talk about great CX using terms like 'wow,' 'amaze,' and 'delight' when it comes to the impact they need have on customers. But there's so much bad CX out there, that to stand out, all you need to do is meet customer expectations," said Ben Motteram, CX expert and founder, CXpert.
"There's so much bad CX — to stand out, all you need to do is meet customer expectations." Ben Motteram, CX expert and founder, CXpert
Customer expectations have been rising for years, so meeting their expectations isn’t an easy task. A good place to start is by understanding what customers expect, and in 2021, that's speed, convenience, and friendliness.
The 3 important qualities of customer service
What are 3 important qualities of customer service? We surveyed 3,000 people worldwide to pinpoint this answer, and found that the 3 important qualities of customer service center around speed, convenience, and empathy.
Skills for good customer service
Here are the top customer service skills representatives need to provide good customer service.
- Empathy, our Trends Report revealed that 49 percent of customers want agents to be empathetic
- The ability to identify customer needs
- Listening and effective questioning
- Clearly and concisely presenting options and solutions
- Anticipating customer needs
- Listening to customer feedback and acting on what they tell you
- Resolving issues with speed and efficiency
- Relationship building, something as simple as addressing a customer by their name or following up on a previous issue can go a long way
- Being a cross-functional collaborator, resolving customers' issues often requires working with other agents or departments
- Customer appreciation, customers want to feel valued when they reach support
An expert reveals: What makes customer service great
Terms like good customer service and great customer service get thrown around, but what do they mean? What's the difference? Ben Motteram of CXpert weighs in.
Good customer service encompasses the seven qualities that I've mentioned in this post. Customers expect service these days to be things like friendly, empathetic, fair, and respectful of their time. For service to transcend good and become great, organizations need to exceed customer expectations. And even though these expectations are constantly rising, here's three ways you can do it that will apply to any industry.
- Number one, create an emotional connection. This can be done by using the information you have about customers. Use their first name or ask them how they found a previous purchase. Personally, I received a pleasant surprise the other day when I went into my local bank branch to withdraw some money and was wished a happy birthday by the teller when she noticed on her screen that my birthday had been just a few days before. Companies need to look at what they know about customers and then think about how that information could be used to create an emotional connection. Just be aware though that it's a fine line between creating that connection and coming off as creepy if customers feel that you've overstepped the mark and invaded their privacy.
- Number two, make it easier than the customer expects. This could be as simple as offering queue callback in your IVR so customers don't have to wait on hold, or by pre-filling out application forms with data that you already know about customers so they don't have to do it. Put yourself in your customer's shoes and look for ways that dealing with you could be easier.
- Number three, anticipate customer needs. Use what you know about customers to anticipate their future needs with you. Amazon does this really well with the algorithm that tells you that customers that bought this also bought this. But you don't have to have a fancy algorithm to look at your data and pick out what your most commonly purchased together items are and then train your frontline staff to offer both items when one is purchased, or to be aware of specific customer scenarios and then offering products or services that other customers have needed when in those scenarios. Now these will, of course, differ between industries, but some might include moving house or buying a new car, a birth or death in the family, or a stay in hospital.
The 7 qualities of good customer service
Most customers have a set of seven basic needs when they interact with an organization, according to Motteram.
- Friendliness: The most basic customer need that's associated with things like courtesy and politeness.
- Empathy: Customers need to know the organization understands and appreciates their needs and circumstances.
- Fairness: Customers must feel like they're getting adequate attention and fair and reasonable answers.
- Control: Customers want to feel like they have an influence on the outcome.
- Alternatives: Customers want choice and flexibility from customer service; they want to know there is a range of options available to satisfy them.
- Information: Customers want to know about products and services in a pertinent and time-sensitive manner; too much information and selling can be off-putting for them.
- Time: Customers’ time is valuable, and organizations need to treat it as such. For example, putting customer context at agents' fingertips, so customers don't have to wait on hold while the agent looks up the details.
Excellent customer service and reply time
Customers want fast responses. Our 2020 CX Trends report shows how fast resolutions and replies continue to be most important to customers.
- 72.5% of respondents said “they resolve my issue quickly”
- Next highest, 58.9% — “they respond quickly”
We asked, “What matters most to you when you want to resolve a customer service issue with a company?”
10 ways to deliver good customer service
- 讓客戶等待代理回應的時間減少 75%
- 處理的支援工單量多出許多 — 平均達請求數量的 5.7 倍
You really have to be able to relate to a customer to deliver a great experience. That starts with empathy.
"Many organizations raised the bar in terms of their empathy for customers during 2020—from bank loans getting frozen for customers undergoing financial hardship to insurance premiums being drastically reduced because people were in the middle of lockdown and not driving their cars enough, said Motteram. "In 2021, we will see customers expecting companies to continue to be more empathic and flexible than they’ve been in the past. Organizations need to invest in empathy training and empower agents with well-defined delegations that allow them to go outside of policies to deliver satisfactory solutions."
"In 2021, we will see customers expecting companies to continue to be more empathic and flexible than they’ve been in the past."Ben Motteram, Principal and CX Expert
- 與客戶通話沒有時間限制，只要客戶需要，Zappos 的代理可盡量配合對話溝通。Zappos 目前最長的客戶服務通話記錄為 10 小時 51 分鐘，這也是客戶服務團隊感到自豪的一大原因。
來自巴黎的智慧食物初創公司 Feed. 為客戶提供營養均衡的食品。
自從採用了 Zendesk Chat 之後，Feed. 得以透過主動式交談改善客戶支援服務。他們藉由採用主動式交談觸發程式，每天發起超過 100 筆即時交談（原先每天 10-15 筆）。每次交談都是一次銷售機會 — 共創造超過 €180,000 歐元的營收。
Feed. 的客戶支援滿意度經理 Aurore Galland 表示：「我們選擇在客戶瀏覽商店或部落格的時候與他們進行互動，以便提供目標明確的支援並即時解決客戶問題。舉例來說，如果客戶正在瀏覽有關減重方法的部落格文章，我們可以向他推薦低熱量產品。」
- 如果您可以使用客戶資料來瞭解客戶的偏好，代理就可以即時推薦相關產品。這種 1 對 1 服務可以提升客戶忠誠度並增加追加銷售的機會。
根據 Zendesk 客戶體驗趨勢報告，67% 的客戶願意付出更多以享有優質體驗。
線上服飾零售商 Stitch Fix 讓每位客戶從客戶歷程一開始就擁有完全個人化體驗：
- Stitch Fix 內部的個人造型師團隊會查看使用者個人檔案，然後提供專業建議
這種方法十分有效。Stitch Fix 創辦人兼執行長 Katrina Lake 曾在一份給投資人的聲明中表示：「整體服飾和配件市場的銷售額有段期間下降 80%，而我們在同期卻締造了 $3.72 億美元的淨營收佳績。」
事實上，現在的客戶期望獲得高度個人化的服務。根據埃森哲（Accenture）發佈的研究報告，儘管消費者通常不願分享個人資訊，仍有 83% 的消費者願意將他們的資料提供給公司，希望以此協助打造更加個人化的服務。
尤其是千禧世代和 Z 世代，他們普遍喜好可立即獲得回應的管道：
- Social media
- App 內傳訊
- 社群傳訊 app
老一輩客戶仍忠於採用電話、電子郵件和店內互動等傳統方法進行溝通，這點並不令人意外。然而，大家越來越沒耐心等候回應：51% 的受訪者希望電話在 5 分鐘內得到回應，而有 28% 的受訪者對即時交談的回應時間有同樣的期望。
客戶有時不想尋求他人幫助，在此情況下，讓客戶自行解決問題有時也是一種卓越客戶服務。69 % 的客戶希望盡可能自行解決問題，而 63 % 的客戶在遇到問題時，每次或幾乎每次都先從公司網站尋找解決方法。
現實情況有個值得注意的落差：許多公司並未利用這個機會滿足客戶需求。只有三分之一的公司提供知識庫或社群論壇，而提供社群傳訊、聊天機器人或 App 內傳訊服務的公司甚至不到三分之一。
考慮導入聊天機器人。客戶希望自行解決問題，只要 Bot 和人工智慧 (AI) 能快速有效地處理麻煩，他們也樂於使用這些工具。
8. Equip agents with tools to work more efficiently
A good customer experience and a good employee experience are like peanut butter and jelly: they're inextricably linked. So much so, companies with the most engaged employees enjoy 81 percent higher customer satisfaction, experience half the turnover of their peers, and have a decisive competitive advantage, according to a Forrester report.
Supporting your support team means equipping them with the tools and processes they need to do their jobs well. Our Trends Report found that higher-performing teams are making structural changes to workflows that better suit employees’ needs.
Businesses can eliminate friction for agents in addition to customers by:
- Arming agents with a unified workspace, so they have customer context at their fingertips and don't have to toggle between different tools to help your customers.
- Improving agents' workflows by automatically routing customers to the agent with the right skills for the task and providing agents with prepared answers, so they don't have to type out your reimbursement policy.
- Passing on repetitive requests to a bot so agents can focus on the more engaging parts of their job.
9. Empower agents to collaborate
Resolving customers' issues often requires agents to work with each other and other departments, and customers expect businesses to collaborate on their behalf. In fact, 31 percent more agents said they need tools that enable them to collaborate across teams internally this year compared to last, according to our research.
With tools like Slack and Zoom inside their workspace, agents can collaborate inside and outside the CX organization.
10. Use your analytics to improve
To keep up with customer needs, support teams need analytics software that gives them instant access to customer insights across channels in one place. This enables them to be agile because they can go beyond capturing data and focus on understanding and reacting to it, instead. Yet 40 percent of managers don’t have the right analytics tools to measure success for remote teams, according to our Trends Report.
With real-time and historical analytics built inside their CX solution, support leaders can take action on what’s happening at the moment and understand past trends. They can identify areas of development for their team and learn how customers interact with them so they can improve the overall experience.
此外，有 46% 的客戶表示，比起去年，他們今年對於與自己有業務往來的公司抱持更高的期望。