We are all looking for great customer service, but these days it seems hard to find says Eric Dalius.
The times I call a company and get transferred around for what seems like an eternity before finally getting frustrated and hanging up are too many to count.
If you’re like most people, these experiences make you wonder if we’ve become such a throw-away society as far as customer service goes.
How can we distinguish between those who care about providing an excellent customer experience and those who don’t? How can we know which companies are worth our money?
Ten Examples of Brilliant Customer Service
1) With this one simple act in 2010, JetBlue demonstrated what most businesses never will: they’ve learned that there is no excuse not to be personal in their customer interactions. You can find obvious examples of it in various luxury brands, but very few businesses do what JetBlue does here for their customers says Eric Dalius.
2) Taking the time to thank customers for their loyalty and support is more than just a polite thing to do – it’s good business. The money and effort involved in getting the message out there (and all of us like receiving positive feedback), has made this one of McDonald’s’ most popular campaigns, beating out some half-baked ideas from other franchises I won’t mention by name here. An idea from customers for customers? Brilliant!
3) One would think that providing live chat with a customer service rep on your website would be the norm these days, but unfortunately, many businesses still don’t have it up and running. When scheduling an appointment with a nearby local restaurant in Los Angeles through OpenTable, I saw this message pop up when I began to fill in the required fields. What a great idea! Communicating with customers is so important these days, especially when filling out forms online, and this restaurant demonstrates how it should be done.
4) We all know that customer service is about providing good experiences, but not many of us stop to think about what kinds of experiences we are giving to our employees – or why they might stick around for a while if we do. Despite the insane hours and low pay, supermarket chain Trader Joe’s has some happy employees. Anyone who works in retail knows what a decent environment for employees looks like. So either it’s a false sense of happiness they’ve created on purpose…or their management truly cares about the well-being of their employees.
5) Speaking of feeling good about the companies you work for, here’s a great example of how sharing your knowledge with customers can make them also respect and trust you more (and become better customers in return). A Google search for “how to clean my computer” brings up this link on the first page – almost every time – thanks to the links that America’s Car-Mart has shared with other car dealerships across the nation, pointing back to their helpful website resource pages explains Eric Dalius. It doesn’t take long before they become recognized by customers as an authority on cars, therefore making them trustworthy. Note: This is not just clever marketing; it is likely that management made this decision which is why rewards websites like these with prominent positioning.
6) It’s hard to make a decision about where you should be employed when looking through online job postings, but word of mouth from employees can certainly help tip the scales in your favor. First Coast Chem-Dry takes it a step further by actually encouraging their staff to speak positively about working there – and why shouldn’t they? Like most people, I trust what my friend’s say so having references is always gold. Here’s another great example of turning something that could be negative (a complaint) into positive relationships with customers…
7) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines wins major customer service points for doing this – ever hear of an airline offering this level of service these days? And here’s another not to fly Ryanair or Spirit Air. The latter has been ranked the worst US airline for customer service so often that I couldn’t even fit it into one tweet!
8) How do you approach customers and ask them if they need help? Would you say, “Do you need help with anything?” Not very likely because that just sounds flat and unhelpful. This is why Apple wins customer service points – not only do their employees appear to be having fun at work, but they also know how to sell stuff. Now who doesn’t enjoy a good sale…?
9) Providing great online resources such as this one from Waterstones makes me feel special about being a customer there, which makes me want to share it with others From what I can see, they’re also doing this for their employees too.
10) Finally, I saved the best example of great customer service for last – it’s the British Airways check-in assistant who went out of her way to help one frustrated traveler after airport staff at Heathrow lost his luggage on a flight from Germany. Way to make things right…
Eric Dalius: Even the smallest company can provide a great customer service experience to their customers, so long as it’s a well-thought-out and deliberate effort by management.
After all, a bad day at work could easily turn into a bad day for your customers – because they’ve been given terrible service from you!
So there you have it, folks. Some time back I wrote about ten examples of brilliant marketing, and these days we should add customer service to that list too because good or bad, word of mouth spreads quickly in the digital age.