When it comes to customer service, some people go above and beyond.
Chances are, you can recall a time you were served by someone who fits this description. However, with good customer service skills needed in a wide variety of industries, knowing how to show off your own attributes isn’t always easy. Especially when it comes to covering them on your CV.
We’ve already given some of our top tips for answering customer service interview questions, but here are some good customer service examples to help get you started:
Good customer service examples
Turning a negative into a positive
One of the most common interview questions that comes up is ‘tell me about a time you had to deal with a difficult situation’. And chances are, if you work in a customer facing role, you’ll have an abundance of examples.
Turning a complaint into a positive experience is a great way to demonstrate your customer service skills. Not to mention defuse a potentially uncomfortable incident, and keep a customer from losing faith in your company completely.
Examples of this could include offering a refund, a free meal, or a discounted rate for your service. But it doesn’t have to be financially motivated.
It really comes down to listening to why the customer is unhappy, and doing everything you can to turn the situation around. Which could just require some more work to properly identify their needs.
Amazon are big believers in this philosophy, with CEO Jeff Bezos admitting: ‘we’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed’. For them that means refunding or replacing lost packages, or just taking a customer’s number to call them back when dealing with an issue.
These examples (and many more) go a long way to explaining their brand’s reputation.
The best staff members don’t wait for a difficult customer to show off their skills. They take the lead themselves.
It could be creating videos and FAQs based on common pain points for your product. It could be doing some research on a client before meeting with them, to ensure your pitch is perfectly tailored to suit their needs.
Whatever path you choose, taking the initiative to help improve your service will always resonate with your customers.
One great example of this proactive approach was shown by the Cast Members at Walt Disney World. When they noticed many guests visiting their theme parks were having trouble with their sunglasses or glasses breaking, they took the initiative to create their own care kit.
This meant they could offer to fix glasses themselves, at no additional cost. It wasn’t requested by management, however, it was a great way to show their guests that they really care, can understand (and fix) common problems that could come up, and help set their service apart.
Some of the biggest customer service complaints come down to a lack of clarity.
While it may not be possible to keep your customers in the loop with every stage of your service, simply updating them as and when you can will pay huge dividends.
A great customer service example in this category is giving someone a clear timeline of when you’ll expect to respond to their enquiry (and actually sticking to it).
Another example could be to keep your customers informed when you make a change. That way, it won’t be quite so jarring when they make their next visit, and you’ll also demonstrate you truly value their custom.
Spotify is great at transparency. They have social media accounts specifically set up to help their customers (@SpotifyCares), and another to update on the current status of the app (@SpotifyStatus). Both respond in minutes, and give people somewhere to turn if they have any issues.
No matter how good your service is, there will always be times things don’t quite go to plan.
Whether it’s bringing out the wrong order to a diner due to a communication breakdown, releasing a product update with some major bugs, or just providing a poor customer experience in general, no company will ever get things right all the time.
The important thing is how you respond to the situation. In other words, you have to own it.
Lots of brands have done this effectively – such as KFC, who responded to a chicken shortage at their stores with a frank and humorous ad campaign. However, getting the tone right can be tricky – and many other organisations have attempted the same strategy, only to come across disingenuous.
On an individual level, it all comes down to being honest and accountable. Admit to the fault, take the blame (rather than placing in on someone else), and offer a solution.
That way, you’re not only taking ownership. You’re also turning the situation into a positive.
Random acts of kindness
One great way to show loyal customers you care is by offering up random acts of kindness.
These don’t have to be grand gestures. Instead, it’s another chance to really listen to what your audience wants, and provide a nice little surprise to help brighten their day.
A great example of this approach was shown by Sainsbury’s, who responded to a little boy’s request to change the name of their tiger bread to giraffe bread by temporarily making the change (and providing him with a voucher to spend in store).
Lego also do this well. They will sometimes send out replacement figures (and extras) if a child loses their own, helping to surprise and delight their customers.
People have had products replaced, or forgotten ones shipped back to them, and some companies have even set up whole teams to reward loyal customers by buying and sending gifts.
But at the most basic level, simply offering a little additional extra from your service can make a difference. Whether it’s a free drink on someone’s anniversary, a seating upgrade to a deserving customer, or just offering a discount for no other reason than to brighten someone’s day.
If it keeps them coming back, it will always be worth it.
More customer service examples
Some other examples of great customer service include:
- Remembering someone’s regular order as a barista
- Sending out a survey after making a product change, to see what your customers really think
- Staying beyond your shift to help deal with a customer’s enquiry
- Phoning other stores to check stock levels and make reservations
- Knowing your product inside-out, so you can tailor your service and recommendations to your customers’ needs
- Asking other members of your team to help with a request, if you can’t answer it yourself
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