What’s the driving force of any brand? It’s delivering excellent customer service. Sure, it’s not about being courteous in every customer interaction. However, providing exceptional customer service is an integral part of every business and can significantly affect your bottom line and how your target audience views your company.
PwC reports customers will spend 16% more with brands that deliver outstanding customer service. Unfortunately, in the age of social media, bad news travels faster than good news. Many customer service stories on social media are about poor customer service experiences, and you rarely hear about brands offering exceptional customer service. Let’s look at five companies that provide excellent customer service and why they’re successful at doing what they do.
5 Companies with the Best Customer Service
Positive customer service experiences are a result of customer-centric staff who excel at:
- Responding fast. Customers appreciate quick customer support response times when they highlight a problem or ask a question.
- Acting on customer feedback. When customer service staff act on the feedback they receive from customers, it shows customers that their opinion matters.
- Being empathetic. Customer service agents who try to see things from a customer’s point of view make customers feel appreciated and valued.
- Going the extra mile. When customer service employees deliver value beyond customers’ expectations or add a personal touch to the customer service experience, it positively affects customers, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Now that you understand what excellent customer service entails, let’s dive into examples of brands offering excellent customer service in 2022.
Today, customer experience has overtaken product and price regarding brand differentiation among consumers. And this is where Apple excels. A simple web search is enough to show just how many Apple customers are happy with the company’s unique experiences. This includes replacing a smartphone for free because someone waited too long to diagnose their issue.
These unique experiences are from Apple’s five steps of customer service; the acronym for the five steps is APPLE. The fourth step, Listen for and resolve problems and concerns, encourages customer service employees to get to know customers better to provide them with higher levels of personalization and convenience.
It’s a no-brainer that convenience is vital, but so is personalization. Research shows that 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a brand that offers customized customer experiences. Also, offering tailored experiences on more channels can improve customer spending by nearly 500%.
Apple’s services focus on providing customers with a personalized experience. For example, Apple Music leverages personalization to choose the best soundtracks for every customer. Also, the brand uses customer info, including purchase and download history, to curate “Personalized Recommendations” on the iBook store and App store.
Jay Nathan notes, “it is entirely possible that a company filled with customer-centric people doesn’t feel customer-centric to its customers. How come? The processes are designed from the inside-out to make life easier for a department rather than from the customer’s point of view (outside-in).”
The Walt Disney Company is built around the belief that the “why” of your brand shouldn’t be about generating more money. Instead, it should be focused on the consumers. So, do you want to bring your customers more happiness, create magical experiences, or improve their lives?
If so, focus on providing better experiences instead of your bottom line. That’s just one of the greatest lessons you can learn from Disney about customer service.
Another thing you can learn from Disney’s customer support framework is to empower your staff to make educated decisions. Every employee in your business should understand the guidelines and standards to make decisions on their own. You don’t want your customer service agents to feel like they can’t make autonomous decisions and managers to feel like they must micromanage their direct reports.
Another way that Disney delivered excellent customer service is with its compass method. Typically, a compass has North, East, South, and West to guide people. Disney’s compass has Needs, Emotions, Stereotypes, and Wants to guide its cast members.
The brand’s service plan is focused on figuring out customer needs, tapping into customer emotions, understanding the stereotypes consumers may have about your business, and anticipating customer needs and wants.
The company’s culture is centered on understanding what its customers want and need while contextualizing that information with emotions and stereotypes. Ultimately, by incorporating this service plan into your brand, you’ll know your customers intimately and determine how to meet their needs and deliver more value. Eventually, you’ll provide better customer service experiences and improve brand loyalty and advocacy.
3. Trader Joe’s
Shopping at Trader Joe’s is unlike shopping in any other grocery store. From the bright murals to the Hawaiian shirts and the welcoming store layout, Trader Joe’s is one of a kind. Its unique approach to serving customers works because the brand regularly appears on the list for best customer service experience and satisfaction. Here are five things businesses in any industry can learn from Trader Joe’s unbeatable customer service experience:
- The company’s unique approach to grocery shopping pays off with a pool of loyal customers.
- Investing in employees creates a happy environment where employees want to help customers succeed.
- The grocery store doesn’t offer sales, reward cards, or coupons but simplifies the shopping experience so that customers know what they’re getting.
- A fun and convenient shopping experience removes the stress from shopping while also delivering great products and value.
To offer excellent customer service experiences, you must also listen to customers. At Trader Joe’s, consumers have the power. Customer service employees and other staff are more than ready to listen to customers.
For instance, when customers complained that the grocery store used too much plastic packaging, particularly in its products, the brand announced it’d start using eco-friendly packaging and stop giving out single-use plastic bags. Trader Joe’s stores have also changed their products and hours based on customer feedback.
Listening to customers and acting on their input makes a significant difference in customer service experiences and helps your customers feel heard and valued.
One of the six “Customer Service Tenets” of Amazon is anticipating consumers’ needs and treating their attention and time as sacred. In customer service, anticipating customers’ needs encompasses making an informed guess of why a customer is calling or even solving problems before contacting your brand. For instance, Amazon proactively issues refunds for video purchases, especially if it notices slow download speed.
Too many brands act like they don’t treat their customers’ “attention and time as scared.” This occurs through not answering social media posts or emails, long hold time on phone calls, and forcing consumers to go through many hoops to get a refund, make a claim, or even cancel an account. But Amazon knows that treating consumers well and valuing their time will deliver better customer experiences and improve brand advocacy from happy customers.
JetBlue might be a low-cost airline; however, that doesn’t mean their air tickets are cheap. On the contrary, the airline loves to spoil its customers with outstanding services, such as cheap cancellation and change fees, free luggage for BluePlus tickets, and in-flight complimentary snacks and entertainment. And it’s surprising how they keep their prices as low as they’re. But it’s because of the excellent customer service experiences they offer that they’re able to do so. They invest in creating memorable experiences for their customers, and in return, their customers are happy to become repeat customers.
Just like Disney, JetBlue offers its customers fun and memorable experiences. Typically, they’ve found ways to offer what their competitors don’t offer, and in doing so, they have become an airline that many people love to fly with.
Learn From Successful Brands and Put it into Practice
There are many ways to deliver positive customer experiences for your customers; the exact strategies vary from one brand to another. Yet, that’s the good thing about it. No matter your company’s current situation, there’s a way to serve customers better and provide more value.
While you should be inspired by the examples mentioned above of brands that offer excellent customer service, don’t overlook the one common motif in all their approaches: adaptability. Being able to assess the current landscape and make decisions with the resources and tools you have is crucial.
With more and more consumers demanding better and personalized customer service experiences, you only need to analyze data and find the one concrete action you can take that can help you offer better customer experiences. So, it’s time to get started; there will be many opportunities to provide streamlined, seamless, and efficient customer experiences throughout this year.
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