In business, customer service is a crucial factor of success. The kind of service you provide is critical in the workplace. It can make or break a company. And how you deliver great customer service is just as important. This can lead to customer growth and satisfaction. It can also help companies achieve prominence and respectability.
Some of the best companies in the world are admired for their excellent customer service. In Southeast Asia, the top 50 brands for consumer experience are known for seamless, consistent delivery of customer service. This list was recently presented in Singapore. It was the result of surveys that involved 1,200 brands and over 9,000 interviews. The said report brings to the fore the value of good customer service. A must-have skill in any industry!
In this article, you'll learn how to:
So, what is good customer service? And how would you deliver excellent customer service?
Let's start with the basics: customer service is the assistance and support you provide to your customers, covering the period before, during, and after their purchase.
It's all about responding to customer queries, solving problems, and ensuring their satisfaction every step of the way.
There are various forms that customer service can take, from good old-fashioned face-to-face interactions to phone support, email correspondence, live chat, and even self-service options.
Regardless of the industry, the significance of great customer service is undeniable.
Whether it's retail, where great customer service fuels sales and builds loyalty; hospitality, where it's crucial to creating unforgettable experiences; or healthcare, where the human touch is indispensable for patient care - it's universally vital.
This isn't just hot air; 94% of consumers confirm that a positive customer service experience motivates them to stick with the same brand, and an impressive 96% of customers testify that top-notch service is fundamental to building trust.
So, what do you think makes an excellent customer service experience? When you get down to the nuts and bolts, exceptional customer service is about building trust, nurturing loyalty, and generating a positive perception of your brand.
Building on what we've just covered about what makes a great customer service experience, let's look at how to excel in customer-facing roles.
If you work with loyal customers, you need some important skills. Here's what you need to be good at customer service:
Let's dive deeper into this topic by providing excellent customer service examples. Here are a few real-world instances that showcase how to deliver great customer service:
Good customer service means treating each customer in a special way. One example of good customer service is offering personalised service catering to each customer's unique needs.
Think about a time when someone calls a customer service representative to ask if a dress is in their size.
The person answering the call doesn't just say yes or no. They look to see if the dress is in stock, check the size, and even offer to order it online with free shipping. They might also suggest other things to go with the dress that fits the person's taste.
This is a good customer service experience example because it demonstrates attentiveness, proactive assistance, and an effort to ensure customer satisfaction.
By treating the customer like this, the store goes above and beyond. This makes the customer happy and makes them want to come back to the store again.
Great customer service examples often feature a swift response to customer queries.
Imagine this: A client emails the customer service team about a computer problem. Your job is to answer fast.
You write back in just a few hours to let them know you got their message. You tell them you're working on it and when they can expect an answer.
Then, you save time. You find out the problem, update the customer, and fix it when you said you would.
This is what a good example of positive good customer service comments look like because you prioritised speedy responses and transparent communications.
By fixing problems quickly and keeping promises, you show that the company cares about its customers. This is how you act professionally and get the job done right.
Doing more than customers expect is a classic exceptional customer service example.
You want to impress customers with great service? You need to do more than they expect.
Here's an example of a good customer service situation: A hotel guest calls the front desk, asking about local places to see and eat.
You don't just give them a list. You make a special day plan just for them. It's not just a list - it's full of details like directions, phone numbers, and ideas that fit their preferences.
But you don't stop there.
You book a table at a popular local restaurant and even arrange their ride.
This is what excellent customer service looks like. To provide great customer service, the hotel staff doesn't just answer a question - they plan the whole day and care for everything.
An excellent customer service experience goes beyond what the guest expects and creates a memorable visit.
It's about delivering beyond your capabilities throughout the entire customer journey.
You build strong customer loyalty by paying attention to what the guest likes and going the extra step. And happy customers will tell others, which is what the business wants.
One of the best customer service examples involves dealing with challenging customers gracefully.
Imagine this: An upset customer complains about their meal, and they're getting angrier by the second. But you, the server, stay calm. You listen to what they don't like, and you understand why they're upset.
You tell them you're sorry, and you offer to make it right. Maybe you'll bring a new dish or take some money off the bill. You check back later to make sure they're happy now.
Providing good customer service means staying professional and calm, no matter how tough the customer is.
By really hearing what the customer says, being kind, and fixing the problem, you turn a bad customer service moment into a good one.
You want to deliver exceptional customer experience even when clients aren't happy? You need to fix complaints the right way.
Imagine this: A customer calls a phone company because their bill is wrong again.
You listen to what they say, and you understand why they're upset. You get to work right away to find out what went wrong.
You tell them exactly what you'll do to fix it, and you say when it will be done. Then, when it's fixed, you call them to make sure they're happy. You might even give them something to say sorry for the mess-up.
As a good customer service rep, you don't just fix the problem; you work with the customer, keep them in the loop, and ensure they're satisfied.
Correctly fixing complaints shows that the company cares about keeping customers happy. And that's how you keep customers returning, even when something goes wrong.
Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.
Interviewers ask this to see if you'll really work hard for customers. They want to know if you can solve problems and focus on what the customer needs. They want to hear about times when you did something special for a customer. Maybe you guessed what they needed before they asked, or you solved a tricky problem for them.
An example answer could be, "Once at my old job, a customer was upset because we ran out of something they wanted. I called other stores to find it and got it sent to our store. This made the customer happy and saved them time. They were thankful and kept coming back to our store, telling others to come too."
How do you handle difficult customers?
This question helps the interviewer see how you handle tough situations with customers. They want to know if you can stay professional, be understanding, and solve problems.
As a customer support agent, you might answer like this: "When a customer is upset, I listen without interrupting. I stay calm and remember that they're not mad at me. I try to understand how they feel and tell them I'll help. Then I look for ways to fix the problem. Ways that adhere to our rules. By doing this, I turn a poor customer service experience into a good one, making the customer happy."
Example of Resolving a Customer Complaint
Interviewers ask this to see how you fix problems and make customers happy. They want to hear about a time when you listened to a customer, understood how they felt, took charge of the problem, and fixed it in a way that made the customer happy.
You could say, "At my last job in a call center, a customer called me because something they bought wasn't working. I listened to them, let them talk about how they felt, and told them I would do all I could to help. I wrote down their complaint and told the customer service department I kept talking to the customer to let them know what was going on. I worked with the team to send them a new product and said I was really sorry for the trouble. The customer was happy with how fast we fixed the problem and told the company they were pleased."
How do you prioritise your tasks when dealing with multiple customer inquiries?
This question helps interviewers see how you plan your work, manage your time, and make sure customers get help quickly when you have many questions to answer at once.
You should tell them that you have a clear way to decide what to do first, so you can help customers quickly and well.
You might say, "When I have many customer questions at once, I first look at which ones are most urgent. Maybe they have a big problem with something they bought, or a mistake on their bill. I take care of those first. Then I help people in the order they asked, to be fair. If some questions are about the same thing, I answer them together to save time. I also use tools like FAQ lists to give fast answers. This way, I make sure I help everyone as soon as I can, so no one has to wait too long."
How do you ensure that customers feel valued and appreciated?
Interviewers ask this question to see if you know why making customers happy is important and how you can make them keep coming back. They want to know if you value offering great customer experience throughout the client's journey.
Likewise, they want to hear about ways you focus on the customer, like listening carefully, making them feel special, answering quickly, and doing more than they expect.
You could say: "To make customers feel important, I listen to what they say so I know what they need. I call them by their name and talk to them like they're the only one I'm helping. I answer them quickly and check in to show I care. Sometimes, I give them extra help or something special that fits what they like. Doing these things all the time makes them happy and want to keep coming back to us."
When answering customer service interview questions, several tips help you give strong and effective responses:
By incorporating these tips into your responses, you can effectively showcase your qualifications and suitability for the customer service position.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can provide a better customer experience.
Delivering excellent customer experience is crucial for business success. It builds strong customer relationships, drives positive referrals, and fosters loyalty.
Key skills include active listening, empathy, problem-solving, and exceeding customer expectations.
Good customer service means prompt responses, handling difficult situations gracefully, resolving complaints effectively, and making customers feel valued.
To excel in a customer service interview, be specific, use the STAR method, highlight problem-solving skills, show you can work under pressure, and demonstrate a willingness to learn. Delivering great customer service sets businesses apart and leads to long-term success.
What are some common customer service interview questions?
In customer service interviews, you might face questions about handling tough customers, managing stress, prioritising tasks, and teamwork. Employers want to know how you deal with customers and problems. They also want to see how you work with others. Being prepared for these questions will help you have a successful interview.
How can I prepare for a customer service interview?
To prepare for a customer service interview, learn about the company's products or services. Practice answering common questions and dress the right way. Share examples of good service you've given. This shows you understand the job and are ready to do well.
What are some examples of good customer service?
Good customer service means fast answers to questions or problems, knowing what customers need, going the extra step, and being polite and friendly. These actions can make an ordinary customer experience great. They also help keep customers loyal and make the company look good.
How can I improve my customer service skills?
To offer great customer service, listen actively and answer quickly. Know the products and services well. Ask for customer feedback and use it. Focusing on these things shows you want to do better. It helps you serve customers the right way.
What are some common mistakes to avoid during a customer service interview?
In a customer service interview, don't talk bad about past bosses, or show that you don't know the company. Avoid not giving examples and seeming uninterested or unprepared. Staying away from these mistakes and showing how you can serve customers makes you look good for the job.