By Steven Grady
Exceptional customer service is invaluable in today’s global marketplace. A friendly and fast response can go a long way leading to happier, more satisfied clients. Happy clients will provide repeatable business and they are more likely to recommend your product to their peers. While there’s always room for improvement, these four companies have definitely set the customer service bar high.
After an early fiasco when an Airbnb host got their home robbed, trashed, and ransacked, Airbnb has drastically rebuilt their reputation with guaranteed insurance and exceptional customer service.
The travel accommodations company has replaced a can opener — accompanied by a personal note — that was taken from a host’s house, sent a customer a Pearl Jam T-shirt to wear to a concert, and even sent a huge trophy to a frequent host. The secret to Airbnb’s customer service skill hinges on keeping tabs with social media and taking advantage of opportunities to connect with customers in a way that isn’t strictly business. They go through great lengths to make their customers feel special.
Zappos has always been known for having exceptional customer service. Zappos knows that better training leads to better customer service, which means more repeat business and positive word of mouth. All of Zappos’ contact center employees go through seven full weeks of training to ensure they are fully prepared to handle customers. Zappos employees don’t read from scripts. No pre-written scripts mean that customers get a more personal experience, and employees have to really know their stuff instead of just being able to recite lines.
Zappos has been known to do things such as ship a customer a free pair of shoes overnight in time for a wedding (after a carrier sent his order to the wrong address). They also sent a woman flowers when she ordered 6 pairs of shoes from their site while looking for something comfortable after her medical treatment. Talk about going above and beyond for great customer service!
Part of providing good customer service is responding quickly to issues. Buffer responds to at least 80% of customer emails in less than 6 hours. They also keep messages personal to make customers feel that they genuinely care.
BarkBox, a start-up that delivers boxes of pet items to subscribers every month, stays on top of the competition by giving back. While the company’s customer service gets great reviews from subscribers, it is the company’s philosophy itself that keeps customers coming back for more. Ten percent of the company’s profits are put toward animal rescue groups’ efforts, and this business walks the walk in its daily dealings too. One customer who received extra boxes due to a billing error was told to donate the items to a local shelter instead of returning them to the company. Customers appreciate a company philosophy they can get behind, and supporting the community is an easy way for businesses to increase brand awareness and connect with customers.
While each of these four companies have approaches in customer service that are unique, they all have three things in common: developing personal connections with customers, making customer service a priority instead of an afterthought, and knowing the value of a satisfied customer. Customers want to feel respected and be treated like real people. Treat your customers well and there will always be a positive return.
Want to learn more?
- Customer Service Glossary Article: What is Great Customer Service?
- Blog Post: Great Expectations (and How to Meet and Exceed them) in Today’s Customer Service
- Blog Post: 4 Tactics for Great Customer Service Responses in Mobile Gaming