What is your definition of good customer support?
To help you define what good customer service looks like, we asked CEOs and small business owners this question for their best insights. From valuing the customer’s time to anticipating customers’ needs, there are several viewpoints that may help you establish good customer support in the future.
Here are thirteen definitions of good customer service:
- Value The Customer’s Time
- Be Able to Reach a Real Person
- Offer After-Sale Support
- Train Customer Service Reps to Connect With The Customer
- Be Collaborative, Not Contentious
- Practice Selflessness
- Promote Emotional Intelligence
- Have a Strong Follow-Up
- Practice Punctuality, Predictability, & Compassion
- Maintain a Positive Attitude
- Understand Customer Service is a Philosophy
- Assist the Company in Filling Gaps
- Anticipate Customer Needs
Value The Customer’s Time to Achieve Good Customer Support
Good customer service is of high quality but also timely. 66% of people think that valuing the consumer’s time is the most critical cornerstone of any digital customer experience. This doesn’t necessarily mean resolving customer issues as quickly as possible, though you should strive to minimize time spent solving minor problems. When you run into complex service queries that require more work to resolve, updating the customer regularly as you deal with the issue on the back-end shows you respect their time. A major frustration for customers is waiting in a long ticket queue to get their questions answered. Keep your queues as short as possible by hiring enough support staff to get to customers quickly without rushing them away before the issue is fully resolved for the sake of time.
Cliff Auerswald, All Reverse Mortgage
Provide the Ability to Reach a Real Person
In today’s world of chatbots and help databases, it can be extremely frustrating trying to get hold of a real person at a company. This can make it feel like a company is purposely avoiding its customers. Although FAQs can be useful, they should be seen as a supplementary part of customer service rather than the entire piece, since customers are inevitably going to have unique problems. I really appreciate it when companies offer an array of options to contact a real person at a company, from live chat to email to a phone call.
Chloe Brittain, Opal Transcription Services
Offer After-Sale Support
Good customer service for me is more than just ensuring that the sales process is painless and seamless. It involves a concerted effort from the seller to ensure that I enjoy the service or product long after the sale has been finalized. This can happen in multiple ways:
- A weekly call for a month to check how I (as the customer) am enjoying the product/service
- An email, after the sale where I can provide feedback on the service/product
- Discounts and bonuses specifically tailored to my needs as the customer
Mogale Modisane, ToolsGaloreHQ.com
Train Customer Service Reps to Connect With The Customer
Taking the “people first” approach is the key to good customer service. You want every interaction with customer service to be a pleasant and personalized experience. Customer service representatives should find a way to connect with the customer and find solutions quickly and efficiently. A proactive approach and good training are essential to good customer service.
Tyler Read, Personal Trainer Pioneer
Be Collaborative, Not Contentious to Provide Good Customer Support
Good customer service is collaborative, not contentious. While customer service may differ depending on the establishment, one thing is always certain: customers feel most at ease when they’re treated with familiarity and respect. Issues arise when customers are questioned, judged, or undermined for asking for help. After all, one bad experience is all it takes for people to take their business elsewhere.
The best customer support representatives know better than to broach a problem as if it were “you versus me”. Instead, they provide support through the lens of “us versus the problem”. For example: if a customer is struggling to use your software, asking them to come back when they read the instructions will turn them away. Taking them through the instructions could net you a customer for life. Put simply, collaboration is key. It’s all about showing the customer that their concerns are justified, and making it clear that you’ll do everything you can to provide a solution.
Mike Grossman, GoodHire
I firmly believe that selflessness defines good customer service. In other words, the ability and willingness to put our customers before ourselves. This is the case even if customers are being difficult and unappreciative. As a business, we aim above all to provide value to our customers. Self-centeredness will ultimately cause any business to lose its way. Only by being committed to serving customers can a business succeed.
Leanna Serras, FragranceX
Promote Emotional Intelligence
The key to good customer service is a complete understanding of customers’ needs, even when they don’t state them directly. People often need to vent their frustrations and look for someone to listen rather than robotically solve the problem at hand. With a kind voice and empathetic ear, a great customer service representative can neutralize most customer experience issues. Once the customer has expressed his or her feelings, it often becomes much easier to hone in on the problem and offer efficient solutions. People are always looking to be understood, no matter what the issue. Once you grasp that, creating space for customers to unpack their experience will leave them feeling even better than before they reached out.
Laura Berg, Kong Club
Have a Strong Follow-Up
In my experience, the companies that follow up to ask how the service was are the ones delivering the best results. They have a greater wealth of data regarding how they’re doing and won’t settle for four-star service. These companies and service reps know what to do to improve, and as long as they implement those changes, their service quality is ever-improving. You can feel it in the level of service you receive, and the fact that they value your opinion gives the experience a nice added touch.
Stewart Guss, Stewart J. Guss
Practice Punctuality, Predictability, and Compassion
Good customer service lies at the intersection of punctuality, predictability, and compassion. Whether serving a brand new customer or addressing a complaint, a business should strive to exhibit these three traits in order to build a relationship with customers. We make customer correspondence a priority because we want our customers to know that we care about their experiences. Further, we apply our approach universally to all customers and showcase our dedication to reliability such that our customers always know what to expect from our business. Good customer service is about more than the public perception of a company’s consumer relations. It’s about serving the customer’s needs with the same level of loyalty we want to evoke in our consumers.
Charles Hua, Poised
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Attitude is everything, and a positive attitude goes a long way in providing excellent customer service. The right attitude changes negative customer experiences into positive reviews. Because most consumer interactions are not face-to-face, express your attitude in your language and tone of voice. It’s easy to misinterpret the tone of a letter or email, and live chat or email can appear aloof. In a physical interaction, a person may interpret emotions using various signals such as body language and facial expression, many of which are impossible to convey online. And so, it is important to maintain a positive attitude and be extra clear in your language.
Peter Lucas, Relocate to Andorra
Understand Customer Service as a Philosophy
My definition of customer service is a company-wide philosophy about understanding the customers and their needs. It’s the act of supporting and advocating for customers in their discovery of a product or service to fully optimize their experience. Successful customer service is important for attracting new business, boosting retention, and increasing sales. It’s a fundamental yet pivotal aspect of any successful business.
Datha Santomieri, Steadily
Assist the Company in Filling Gaps
Good customer support, in my opinion, is the ability to assist the company in filling gaps in the product, offering, or service by being the most helpful and trustworthy guide for our consumers. I’m incredibly passionate about problem-solving while being compassionate and driving world-class service.
Kenny Kline, BarBend
Anticipate Customer Needs
In general, good customer support provides customers with what they need or want before they even realize they need or want it. This could include anticipating customer needs, responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner, and going above and beyond to satisfy the customer. Good customer support also creates a positive experience for the customer. It encourages them to return in the future and recommend the business to others.
To me, it’s everything about the customer. It’s the way you greet the customer and the way you listen to the customer. Additionally, it’s the way you handle complaints, the way you follow through with whatever the customer is asking for, and the way you hand-hold the customer through the buying process. The way a company treats its customer builds the company’s reputation. Be proactive, be pleasant, and go the extra mile every time. You’ll make your customers feel special, and they’ll be coming back to you.
James Scott, OzBox