Companies love throwing around terms like “exceptional customer service” and “superior customer service.” But how often is it actually an accurate descriptor of most customers’ experiences? They can’t all be superior. Most are likely only providing adequate service, the bare minimum.
Above and Beyond
So, what is exceptional customer service? It’s simple. “Exceptional” means you’ve exceeded expectations. We all have a general idea of what should be expected from a customer service department. Do what they said they will do quickly, accurately, and with politeness. We expect the person on the other end of the phone call, email, or chat to be knowledgeable and friendly. Exceptional customer service is unexpected; it’s extra. It is getting more than you expect. Exceptional customer service is like what a VIP would experience at a fancy restaurant or hotel. It is above and beyond what is standard for the industry. People want to share exceptional customer service experiences with friends and family. They’re so excited about it, they want to rave. That can be hard to inspire; people are generally more likely to share bad customer service experiences than good ones.
Characteristics of Exceptional Customer Service
You know it when you see it. Problem is that different people have different standards. And standards can change over time. Common characteristics of exceptional customer service include:
- Problem solving
It is not just one person being awesome. Exceptional customer service is a team at their best going beyond what’s expected and leaving customers pleasantly surprised. An exceptional customer service rep views customers as the most important part of the company. Making customers happy is their number 1 job. They are eager to do whatever they can to make each customer’s experience outstanding. They cares about their customers and knows the product better than anyone. Great customer service reps are also great listeners. But remember that customer experience is not all about the customer service agent’s interpersonal skills. Slow systems and lack of knowledge can be just as important.
Superior Customer Service
Superior customer service means providing exceptional service all the time, with every customer, 24/7. You have to have awesome systems and rock star employees to achieve that. Exceptional customer service creates repeat customers. Superior customer service persuades them to pay extra for it.
How to Provide Exceptional Customer Service
It starts with the company culture. A positive, employee-centric environment fosters a culture where employees are well trained, empowered, and customer focused. They are rewarded for their success. People working for a company that puts employees first will consistently put the customers first. They’re happy. They enjoy their jobs and they love making customers happy. The HR department has to hire experienced, talented people, management must design and implement a strong vision and customer-focused systems, and supervisors must consistently train and manage all employees to provide exceptional customer service. Then you have to keep it going. You must maintain the systems and support and train the employees who are providing excellent customer service. Ask customers for feedback and use that feedback to identify problems and improve operations. You don’t just want satisfied customers; you want loyal customers who keep coming back and recommend your company to others. What would make you an enthusiastic, loyal customer? A group of people who genuinely care about consistently providing high-quality products and superior customer experiences. Consistent, comprehensive training is a crucial element in delivering and maintaining exceptional customer service. The easiest way to do that is with online courses from Meditec. Enroll in customer service representative training today.