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How to Deliver an Amazing Customer Experience

publication date: Jun 5, 2012
author/source: Shep Hyken, CSP




40 Tips on How to Deliver an Amazing Customer Service Experience

First, April is customer loyalty month, and I hope you are doing something special for your customers. (Learn more at www.CustomerLoyaltyMonth.com.)

If you read the last article you read a list of customer service tips that anyone can put to use immediately. This is the second half of the list of 40 quick customer service tips.

By the way, the last article actually had two lists. The first was a list of ten much desired outcomes as a result of delivering excellent customer service. The second list was the first half of the 40 tips referenced above.

An amazing customer service experience comes down to this: Sell a product or service that works and be nice to the customer about it. It's that simple. I could stop there as most people would agree with that statement. However, this is just "what it is." Not how to do it.

Understanding "what it is" becomes the starting point. Knowing and "how to do it" and actually doing it (customer service) is the execution. The result can be any one or all of the following:

1. Happier customers.
2. More loyalty, which means more sales from existing customers (frequency of purchases).
3. Higher sales per transaction (higher average sale).
4. Word of mouth referrals from happy customers (your evangelists).
5. Happier employees (a customer service focused company usually is also employee focused).
6. Lower employee turn-over (employees are happier - more fulfilled - and don't leave).
7. Price becomes less relevant.
8. Set you ahead of competitors who may have similar (or even better) products, but offer less service.
9. Reputation - People want to buy from you and people want to work for you.
10. Profit - More money to the bottom line.

And who wouldn't want those results?

So, how to deliver amazing customer service? Well, I've written a number of books and hundreds of articles, this being yet another. I compiled a list of short tips that will help just about any company deliver amazing customer service. Here are 20 of them...

Twenty Quick Tips to Deliver a Better Customer Service Experience

1. Manage first impressions. They set the tone.
2. Manage last impressions. They create "lasting" impressions.
3. Show up on time. Being late is a sign of disrespect to the people waiting.
4. Always do your best.
5. Smile. It's better than a frown or an expression of apathy.
6. Be accountable. Don't blame others and accept responsibility.
7. If a problem comes your way, you own it, even if it is not your department.
8. Even if you own the problem (see # 7), and you do have to pass it on to someone else, circle back with the customer to make sure it has been resolved.
9. Show up early.
10. Stay late.
11. Do more than is expected.
12. Under promise and over deliver.
13. Be proactive.
14. Build rapport.
15. Aim for perfection, even if it is not a reality.
16. If there is a problem, respond quickly.
17. Return calls quickly.
18. Act like you care.
19. Be enthusiastic.
20. Always say, "thank you."

So, there you have it. Twenty quick tips. Circle the ones you like. (I won't be offended if you only choose four or five out of the twenty.) Take them to your team and discuss them. My suggestion is to focus on one tip at a time. Introduce it at a weekly meeting and spend a few minutes discussing it. Then, make it a theme for the week.

Finally, I want to emphasize that delivering "Amazing" customer service is simply being better than average - all of the time. Anyone can be better than average once in a while. The best people and organizations are consistently better than average. So, get out there and be better than average. Be amazing!


This list has a number of "do's," as well as a number of "don't do's." Even though the list starts with the number 1, it is actually 21. Here you go:

  1. Leave personal problems at home.
  2. If you have to transfer a customer to another person, make sure it's the right person.
  3. If you have to transfer a customer to another person, make sure they are there.
  4. Treat your colleagues at work the way you know the customer should be treated.
  5. Pretend the customer is a member and make them know they are special, and doing business with a place that is special.
  6. Customer loyalty is about the next time - every time. What are you doing now to make sure the customer comes back next time?
  7. Customer loyalty is great. Partnership is even better. How can you be your customer's partner?
  8. When it comes to customer service, you can be a leader. Set the example and show your colleagues what great customer service is all about.
  9. The customer is not always right, but they are always the customer. Always treat them with respect, even if they are wrong.
  10. It's okay to disagree as long as you aren't disagreeable.
  11. Sometimes you have to say, "No." When you do, be polite and do it with tact and respect.
  12. Don't make business personal. Usually, customers are mad at a situation or the company, not at you personally. You have the power to make it better or worse based on how you respond.
  13. If you don't have an answer, admit it. Then go find the answer and report back. Don't make something up because it sounds right.
  14. Avoid using company or industry jargon or acronyms that the customer might not be familiar with.
  15. Never lie.
  16. Recognize your awesome responsibility. At any time, to the customer you are dealing with, you are the company; the name, brand, reputation, etc.
  17. Don't copy someone else's customer service strategy. Then you are just the same. Take what someone else has done and make it better - make it your own.
  18. Answer the phone within three rings. Two is better.
  19. Avoid putting people on hold for more than 30 seconds. It seems like a lot longer.
  20. Don't offer new customers something you wouldn't offer your loyal customers. (Or at least something of comparable value.)

BONUS: Always say, "thank you." (I ended the last list with this one. Worth repeating!)

These tips may be simple, but they are powerful. And, as simple as they seem in theory, practical application may be more difficult. The key is to apply these (and any other ideas you may want to add to the list) on a consistent basis. The best companies aren't great some of the time. They are great all of the time. That's customer amazement. And, another reminder... Being amazing is simply being better than average - all of the time. So, be amazing!


publication date: May 17, 2012


Shep Hyken, CSP is a professional speaker and author who helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For more information on Shep's speaking programs, books, and other learning products, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: shep@hyken.com Web: www.hyken.com. For information on customer service training, go to www.TheCustomerFocus.com.


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