Getting customer service right isn't an easy task. Here are five businesses that are doing it very well; there are lessons to be learned from each:
Netflix customer service representatives are incredibly empowered when it comes to interacting with customers. Some Netflix customer service associates will even go so far as to assume a Star Trek persona to put customers at ease. The company has learned that effective communication with customers is not always done in a purely professional manner; sometimes customers just want to have fun, even when they are reporting a problem.
WestJet Airlines recently decided to act like Santa Claus when it asked all of the passengers on one of its cross-country flights what they wanted for Christmas, and then delivered those gifts at the end of the flight.
How is this an example of good customer service? Because the airline went out of its way to listen to what its customers wanted - even though the action wasn't directly related to WestJet's services. The airline was able to connect with customers in a more intimate way. From new underwear to a large screen television, the airline made sure that its customers got exactly what they wanted and showed it was listening to every word they said.
Airlines don't have to dress up like Santa to show they care about their passengers, however. United Airlines demonstrated a commitment to excellent customer service when it made sure that Kerry Drake got to visit his mother one last time before she passed away. Drake's flight was delayed and he was sure he would miss his connecting flight and his chance to be with his mother. When he started to cry on the plane, the flight attendants took notice. They relayed the situation to the captain, who asked the captain of the connecting flight to delay his departure so Drake could make the flight.
Drake made his connection and was able to be with his mother in her final hours. It's the kind of customer service story that tugs at your heart-strings and is a great example of an airline treating its customers like people rather than commodities.
The largest online retailer in the world catches a lot of flak for some of the customer service goofs it makes, but surveys reveal Amazon has some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction around. Why? It's because the company makes positive customer experiences a priority and, every once in a while, Amazon goes above and beyond to do something wonderful. Like the time a desperate father called Amazon when he realized that his son's Christmas gift, a Playstation 3 worth around $300, had been stolen from his apartment doorstep. Amazon delivered a new Playstation 3 free of charge and made a young boy very happy on Christmas morning.
Stories about Nordstrom customer service are just short of legendary. It is hard to believe all of the stories we hear, but this one about a woman's diamond engagement ring has been confirmed by the store itself.
A female customer was horrified when she realized that the diamond from her engagement ring had fallen from its mount. She crawled around on the floor of the huge department store long enough to attract the attention of a security guard. The guard not only helped in the hunt, he recruited several other store employees as well. The team wound up sifting through the vacuum cleaner bags before finally finding the stone.
Customer service is not easy. Great customer service is even harder. But when it is done right, it is an opportunity to rise above competitors, and ultimately create loyal, happy customers.
All product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The companies referenced in this blog are not necessarily clients of Five9.
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