10 Ways to Deliver Consistently Great Customer Service - Help Scout (2023)

You may have a fantastic product, but if your customer service is unhelpful, unreliable, or just plain hard to get in touch with, folks will hear about it, and you’ll lose customers over it.

That's one big reason why investing in customer service is key to long-term business success.

But what does it mean to provide great customer service, and how can you ensure that every customer has a great experience with your company when they reach out for help? We’ve identified several ways to put your customer service at the top of the game in your industry.

What is great customer service?

Great customer service means following best practices like valuing customers' time, having a pleasant attitude, and providing knowledgeable and resourceful resources, but that you also take things a step further to exceed — rather than just meet — expectations.

10 ways to deliver great customer service

You can use many different methods — and the built-in features of customer service software, shared inbox tools, and help desk software — to delight your customers and have them raving about your support to their friends.

Here are our 10 best ways to deliver great customer service.

The right customer support tool for you

Are you in the market for a new customer support tool, but don't know where to start? Download our free buyer's guide to choosing the right customer support tool

10 Ways to Deliver Consistently Great Customer Service - Help Scout (1)

10 Ways to Deliver Consistently Great Customer Service - Help Scout (2)

1. Know your product

As a customer support agent, you spend all day troubleshooting for customers, and that means you need to be a product expert.

Expansive knowledge of your product is an essential customer service skill. Ideally, you should believe in your product, be able to discuss features and use cases in an insightful way, and show your customers how the product can benefit them — not to mention troubleshoot anything that’s not working right!

Your job is to help your customers get the most out of their purchase and feel like they have gotten true value for their money. Make it your goal to learn everything there is to know about your product so you can amaze your customers with timely recommendations for using new features and services.

2. 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 customer experiences,” says Flavio Martins, VP of Operations and Customer Service at DigiCert, Inc. Since most customer interactions are not face-to-face, your attitude should be reflected in your language and tone of voice.

It’s easy to misinterpret the tone of written communication, and email or live chat can come across as cold. The brain uses multiple signals to interpret someone else’s emotional tone, including body language and facial expression, many of which are absent online.

Don’t be afraid to use emojis to convey warmth and good humor, or pick up the phone if you find an email or chat conversation getting tense.

3. Creatively problem-solve

Over 80% of customers have churned because they experienced bad customer service. That’s why you must thrive on solving problems for your customers and make it a central part of your support role — and there will always be problems to solve.

Everyone has heard of the legendary customer service at Zappos. For example, they once sent a best man free shoes the night before the wedding after his order was sent to the wrong location due to a mistake by the delivery company. Zappos solved a problem and exemplified excellent customer service — they won a customer for life and gave the man a story that he couldn’t wait to share.

Don’t be afraid to wow your customers as you seek to problem-solve for them. You could just fix the issue and be on your way, but by creatively meeting their needs in ways that go above and beyond, you’ll create customers that are committed to you and your product.

4. Respond quickly

66% of people believe that valuing their time is the most important thing in any online customer experience. Resolving customer queries as quickly as possible is a cornerstone of good customer service. Speed should be of the essence — especially for smaller issues that don’t take much time to solve.

That being said — great customer service beats speed every time.

Customers understand that more complex queries take time to resolve. There’s a difference between the time it takes you to respond and the speed at which you resolve their problems. Customers don’t want to languish in a ticket queue, but they’ll spend as much time as it takes to resolve their issue. You should, too.

Get back to your customers as quickly as possible, but don’t be in a rush to get them off the phone or close the ticket without resolving the issue completely.

5. Personalize your service

40% of customers say they want better human service. That means they want to feel like more than just a ticket number. They get angry when they’re not being treated like an individual person, receiving boilerplate responses, or being batted like a tennis ball to different people.

Customers want to interact with a person — not a company. It’s part of the reason why many businesses send gifts to their customers on their birthdays.

Do you know not only your customers’ names, but also their birthdays? How about their interests or hobbies? Can you make them laugh? It’s obviously not possible to do this for everyone, but going off script and giving the personal touch when you can is an important way to show your customers you know them and you care.

In Help Scout, tickets are called "conversations" to encourage support teams to think about requests in the queue in a more personalized way. So whether you're using Help Scout or one of its alternatives, consider how the support tool you use can help you personalize your support interactions.

6. Help customers help themselves

That said, customers don’t always want to talk to someone to get their problem solved — often, they want to quickly resolve their issue themselves. Among consumers, 81% attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative. Further research shows that 71% want the ability to solve most customer service issues on their own.

Self-service is a scalable, cost-effective way to make customers happy — that’s the thinking that led to Help Scout's Beacon, which puts help content front and center so customers can find answers right where they are without leaving the page. Then if they’re unable to answer their own question, help from a real person is just a couple clicks away.

Recommended Reading

Customer ServiceThe 12 Best Knowledge Base Software Platforms in 2023Learn how knowledge base software can benefit your business, and discover 12 different options to consider for your team.

7. Focus support on the customer

Your customers are the most integral part of your business, and they come before products or profit. Treat them like they are the center of your world — because they are.

According to Kristin Smaby in "Being Human is Good Business," “It’s time to consider an entirely different approach: Building human-centric customer service through great people and clever technology. So, get to know your customers. Humanize them. Humanize yourself. It’s worth it.”

Southwest Airlines put this principle into practice in a very memorable way when one of its pilots held a flight back to wait for a customer traveling to a funeral. They put the human before their targets, and that customer will never forget it.

8. Actively listen

Paying attention to customer feedback includes looking back over the data, as well as listening in real-time. Show your customers you hear them when they take the time to speak to you. Listening increases the chances that you’ll hear your customers’ real problems and can effectively solve them, resulting in happier customers.

Listen to what they have to say without pushing your own agenda. Don’t assume that you know what your customer is going to say.

Demonstrate active listening skills; when you’re on the phone or live chat, use phrases like “It sounds like … ” and “Do you mean … ?” or “Let me make sure I’ve got this right.” Make sure you repeat the problem back to them in your own words to show you’ve heard them.

Active listening also means you are mindful of your customer’s unique personality and current emotional state so you can tailor your response to fit the situation. Customer service is not one-size-fits-all.

9. Keep your word

If you promise something, making sure you deliver on it is common-sense customer service. Don’t let your customers down. Keeping your word is about respect and trust.

For example, if you promise an SLA uptime of 99%, make sure you keep to that standard. If you promise to develop a certain feature in your software in a particular time frame, make sure you deliver on that.

When you break your word, like saying you’ll get back to a customer within 24 hours and you don’t, offer something to make up for it. If your customer’s delivery goes awry, offer to replace it and refund their money for their trouble. You might lose some money in the short term, but you’ll gain a loyal customer.

Interestingly, customers do not feel extra grateful when you deliver more than you promised. They do, however, feel angry if you break a promise. It’s still better to under-promise and over-deliver so you can make sure you never break this important social contract.

10. Be proactively helpful

Going the extra mile is one of the most important things you can do to deliver great customer service. This is when you have ticked all the boxes, yet you still want to do more.

Sometimes being helpful means anticipating your customers’ needs before they even have to articulate them. In fact, sometimes customers may ask for one thing without realizing that they really need another. It’s your job to anticipate their needs and provide for them.

When customers feel like you value them — like they’re truly special to you — they’ll keep coming back. This may be linked with the phenomenon of reciprocity in social psychology: If you do something nice for your customers, they will want to do something in return — like buy your products!

Sending them a small gift “just because,” or giving them a rare promotional code, will speak to your customers’ egos and demonstrate your genuine appreciation of their business.

Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland hotel delivered truly helpful customer service when a customer asked them where she could buy a particular alarm clock they had in her room. The hotel gave her one as an unexpected parting gift, winning them one very delighted customer.

Customer service tips by business type and industry

  • B2B customer service

  • B2C customer service

  • SaaS support

  • Customer service in healthcare

  • Startup customer service

  • Customer service in education

  • Financial services customer service

  • Small business customer service

  • Customer service in nonprofit organizations

  • Ecommerce customer service

Growing your business by providing great customer service

All of the elements above combine to produce great customer service. It’s great customer service that keeps your customers loyal to you and your business — and that earns you a reputation for being helpful and a pleasure to work with.

Customers want to be treated like people, not a number in a ticket queue. Humanize them, and humanize yourself, for customer service-driven growth.


What are the 10 rules for providing good customer service? ›

These 10 simple customer service rules can help keep you on the right track.
  • Be Nice. ...
  • Respect Your Customers. ...
  • Listen. ...
  • Be Positive. ...
  • Offer Solutions, Not Excuses. ...
  • Be Honest. ...
  • Go the Extra Mile. ...
  • Apologize.

What are the best ways to deliver excellent customer service? ›

Listening, understanding your customer's needs, thanking the customer and promoting a positive, helpful and friendly environment will ensure they leave with a great impression. A happy customer will return often and is likely to spend more. They may also refer other people to your business.

What are the 5 most important things in customer service? ›

Here are the top customer service skills your representatives need, according to data.
  • Patience. ...
  • Effective Listening. ...
  • Attentiveness. ...
  • Time Management. ...
  • Willingness to Improve. ...
  • Knowledge. ...
  • Ability to Admit You Don't Have the Answer. ...
  • Thick Skin.

What is the best answer for good customer service? ›

Good customer service means consistently meeting customers' expectations. Great customer service is quick, easy, personalized, and empathetic. Companies that deliver excellent customer service take the time needed to understand the needs of their unique customer base.

What are the 9 principles of quality customer service? ›

9 Main Principles of Quality Customer Service
  • Attitude.
  • Problem-solving Skills.
  • Patience.
  • Accessibility.
  • Product Awareness.
  • Attentiveness.
  • Clear Communication Skills.
  • Courteous Language.

What are the 3 most important things in customer service? ›

Essentially, the 3 important qualities of customer service center around three “p”s: professionalism, patience, and a “people-first” attitude. Although customer service varies from customer to customer, as long as you're following these guidelines, you're on the right track.

What are the 5 Steps to Success for good customer service? ›

5 Steps to Customer Service Glory
  • Be Genuine: Personalize the Conversation. ...
  • Be Accountable: Don't Pass the Buck. ...
  • Be Empathetic: Listen, Acknowledge, Validate & Apologize. ...
  • Be Innovative: Provide Solutions. ...
  • Be Trustworthy: Never Make Impossible Promises.
Feb 9, 2010

How did I deliver excellent customer service? ›

Offering customers a solution when they approach you with an issue or query is good customer service. But offering customers proactive solutions – that is, before they've even reached out for help – is excellent customer service. Try to identify opportunities to go above and beyond for the customer in your role.

What are the 6 basic customer needs in service? ›

Most customers have a set of 7 basic needs when they interact with an organization, according to Ben Motteram, Principal and CX Expert.
  1. Friendliness. This is the most basic customer need that's associated with things like courtesy and politeness. ...
  2. Empathy. ...
  3. Fairness. ...
  4. Control. ...
  5. Alternatives. ...
  6. Information. ...
  7. Time.
5 days ago

What are the 10 things you need to know about your customer? ›

Ten things you need to know about your customers
  • Who they are. If you sell directly to individuals, find out your customers' gender, age and occupation. ...
  • What they do. ...
  • Why they buy. ...
  • When they buy. ...
  • How they buy. ...
  • How much money they have. ...
  • What makes them feel good about buying. ...
  • What they expect of you.

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers for customer service? ›

General and Common Customer Service Interview Questions
  • What does good customer service mean to you?
  • What's the best customer service you've ever received?
  • What do you consider to be the most important skills when providing customer service?
  • How do you ensure you maintain good communication with every customer?

What is customer service simple answer? ›

Customer service is the support you offer your customers — both before and after they buy and use your products or services — that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you. Offering amazing customer service is important if you want to retain customers and grow your business.

What are the 10 dimensions of service quality? ›

[24] proposed 10 dimensions for service quality: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, competence, courtesy, credibility, security, access, communication and understanding the customer.

What are the 10 principles of quality management? ›

The Principles of Quality Management
  • Customer focus.
  • Leadership.
  • Engagement of people.
  • Process approach.
  • Improvement.
  • Evidence-based decision making.
  • Relationship management.
Apr 2, 2019

What are the 10 most important customer service phrases that will make your customers feel loved? ›

12 excellent customer service phrases
  • “Happy to help!” ...
  • “I understand how (blank) that must be.” ...
  • “As much as I'd love to help …” ...
  • “Great question! ...
  • “Nice to meet you!” ...
  • “May I ask why that is?” ...
  • “Thanks for bringing this to our attention!” ...
  • “I completely understand why you'd want that.”
May 28, 2020

What are the 4 key principles of good customer service? ›

There are four key principles of good customer service: It's personalized, competent, convenient, and proactive. These factors have the biggest influence on the customer experience.

What are the 4 elements of good customer service? ›

The 4 most important elements of excellent customer service
  • Respond in a timely manner. ...
  • Respond knowledgeably. ...
  • Communicate with customers where they are. ...
  • Streamline your process.
Apr 17, 2020

What are the 10 steps to success? ›

Here is a list of 10 tips to help you become successful in your life:
  1. Be committed. Through commitment, you can gain motivation to pursue success. ...
  2. Learn from the journey. ...
  3. Have fun along the way. ...
  4. Think positively. ...
  5. Change your perspective. ...
  6. Be honest with yourself. ...
  7. Take away distractions. ...
  8. Count on yourself.
Feb 4, 2020

Can you give us an example of when you have provided excellent customer service? ›

I spoke to my manager to determine our options and my manager gave me the approval to give the guests an available room. I also offered the guests free room service for the inconvenience of having to wait for a hotel room. The guests were so satisfied that they left a glowing review online after their stay."

Can you give me an example of when you have provided excellent customer service? ›

You could talk about a time when you calmed an upset customer or went above the expectations of your role to make a customer want to return. Perhaps you had a customer dispute and were able to smooth over the issue using your great instinct and friendly disposition.

What is the 20 10 rule in customer service? ›

When the customer moved to within 5 feet, you greeted them. I believe we need to go beyond the 10-5 Rule and institute the “20-10 Rule.” If someone gets within 20 feet of you, they get a smile and a wave. If a person gets within 10 feet of you, they get a smile, a wave, and a friendly hello from you.

What are the 8 types of customer? ›

Types of Customers: Before the Purchase
  • The Lookers. Lookers are the customers who are just browsing through your services and probably looking through your competitors as well. ...
  • Discount Customers. ...
  • Researchers. ...
  • Impulse Customers. ...
  • Unsure Customers. ...
  • Looking-to-Switch Customers.
Dec 4, 2022

What are the 10 ways to meet and satisfy your customers need? ›

10 Ways to Meet and Satisfy Your Customer's Needs
  • Understand Your Customer's Needs.
  • Listen to their Feedback.
  • Set Realistic Expectations.
  • Pay Attention to Your Competitors.
  • Be Consistent in Communicating with Your Customers.
  • Take User Experience as a Priority 
  • Foster Loyalty through Proactive Customer Relations.
Nov 15, 2019

What are the 7 ways to communicate effectively with customers? ›

1. Communicate well with customers
  • Build a relationship. Take the time to be professional and personable with your customers. ...
  • Listen to customers. Active listening is a skill like any other, and you need to practice it. ...
  • Use analogies. ...
  • Develop customer service standards. ...
  • Resolve disputes quickly.
Aug 4, 2021

What are the do's and don'ts of customer service list 10 each? ›

  • Show empathy. In customer service, empathising is the best way to let your customers know that their concerns matter. ...
  • Practice clear communication. ...
  • Always follow up. ...
  • Be quick to respond. ...
  • Lose your cool. ...
  • Avoid accountability. ...
  • Make promises you can't keep. ...
  • Treat customers differently.
Jun 23, 2021

What are 3 benefits of good customer service? ›

Five benefits of good customer service
  • Customer loyalty. Loyal customers have many benefits for businesses. ...
  • Increase profits. These long-term customer relationships established through customer service can help businesses become more profitable. ...
  • Customer recommendations. ...
  • Increase conversion. ...
  • Improve public image.
May 28, 2021

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers and answers? ›

Top 10 Interview Questions and Best Answers
  • Tell Me About Yourself. ...
  • Why Are You the Best Person for the Job? ...
  • Why Do You Want This Job? ...
  • How Has Your Experience Prepared You for This Role? ...
  • Why Are You Leaving (or Have Left) Your Job? ...
  • What Is Your Greatest Strength? ...
  • What Is Your Greatest Weakness?
Dec 10, 2022

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers for sales? ›

Top 15 Sales Interview Questions: What They Want to Know and How to Answer
  • Tell us a Bit About Yourself. ...
  • Tell us About your Most Successful Sale to Date. ...
  • Are you Good at Making Cold Calls? ...
  • Tell me About a Time When you Encountered Failure. ...
  • Tell me About your Short-Term and Long-Term Career Goals.
Sep 29, 2022

What is customer service for you Example answer? ›

Example Answer #1

Customer service involves being a kind, courteous, and professional face for the company. It also involves listening carefully to customer wants and concerns. Beyond listening, customer service is doing everything in one's power to efficiently and accurately serve each customer.

How do you give customer service examples? ›

12 examples of good customer service
  1. Add a personal touch.
  2. Be transparent and educate customers.
  3. Respond quickly to all customer feedback.
  4. Use creative and unexpected return policies.
  5. Find a workaround when items are out of stock.
  6. Build a connection with local shoppers.
  7. Remember and reward repeat customers.
Jun 4, 2021

What is the customer service 10 foot rule? ›

For those of you who don't know, the 10-foot rule is simply the regular acknowledging and greeting of your customers. If a customer is within 10 feet of you, they should be engaged. Why is this rule so popular and so important? Because it works!

What are the 6 golden rules of customer care? ›

Customer Service Skills: 10 guidelines to succeed
Jan 11, 2018

How do you use the 10 and 5 method to greet customers? ›

The 10 and 5 rule is famous in the hospitality industry as a simple reminder to consistently greet people that you encounter.
  1. When customers are 10 feet away from you, use a non-verbal greeting such as a smile or a wave.
  2. When customers are 5 feet away from you, greet them verbally.
Jan 1, 2013

What are your 8 rules when resolving your customer service issues? ›

No matter which industry you're in, you're going to deal with customer complaints.
Customer Complaint Resolution
  • Be accessible. ...
  • Use active listening to understand their complaint. ...
  • Acknowledge their frustration. ...
  • Reiterate for clarity and understanding. ...
  • Seek a first-call resolution. ...
  • Provide a plan of action.
Oct 10, 2022

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Emmett Berge

Last Updated: 26/10/2023

Views: 6226

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Emmett Berge

Birthday: 1993-06-17

Address: 787 Elvis Divide, Port Brice, OH 24507-6802

Phone: +9779049645255

Job: Senior Healthcare Specialist

Hobby: Cycling, Model building, Kitesurfing, Origami, Lapidary, Dance, Basketball

Introduction: My name is Sen. Emmett Berge, I am a funny, vast, charming, courageous, enthusiastic, jolly, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.