Your customers always deserve top-notch service. Even after closing a deal with a new client, you should strive to keep them satisfied by consistently delivering exceptional customer service. But sadly, some customer service companies mainly focus on just closing the sale and do not bother to provide quality service to customers once the transaction is complete.
In the current customer-centric business landscape, you cannot afford to treat customer service as a secondary consideration. With power now in the hands of your buyers, they can easily choose which companies to do business with and which ones to avoid. In today’s competitive market, companies must take every measure to acquire, satisfy, and retain their customers. And the most effective way to achieve this is through exceptional customer service.
Outstanding customer service is a crucial aspect of any business. According to American Express, consumers are willing to spend 17 percent more with companies that provide exceptional customer service.
Yes, it’s a sad reality that negative news tends to spread faster than positive ones, particularly in the era of social media. As a result, we see that most customer service stories online tend to focus on negative experiences, overshadowing the companies that excel in customer satisfaction.
But it’s not the end, several companies are consistently proving themselves with outstanding customer service. From familiar names to some unexpected entries, here’s a list of the top 8 best customer service companies that are worth reading, sharing, and learning from.
Exploring the Traits of Exceptional Customer Service
The real definition of “good” customer support is not fixed, as it is contingent on the expectations that the customers hold for your brand. It can be influenced by a range of factors, including your industry, cost, brand reputation, and other variables.
Suppose you were traveling in Economy class; in that case, you wouldn’t expect to receive a luxurious 5-star treatment with champagne and snacks. However, if you were traveling in Business class, you would likely be dissatisfied if such amenities were not included in your higher-priced seat.
The primary determinant of whether customers view your brand positively or negatively hinges on their expectations of your customer service. Do they prefer to address their concerns via a variety of communication channels or rely on one specific channel for particular issues? Is the speed of your responses more crucial to them, or do they value the availability of self-service options? Additionally, is inadequate customer service the primary driver behind their decision to switch to a competitor?
Your customer support teams are at the forefront, molding the customer experience on a daily basis. By being proactive and helpful, they have the potential to create a memorable customer service encounter and even salvage a negative one.
It is worthwhile to invest in exceptional service. Failing to meet or exceed customer expectations can result in the loss of customers and even brand loyalty. On the other hand, by prioritizing excellent service, you can encourage repeat business and increased revenue.
8 Companies That are Leading the Way in Exceptional Customer Service
Below are eight best customer service companies renowned for consistently impressing their customers with superior support. We’ve also included some examples to show you how these companies walk the extra mile to make their customers feel special.
It is undoubtedly one of the companies with the best customer service. Founded in 2003 by entrepreneur Elon Musk, Tesla, Inc. is an American electric vehicle and clean energy company. Tesla’s primary focus is on developing and manufacturing electric vehicles, but the company has also expanded into other areas such as energy storage, solar panel systems, and related products and services.
Tesla offers exceptional customer service by providing at-home vehicle repair services, allowing customers to have their car issues resolved on their own premises. This approach is highly convenient for customers, who no longer need to spend time waiting at a repair shop and can schedule the repair at their own convenience.
Key Takeaway: Although it may not always be feasible to meet customers in person, companies can provide a range of customer support options, including omnichannel feedback, to enable customers to reach out in the way that suits them best. Customers prioritize convenience and time, as evidenced by Tesla’s premium prices, and are willing to pay extra for a service that offers it. Tesla’s success demonstrates that service delivery can be a key factor in delivering exceptional customer service.
2. JetBlue Airlines
JetBlue Airways Corporation, commonly referred to as JetBlue, is a low-cost airline based in New York City, United States. The airline was founded in 1998 and began operations in 2000 with its first flight from New York City to Fort Lauderdale. Today, JetBlue operates flights to over 100 destinations in the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Being one of the best companies for customer service, JetBlue aimed to impress its customers when it began its operations in 1998. They established a Customer Bill of Rights that raised the bar for the airline industry, and their customer service team working from home set a groundbreaking example of remote work.
JetBlue has an enigmatic figure called the “People Officer” who pleasantly surprises customers with rewards and presents both on flights and in airports. Once during a flight, the People Officer conducted an impromptu trivia game, offering flight vouchers as prizes for the winners, and generously distributed twelve tickets.
JetBlue took a chance to revolutionize the flight experience, and they persist in setting higher standards. Amidst the coronavirus crisis, for instance, they extended free flights for medical personnel and supplies, despite their own business being at risk.
Key Takeaway: So, a conducive culture is really important to achieving outstanding service. If the leaders prioritize cultivating a positive culture right from the start, their team members will develop a deep affection for their jobs and will extend the same enthusiasm to their customers as well.
3. Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s is a chain of grocery stores in the United States known for its unique and diverse product offerings, affordable prices, and friendly and helpful staff. The first Trader Joe’s store was opened in Pasadena, California, in 1958, and today the company operates over 500 stores across the country.
As one of the top customer service companies, it provides exceptional benefits and growth opportunities to its team members, while also passing on the savings from its private-label approach, where all products carry the “Trader Joe’s” brand, to their customers.
Everyone seems to have their own favorite Trader Joe’s customer service story, and we do too. Once, during the holidays, an 89-year-old man was unable to leave his home due to heavy snowfall in the state of Pennsylvania, and his daughter was worried about getting him food. She contacted multiple stores to inquire if any of them provided delivery services.
Trader Joe’s exceeded their own policy by delivering items to the elderly gentleman that aligned with his low-sodium diet, all at no cost. A Trader Joe’s team member arrived at the gentleman’s doorstep with a complete delivery in under 30 minutes.
Key Takeaway: When your team members lack the flexibility to occasionally diverge from company policies, they may not be able to prioritize what is best for your customers. It is important to provide an easy way for the customer service team members to obtain approval for acts of kindness that can significantly improve people’s lives.
Walmart is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of discount department stores, grocery stores, and hypermarkets. It was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton in Bentonville, Arkansas, and has since become one of the largest and most successful retailers in the world, with over 10,000 stores in 24 countries.
Walmart is known for prioritizing the needs of everyday families by offering them affordable products and services. Walmart extends this focus on families to their own employees by treating them with care and respect and providing them with a work environment that is supportive and inclusive.
An example of this can be seen when one of their associates turned 101 years old, Walmart shared the news on Facebook and invited customers to join in the celebration.
By doing this, Walmart showed that they value their employees not just as workers, but as individuals with lives and experiences outside of work. It is undoubtedly a great business that values the relationship between employees and customers and seeks to foster a sense of community and connection between them.
Key Takeaway: To provide excellent customer service, you can proactively engage with customers, rather than waiting for them to reach out with problems. Rather than just sharing images of celebrities, featuring real people can help demonstrate that your brand aligns with customer expectations.
5. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a luxury hotel brand that was founded in 1983 and is owned by Marriott International. The company operates more than 100 hotels and resorts in over 30 countries, with a focus on providing exceptional customer service and creating memorable experiences for their guests.
The team at Ritz-Carlton has a reputation for delivering exceptional customer experiences. In order to justify their premium prices, Ritz-Carlton places great emphasis on providing highly personalized and best services to their customers.
This story covered on Bloomberg showcases how The Ritz-Carlton takes customer service to the next level: A family staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali brought their own specialized eggs and milk for their son who had multiple food allergies.
When the family arrived at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali, they found out that the specialized eggs were broken and the milk had gone bad. Despite the hotel staff’s efforts to look for the items in the nearby town, they couldn’t find them.
However, the executive chef of the resort remembered a store in Singapore that carried the items and reached out to his mother-in-law to purchase and deliver them to Bali. To the family’s surprise, the chef’s mother-in-law agreed to help.
Ritz-Carlton’s COO Simon Cooper’s words demonstrate the level of autonomy given to their employees, which empowers them to provide an exceptional customer experience:
“Our aim is to create a strong emotional bond between our staff members and guests, such that guests won’t think of choosing another option even if they have one.“
Key Takeaway: Empower employees with both incentives and control to provide exceptional customer service and prioritize the needs of customers over rigid rules and regulations. Telling feel-good stories, such as celebrating customer birthdays, can create a sense of connection and community with your brand, making customers feel like they are part of your family.
6. Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic is a British airline that was founded in 1984 by Sir Richard Branson. The airline’s headquarters is located in Crawley, West Sussex, England, and its main base of operations is at London Heathrow Airport. Virgin Atlantic operates a fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft and flies to destinations across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
The airline is known for its innovative approach to customer service and its unique branding, which includes the iconic “Flying Lady” logo and the distinctive red and white livery of its planes. Virgin Atlantic has won numerous awards for its service and has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
Virgin Atlantic’s focus on customer feedback is a key factor in delivering exceptional customer service. One famous example is the “curry story,” where a witty but unhappy review of the food on a Heathrow to Mumbai flight led to the customer being invited to join Virgin Atlantic’s food advisory board.
Rather than offering a generic and placating response, Richard Branson engaged the dissatisfied passenger and food and beverage experts to enhance their menu on various flight paths.
Key Takeaway: Taking customer feedback seriously is important for businesses to provide the best possible customer service. If you actively listen to your customers and incorporate their suggestions, your company can improve its products and services to better meet customer needs and preferences.
CVS is a pharmacy and healthcare company that operates a chain of retail pharmacies across the United States. The company offers a variety of healthcare products and services, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, beauty products, and medical devices.
CVS has been promoting health and providing essential products to its customers since the beginning. Additionally, for more than three decades, the company has been offering a service that is solely focused on assisting people, completely unrelated to its role as a pharmacy.
CVS offers the Good Samaritan Van service to help customers who are stranded with car troubles. And the best part? Customers only need to fill out a comment card in return. This service has nothing to do with their role as a pharmacy and is solely focused on helping people.
The CVS Good Samaritan Van provides assistance to stranded customers with car troubles to help them continue their journey without facing additional difficulties or delays. This aligns with the company’s values and fortifies customer relationships, as customers feel genuinely cared for.
By providing this service, CVS is not only helping its customers in need but also strengthening its relationships with them and upholding its values as a company that cares about the well-being of its customers. CVS has a track record of prioritizing values over profits. For instance, in 2014, the company chose to discontinue the sale of tobacco products despite its negative impact on sales.
Similarly, in 2018, CVS started providing discount coupons to uninsured customers to purchase Narcan, a medication that can save the life of someone who has overdosed on opioids.
Key Takeaway: Consider finding a way to make a positive impact on your community on a daily basis. This action doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your product or service, but it should align with your values and aim to create the same positive experience for customers that you strive to provide through your products or services.
Publix is a supermarket chain based in Lakeland, Florida, that operates over 1,200 stores throughout the southeastern United States. The company was founded in 1930 by George W. Jenkins and is known for its customer service, high-quality products, and community involvement. Publix is employee-owned and has been named one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for over two decades.
Publix, a supermarket chain known for its exceptional customer service, has built its reputation by catering to the local community. They actively seek input from customers and stock items they request, making the shopping experience more enjoyable. However, this is just one aspect of their dedication to customer service.
Key Takeaway: While other big names in the industry prioritize unbeatable prices, Publix puts service first, with price and quality following suit. This approach demonstrates that pricing isn’t the only way to win over customers, as Publix and its loyal customers prove.
The Art of Exceptional Customer Service: Strategies for Success
The top customer service companies prioritize creating a service culture that unites all teams around the shared objective of improving customer service through customer-centric decision-making. Here are some tips to get started!
Prioritize Empathy and Product Training
During the onboarding process, ensure your employees are trained to develop empathy and a deeper understanding of customer problems. Have a knowledge library and organize regular product training sessions to increase your support agents’ technical proficiency in providing effective solutions to customers.
Ensure Prompt and Consistent Responses to Customer Inquiries
You can optimize your support processes by utilizing workflow automation and setting service-level agreements to ensure timely response and resolution of customer issues. By streamlining your internal processes, your support agents can work efficiently and effectively to address customer needs.
To cater to the preferences of most consumers who prefer to solve their own issues, you need to empower them with tools to find readily available answers to simple queries. Here you can provide a comprehensive knowledge base, tutorials, an AI chatbot, FAQs, and user communities. Implementing self-service options can also help you reduce the workload on support agents.
Omni-Channel Customer Support
Aim to provide omnichannel support by integrating all customer engagement channels, such as social media platforms like Facebook Instagram etc, live chat, and other messaging apps, into a unified inbox. This enables your support agents to deliver personalized and prompt assistance by accessing a consolidated view of customer interactions across all channels.
Let Your Employees Work as a Team
Encourage a collaborative work culture among your employees as it fosters accountability and enables all teams to participate in the customer support process. Successful customer service examples often involve support team members working together towards a common goal of delivering exceptional customer experiences.
Last, but certainly, not least, a key component shared by the best customer service companies is the customer service software that enables them to engage with customers and address their concerns effectively.
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