What is Good Customer Service?

An excellent customer service definition is one shaped by context. For example, good customer service in the food industry doesn’t cover the same criteria for good customer service skills in retail. Granted, there will always be overarching skills that define excellent customer service, like polite communication or problem-solving for the customer, but to describe customer service in the best way, you have to ask yourself: What does excellent customer service mean to you?

How Do You Define Excellent Customer Service?

Like mentioned before, you already have the keys to good customer service, but they haven’t been cut yet. When shaped, that’s when you define good customer service.

To define customer service in regards to your industry, start by asking yourself the who, what, when, and why in accordance to your industry’s context. Start broad, and then extend each question with more scenario-based questions. By doing this, you’ll accumulate information and guidelines perfect for customer service training. If you’re stuck on where to begin, use this customer service training manual template to set the framework for what is good customer service and what isn’t — not only for you, but for your team too.

Let’s jump into the defining process with an industry example, retail. Examples of good customer service in retail start with effective training of employees. The retail industry is infamous for bad customer service stories. These stories are rooted in the lack of consistent and ambiguous customer service. Simply put, have every aspect and directive of good customer service established throughout the company. By having a retail skills list incorporated in employee training, you have a resource you and your employees can quickly reference. This skills list can include the answers to high-funnel FAQs about retail for your shop specifically:

  • Who will and who won’t be in communication with customers?
  • What are the criteria for the returns/reimbursements?
  • How do employees communicate with a dissatisfied customer?
  • What are the promotional items to always be pushing?
  • When should a manager get involved?

You can also condense the answers to the list of good customer service skills and keep a tangible sheet at the counter for employees to reference. By answering these questions in training, and having on-going reminders of good customer service skills, the information will become second-nature to employees.

Hiring for Good Customer Service

When an employee is trained well, you get an exceptional customer base. The people you want to be loyal customers become loyal customers, and they tell their friends. When it comes to hiring for customer service, we think that anyone that’s trained well enough can be a good customer service employee, but those that show great customer service characteristics from the interview process will be able to instively serve customers well right from the start.

When interviewing a candidate, ask the candidate to provide examples of good customer service as well as bad customer service examples. Then, have the candidate flip those examples for different results; take the good scenario and make it bad. Take the bad scenario and make it good. This is also a great practice to work into customer service training.

In an interview, get more in-depth with the standard customer service interview questions and answers. Continuing with our retail example, use retail-specific questions in the interview process. Retail interview questions might look something like, “How would you deal with the sighting of a shoplifter?” or, “Can you give a scenario in which you know you will struggle with helping a customer?”

Customer Service Tips

Lessonly has an entire resource covering customer service tips for employees and managers. In this resource you’ll get pointers on intricate communication and an in-depth look at the five aspects of great customer service, listen, empathize, accept, respect, and negotiate.

Take these tips and use the advice to convey the messages in different ways to employees. For example, you can post good customer service quotes around the break room, or send out a monthly email featuring your employees’ examples of great customer service.

Using Lessonly for Customer Service Training

Lessonly is a learning platform to house company learning materials. We provide clients the means to easily create, deliver, track, and assess employee learning. On the flip side, we make the learning process easy for learners, too. Learners can access learning from mobile devices wherever there’s internet. They can take lessons at their convenience before a due date.

“How do you describe customer service in this company? What is bad customer service?” The answer to these questions are key to incorporate into learning. When you’re employees are finished learning with Lessonly, they’ll be able to describe great customer service and act on it unprompted.

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