Customer Service Hall of Fame
1) Good service starts at the top. Companies with great service have chief executives who make it their mission. They’re not afraid to spend money, hire experts and structure the corporation around the goal of sterling service.
In order to provide great service, you need to have the proper people in place, but also the best tools for your employees to use. American Express, who placed 9th, like to think, “…of service as an investment” (Thomas Sclafani). Don’t cut corners; be willing to invest in the proper technology to create the best overall experience for your customers.
Don’t focus on one channel and forget about the rest. Your company should be determined to provide amazing customer service at ALL levels. Take a page out of Hilton Worldwide’s book (#5 tie). They have a dedicated watch over their social media, and directly respond to not only customer inquiries, but also to complaints.
2) Service is seen as a continual challenge. Companies with outstanding customer service are more eager to talk about their continuing efforts than to accept praise for a job well done.
Remember there is always room for improvement. Tim Brison, Senior V.P. of Customer Support at Sony (#5 tie) sited their monthly meetings as a great place to go over the voice-of-customer data and discover areas needing improvement. If you go that extra mile for customers, they’ll take note of it. Apple, who placed 3rd in the survey, offers in store one-on-one attention, free on-site support, 90 days of phone help for new products, and replaces malfunctioning parts quickly.
3) These are companies where people want to work. Companies that excel at customer service are often also known for providing relatively good pay and benefits. They trust their employees to make decisions, then routinely stand behind those decisions.
Spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines (#10), Brandy King, stated, “We hire people who just have big hearts and then give them the right tools to serve the customer.” Make your employees a primary focus. Support them, provide fair wages and benefits, and never forget how far a little praise can go to remind them how valuable they are to the company.
One of the most important things to remember is displayed clearly through the company that took first place, Amazon. Keep things simple. “Amazon’s one-stop shopping, easy browsing, free shipping options and no-hassle returns” keep their customers happy and coming back for more. By thinking of your customers first and developing a strategy best suited to their personal needs, you will stack up with those in the hall of fame in no time.
If you want to see who made the 2012 Customer Service Hall of SHAME list click here!