Utility companies, airlines and cable and Internet companies are all notorious for their God-awful customer service.
On the other hand, hospitality, retail and financial industries have been consistently rated as having above average customer service.
We’ve come up with four examples of US companies that have exemplary customer service departments. We’ve also come up with a key take away your business can consider as it develops its own customer service team.
As the world’s largest online retailer, it is likely that Amazon has one of the largest customer service departments, too. So how has Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos managed to maintain such a high ranking year after year? For one, he helps his management team understand his customers. Each year, thousands of Amazon managers attend a mandatory two-day call center training session. Secondly, Bezos and team have placed an unwavering emphasis on serving the needs of their customers. This means listening to customers, providing thoughtful responses and not closing out cases until issues have been resolved.
Tip from Amazon: Instead of thinking about how great your product/service is, focus on how you, as a person, can use a CS exchange to help make your customers & their businesses more successful.
One of Hilton’s claims to fame is that it was the first hotel chain to offer in-room television to its guests. Since then, they’ve continued to be an innovative and customer-centric company. Their customer services options go beyond the traditional e-mail and toll-free telephone options. Their website has a click-to-call option that allows customers to almost instantly contact a CS rep. If the customer prefers that the Hilton call them, they can enter their phone number and a Hilton representative will contact them. Just by providing these few extra options, Hilton has made itself more accessible and it made contacting its CS department convenient.
Tip from Hilton: Consider your customers’ convenience every step of the way. Remember that not all of your customers have the same communication & contact preferences, so always offer more than one option.
Chick-Fil-A also goes above and beyond to keep its customers happy. The company’s customer service line has an average on-hold wait time of just 5 minutes. Whether this is because they have an above average number of customer service agents or they have an average number of agents with above average skills, it’s a below average number. Getting customers needs meet faster makes for happier customers. It also gives angry customers less time to stew. Chick-Fil-A also uses a web survey as another way to connect with its customers. By hosting the survey on its website, customers have a place to submit their feedback at any time of the day & there’s never a wait.
Tip from Chick-Fil-A: Be accessible, even if it means more training, increasing your staff’s size or implementing a new method of communication.
As cardholders may know, American Express doesn’t allow its customers to make more than one simultaneous credit card purchase at a gas station.
Given that the majority of people purchase gas on a credit card, and many then stop into the attached convenience store for a snack, this could be pretty problematic.
However, if your credit card has ever been stolen, you may have a better understanding of the importance of this safety feature. To follow up its blocking of suspicious charges, American Express delivers an automated phone call letting customers know there’s been a problem with the card. This call comes within minutes of the card being flagged.
You may be put off by the thought of receiving an automated phone call, but the IVR is executed so well that it truly doesn’t make a difference in this case. The call is completely interactive. You’re able to choose to have the information sent to you via text message AND as soon as you check the text message, the automated system will let you know the message has been seen.
Tip from American Express: An effective IVR goes a long way. Take your time setting it up and pay attention to the details. Incorporating more than one channel of communication increases customer satisfaction and makes it easier to remember details during frantic situations. Most importantly, consider your customers’ safety at every step of the way.
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