Log In Start studying!

Select your language

Suggested languages for you:
StudySmarter - The all-in-one study app.
4.8 • +11k Ratings
More than 3 Million Downloads
Free
|
|

Good Customer Service

Good Customer Service

Good customer service can have many positive impacts on a business. For instance, a customer is more likely to return as a repeat buyer if they have a good customer service experience. Excellent customer service is a vital factor that can drive business growth to the next level. Let's take a closer look at its potential impact on businesses.

Good customer service definition

To understand what makes customer service 'good', let's first take a look at the definition of customer service.

Customer service is concerned with meeting customers’ needs at the highest level of quality. The term refers to the entire journey of a customer’s experience from the stage of pre-purchase, to purchase, to after-sales services.

To ensure good customer service, there are several factors to consider.

In terms of products offered, these factors include the quality and reliability of the products and the safety factors related to the purchase and consumption of the goods.

Point-of-contact service personnel, customer engagement, good product information, after-sales services, and the maintenance of the premises are significant factors affecting the quality of customer services.

Besides these factors, managing customers’ expectations is vital. This means that the company needs not only to sell a good product or service to attract potential customers, but also to keep its promise by meeting and exceeding customers' expectations.

Good customer service skills and methods

There are many ways a business can approach good customer service (see Figure 1 below), including:

  • Product: the product itself has to be of high quality to meet customer needs and increase customer satisfaction.

  • Reliability: the product and customer service team should be reliable.

  • Safety: the safety of the customer buying a product should always come first.

  • Customer engagement: the customer service team should engage positively with the customer. This may lead the customer to feel positive overall about the business and the service they receive.

  • Product knowledge and information: the customer service team should have outstanding product knowledge to be able to respond to all customer questions and queries. The product itself should also contain adequate information about ingredients, materials, usage, etc. as customers like to know exactly what they are buying. This is especially important for food products, where the labels should contain all nutritional information, ingredients, and allergy concerns.

  • Post-sales service: the business should provide after-sales services for customers such as user training, helplines, and servicing to make sure that customers are satisfied with their product. The business should deal with customer complaints quickly and effectively, and repair or replace faulty goods to make sure they meet customer expectations.

  • Premises: the business, especially if it's operating in the hospitality industry, e.g. a hotel or restaurant, needs to make sure that its premises are maintained and clean.

  • Different payment options: certain customers may want to pay in cash, whereas others might only want to pay with credit or debit cards. Accommodating different types of customers by having a variety of payment options is important to keep all customers satisfied.

Good customer service examples

Although there is a theoretical definition of good customer service, its details vary depending on the type of business you operate. This is because customer expectations vary depending on the type of business they decide to purchase from, and the services provided for the sale of a certain type of good or service can be different as well.

Examples of customer service when purchasing goods

Let's take a look at some examples of customer expectations when purchasing physical goods.

1. Fast-fashion clothing retailer

At a fast-fashion clothing retailer such as H&M, a customer is likely to expect to find the clothes and sizes they are looking for quickly, so they would expect staff to be able to quickly assist them with finding sizes or pointing them in the right direction when looking for a specific item. Also, for fast fashion companies, clothing is usually not expected to last too long, so customers have lower expectations of product quality and tend to have less interest in the materials of the pieces as well. As long as customers find the product they are looking for, are treated nicely by staff and find prices reasonable, the customer experience will likely be perceived as positive.

2. Luxury clothing retailer

At a luxury clothing retailer like Dior, customers tend to expect more from staff and products. Some customers may regard the clothing pieces they are about to buy as investments, so they might like to know more information about the product, including materials used, sources of the materials, or the after-sales services provided, such as alteration services. Staff are expected to be able to introduce and explain the goods in detail perhaps provide customers with styling advice.

In terms of post-sales services, customers may expect high-quality alterations and unique pieces. In this situation, customer expectations of the service are higher, as they are paying high prices for products. Luxury clothing sales associates might be expected to lead the customer throughout the purchasing journey, including providing a variety of information on the clothing piece, showing different colours/materials, giving recommendations and styling tips, and attending to all customer needs for the customer to perceive the service experience as positive.

Examples of customer service when purchasing services

Purchasing services may also be interpreted as purchasing experiences. In these cases, it is often difficult to assess quality in an objective way due to the intangible nature of a service. Let's take a look at some examples of purchasing services.

1. A hostel

At a hostel, guests tend to look for affordable accommodation and quick access to the city centre. They might also look for basic utilities like wi-fi, kitchenware, or a place to work at affordable prices. Guests may often also be solo travellers or intend to stay for only a couple of days and look mainly for access to local travel services and famous sights. In this case, staff can provide good customer service by knowing the local transportation and leisure services well, so they can provide useful information to guests efficiently. On the other hand, they might not be expected to have in-depth knowledge about other hospitality services.

2. A luxury holiday resort

A luxury holiday resort may be located away from the city centre, and guests might have higher expectations of the type of service they receive in the resort. Guests in these circumstances tend to expect the resort to provide a full set of services including accommodation, dining, activities, and other leisure experiences.

To provide good customer service staff are likely expected to have a full range of knowledge about the resort, local activities, and food and beverages; provide exceptional dining experiences; maintain an exceptionally clean environment; and provide customisable services for each guest.

In addition, compared to the customer service at a hostel, staff at a resort may be expected to perform in a different manner, and the quality of customer service, rather than the speed, may be key here.

The importance of good customer service

Good customer service can eventually reflect positively on the business's performance.

On one hand, good customer service can help the business improve its competitiveness and make it stand out from its competitors. Good customer service will also increase customer satisfaction. A high level of customer satisfaction can lead to various other benefits for the business (see Figure 1 below), including:

  • Repeat customers - satisfied customers will be more likely to come back to purchase from the business.

  • Increased customer spending - satisfied customers will be more likely to buy more from the business or try other products and services offered by the business.

  • Profitability - if customers are returning more often and spending more money on average, the business will turn a higher profit.

  • Attract new customers - satisfied customers may share their positive experiences with the business with family friends or even on social media.

  • Increased market share - if more and more customers purchase from the business, its market share will likely increase.

  • Customer loyalty - businesses that meet customers' wants and needs will attract a loyal customer base (customers will prefer the brand/product over competitors' offerings).

Good Customer Service, Results of high customer satisfaction, StudySmarterFig. 1 - Results of High Customer Satisfaction

Each advantage mentioned above should not be taken individually but as part of a continuous cycle of offering good quality customer service.

For example, by offering detailed information and high-quality food and providing good quality service at a restaurant, customers might be motivated to visit the restaurant again. Having a good customer experience might also lead to positive word-of-mouth, whereby customers may want to bring their friends and family to the restaurant in the future. This also leads to increased customer loyalty due to the presence of returning guests. As a result, the profitability of the restaurant may increase.

Customer service quality

On the other hand, when customer service is poor, the business will face various consequences such as:

  • Dissatisfied customers

  • Loss of repeat and loyal customers

  • Issues attracting new customers

  • Poor reputation due to negative word-of-mouth

  • Reduction in revenue

  • Loss of sales and profit

  • Additional costs.

Take a look at our explanation Dangers of poor customer service for more information on this topic!

Therefore, to maintain loyal customers and maximise profit, businesses should always aim to provide good customer service. If good quality customer service is not achieved, the business risks losing loyal customers and may even put its reputation at stake.

Good customer service - Key takeaways

  • Customer service is concerned with meeting customers’ needs at the highest level. It refers to the entire journey of a customer’s experience from the stage of pre-purchase, to purchase, to after-sales services.
  • Factors contributing to good customer service include the product itself, reliability of the product, safety, customer engagement, good product information, availability of different payment methods, and after-sales services.
  • Having good customer service is important for improving the competitiveness of the business, which will therefore enhance its ability to gain market share and new customers. It also helps the business to strengthen its customer loyalty and raise its profitability.
  • The risks of having poor customer service include:
    • Dissatisfied customers
    • Loss of repeat and loyal customers
    • Issues attracting new customers
    • Poor reputation due to negative word-of-mouth
    • Reduction in revenue
    • Additional costs.
  • Causes of poor customer service may include poor resource management.

Frequently Asked Questions about Good Customer Service

Customer service is concerned with meeting customers’ needs at the highest level of quality. The term refers to the entire journey of a customer’s experience from the stage of pre-purchase, to purchase, to after-sales services.  

The following factors make a good customer service:
The product itself - quality, reliability, and safety. 
During purchase - point-of-contact service personnel, customer engagement. 
Post-purchase - after-sales services, maintenance

Good customer service is important because it increases repeated purchases, customer spending, profitability, market share, and customer loyalty. 

Free delivery options for amazon prime subscribers and quality movie streaming on Netflix are examples of good customer service.   

Problem-solving attitude, patience, transparency, and effective communication are some of the qualities of good customer service.  

Final Good Customer Service Quiz

Question

Name the 4 methods to enhance customer service.

Show answer

Answer

  1. Pre-sales customer service method

  2. Product knowledge method

  3. The sales process method

  4. Post-sales service method

Show question

Question

What is the goal of customer service?

Show answer

Answer

The goal of customer service is to leave the customer satisfied. 

Show question

Question

How does pre-sales service help a business?

Show answer

Answer

It helps in framing a potential customer's purchase decision, and the brand would have acquired a new sale or even a new customer.

Show question

Question

Hows do pre-sales service help a customer?

Show answer

Answer

It helps a customer in finding answers to their queries about product dimensions, which will ultimately help them in their purchase decision.

Show question

Question

Why is product knowledge important in customer service?

Show answer

Answer

Product knowledge helps salepeople to answer customer queries easily and makes the service process much smoother. It also helps them to present the product, and its benefits more accurately.

Show question

Question

How can the absence of product knowledge affect customer service?

Show answer

Answer

When posed with a product query, an uninformed salesperson will have to consult others or refer to other mediums to answer. This is time-consuming and could be irritable for the customer. It also prevents the accurate presentation of the product.

Show question

Question

What most important factors that help to satisfy a customer during the sales process?

Show answer

Answer

Offering:

  • High-quality products

  • Reliable products

  • Safe products

Show question

Question

How do high-quality products help in customer satisfaction?

Show answer

Answer

The business needs to provide products that match the quality expectations of the people. If they succeed in doing this, customers will be satisfied.

Show question

Question

Why is reliability important in customer satisfaction?

Show answer

Answer

Reliability of a product or service refers to it performing the task that is expected from it. If it fails to do so, the product will be deemed unreliable by the customers, resulting in unsatisfied customers.

Show question

Question

What is product safety?

Show answer

Answer

Product safety refers to the product’s ability to be safe while being used for its intended use by the user

Show question

Question

It is the responsibility of the customer service team to assure the customers about product safety. True or false?

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

What is post-sales customer service?

Show answer

Answer

The post-sales customer service makes sure that all the problems the customer is facing after the purchase of the product are dealt with.

Show question

Question

Name a few responsibilities of the post-sales customer service team.

Show answer

Answer

  • On-time delivery of products

  • Installation 

  • Repair goods 

  • Quick return or exchange process

  • Answer questions and complaints

  • Technical support, and so on

Show question

Question

Post-sales customer service is also known as _________.

Show answer

Answer

After-sales customer service.

Show question

Question

__________ plays an important role in building customer loyalty.

Show answer

Answer

Post-sales service.

Show question

Question

Name a few channels through which after-sales services maintain customer relationships.

Show answer

Answer

  • E-mails

  • Memberships

  • Magazines

  • Newspapers, etc.

Show question

Question

What is positive customer engagement?

Show answer

Answer

Positive customer engagement is when a customer has a positive experience about their interactions with the business. 

Show question

Question

Define product knowledge.

Show answer

Answer

Product knowledge is the ability of a salesperson to completely understand all dimensions and functions of the product to better communicate about the product to the customers.  

Show question

Question

Define quality.

Show answer

Answer

Quality is the standard of the product when it is compared to similar products.

Show question

Question

Define reliability.

Show answer

Answer

Reliability of a product or service refers to it performing the task that is expected from it. 

Show question

Question

What is the definition of poor customer service? 

Show answer

Answer

Poor customer service refers to the service that leads to customer dissatisfaction. 

Show question

Question

Can you give an example of poor customer service?

Show answer

Answer

For instance, if a restaurant fails to manage its bookings properly, this may result in double bookings as well as incorrect timing in regards to table availability, causing customers to wait longer than expected. 


Show question

Question

What are the main causes of poor customer service?

Show answer

Answer

The main causes of poor customer service are:

  • Businesses make too many promises.
  • Inefficient resource management.
  • External influences.
  • Insufficient communication.

Show question

Question

Can you give an example of when businesses are making too many promises to customers?

Show answer

Answer

For example, if a business promises next-day delivery if customers order before 6pm, but cannot keep up with it consistently, this can cause consumer dissatisfaction.

Show question

Question

What is meant by ineffective resource management?

Show answer

Answer

Ineffective resource management means that even if a business has the resources to attain its promises, if it is unable to manage its resources properly it may not meet customers' expectations and lead to customer dissatisfaction.

Show question

Question

Can you give an example of how external influences can contribute to poor customer service?

Show answer

Answer

For example, if in the airplane some passengers have small children who may be loud this can result in an unpleasant experience for customers that are sitting nearby. 

Show question

Question

What are the main consequences of poor customer service?

Show answer

Answer

The main consequences of poor customer service are: 

  • Customer dissatisfaction.
  • Difficulty of attracting new customers.
  • Encurring additional costs.
  • Losing revenue.

Show question

Question

What may be the consequences for a business if customers are dissatisfied with the service?

Show answer

Answer

If the customers are dissatisfied with service they may not return to buy from the business again. Dissatisfied customers may also express their dissatisfaction to their family and friends or online, which leads to the next consequence – the difficulty of attracting new customers, and a damaged businesses reputation.

Show question

Question

How can poor customer service lead to the occurrence of additional costs?

Show answer

Answer

If the businesses have provided the wrong information to customers, or have sold a wrong or damaged item, it has to provide customers with refunds which can result in additional costs for a business.

Show question

Question

What may be the consequences if the business is struggling to attract new customers?

Show answer

Answer

The difficulty of attracting new customers can lead to business loss of revenue or even failures. 

Show question

Question

What are the key signs of poor customer service?

Show answer

Answer

The key signs of poor customer service are:

  • Inflexibility in regards to the appointment times.
  •  Unfriendly welcome.
  •  Long wait times.

Show question

Question

Can you give an example of when a business provides an unfriendly welcome to its customers?

Show answer

Answer

For example, if a customer enters a hotel that they have booked without being greeted or being smiled at, they may feel that the staff are rude.

Show question

Question

How can businesses reduce long waiting times experienced by customers?

Show answer

Answer

In order to reduce customer wait times, the business should manage its capacity and hire more staff if needed.

Show question

Question

Can you give an example of a long wait time experienced by consumers?

Show answer

Answer

For example, holding on the phone or in the store for more than two minutes. This may result in consumers hanging up the phone or leaving the store without receiving assistance.

Show question

Question

Can you give an example of when businesses have inflexibility with regard to appointment times?

Show answer

Answer

An example of business inflexibility regarding appointment times is if it is only possible to schedule appointments at certain times of the day and it is not possible to reschedule appointments on the same day or week. 

Show question

Question

Define customer expectations.

Show answer

Answer

Customer expectattions can be defined as the set of actions, behaviours, environment, and benefits the customer looks for while interacting with a business. 

Show question

Question

Customer expectations are set and do not change among customers. True or False?

Show answer

Answer

False. Expectations of customers vary from one another, and also vary depending on the product or service they are looking for. 

Show question

Question

What is the challenging part of identifying customer needs?

Show answer

Answer

A challenging part about this is the change in customer expectation trends. 

Show question

Question

What is customer needs analysis?

Show answer

Answer

Customer needs analysis is a common technique followed by businesses to understand their target audience and their needs. It is the process of identifying customer requirements for a particular product or service. It helps to understand what factors affect a customer’s purchase decision. 

Show question

Question

Name a few methods to understand customer expectations and their experience until now.

Show answer

Answer

Customer survey, customer interviews, and customer reviews

Show question

Question

Name a few examples of customer expectations.

Show answer

Answer

Quick service, shorter waiting time, trustworthiness, clean surroundings, and availability of products or services are a few examples of customer expectations.

Show question

Question

What are the types of customer expectations? 


Show answer

Answer

Explicit, implicit, interpersonal, digital, and dynamic performance are the types of customer expectations. 

Show question

Question

What is the importance of customer expectations? 


Show answer

Answer

Fulfilling or exceeding customer expectations builds business reputation, results in repeat purchases and word of mouth, boosts sales, and helps in acquiring new customers and setting a loyal customer base. 

Show question

Question

How can you effectively manage customer expectations? 


Show answer

Answer

Honest communication, well-informed customer service, being realistic, and following up on customers can help to manage customer expectations.

Show question

Question

How do customer interviews help in understanding customer expectations?

Show answer

Answer

Customer interviews involve direct communication with the customer in order to collect their feedback. This way, you can also understand how they feel about the brand from the tone of communication, and is the most reliable form of collecting feedback. 


Show question

Question

What are explicit expectations?

Show answer

Answer

They are specific mental targets the target audiences have about a particular product or service. 

Show question

Question

Define implicit expectations.

Show answer

Answer

Implicit expectations are the basic characteristics customers anticipate when interacting with a business. It depends on the existing behaviours of other businesses in the market. 

Show question

Question

Expectations customers have while having personal contact with any of the staff members are called _________.


Show answer

Answer

interpersonal expectations

Show question

Question

The type of expectation that customers expect when they communicate or interact with the brand digitally is known as __________.


Show answer

Answer

digital expectations.

Show question

Question

The basic characteristics customers anticipate when interacting with a business are called:


Show answer

Answer

Implicit expectations

Show question

60%

of the users don't pass the Good Customer Service quiz! Will you pass the quiz?

Start Quiz

Discover the right content for your subjects

No need to cheat if you have everything you need to succeed! Packed into one app!

Study Plan

Be perfectly prepared on time with an individual plan.

Quizzes

Test your knowledge with gamified quizzes.

Flashcards

Create and find flashcards in record time.

Notes

Create beautiful notes faster than ever before.

Study Sets

Have all your study materials in one place.

Documents

Upload unlimited documents and save them online.

Study Analytics

Identify your study strength and weaknesses.

Weekly Goals

Set individual study goals and earn points reaching them.

Smart Reminders

Stop procrastinating with our study reminders.

Rewards

Earn points, unlock badges and level up while studying.

Magic Marker

Create flashcards in notes completely automatically.

Smart Formatting

Create the most beautiful study materials using our templates.

Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

Get FREE ACCESS to all of our study material, tailor-made!

Over 10 million students from across the world are already learning smarter.

Get Started for Free
Illustration