Tips to Improve Customer Service [Expert Advice]

customer service

Did you know whenever we receive good customer service from a company, we tell two to three people. But in case of a bad experience, we broadcast it to ten or twelve others! Yes, that’s true and even science supports this.

Quality of customer service is the golden key to enhance a brand image. Word of mouth, recommendations and referrals are mostly the crucial drivers of a successful business.

It really doesn’t matter, how great your product is or how talented your staff is, one of the things (and the most important one) that makes a mark on customers is the direct interaction they have had with your company.

Those direct interactions have to be pleasant and precise. Not only this, we can put in more efforts on improving our customer service.

So, let’s sail through this expert roundup to understand what all we can do to make our customers happy and delighted with our customer service endeavors.

Let us have a look as to what, the experts have to say:

Diane Magers

Diane Magers

CEO at CX Professionals Association

The experiences we provide today must meet the functional needs of the customer in a consistent and reliable way, but must also engage them with our brand.

Meeting their emotional needs and creating positive feelings about the brand is critically important for any brand to survive in a market where disruption and delight are commonplace. The experience itself - and the level of engagement (e.g. buys more, refers us) that result from that experience - are the products of Experience Professionals.

Sue Duris

Sue Duris

Director of Marketing & CX at M4 Communications, Inc.

There are some key things brands must do to meet and exceed customer expectations.

  • Really get to know your customers and buyers.
    Know who they are and what makes them tick. Understand their likes/dislikes, pains, and motivators. And, know what they expect of you.
  • Listen to your customers so you can improve their experience.
    Engage them and listen to them. Besides having listening posts throughout the journey and surveys in which to obtain feedback, pick up the phone and call them. And take those insights and act on them. Then close the loop with the customer - share with your customers what actions you took to help them.
  • Always be working to make it easy and effortless for a customer to do business with you.
    Anticipate their needs and be proactive. When they see you've got their back, they'll love you and reward you for it.
  • Show gratitude.
    Thank them for being a customer and do so frequently.

Tal Shnall

Tal Shnall

Customer Service Trainer

  • Always make a good first impression.
    Connect emotionally with your customers to make them feel a sense of belonging and valued.
  • Always anticipate their needs.
    If you want to delight your customers, you have to be proactive and learn about their unexpressed needs. When you can personalize the service, the customer feels important and acknowledged as a human being.
  • Under-promise and OVER-deliver.
    Customers have options more than any other time. What's going to make you stand out and delight or WOW your customers today? If you want to be a memorable brand and create loyal customers, you have to add value to their experience.
  • Build credibility and trust.
    It goes without saying that customers have a relationship with people they like and trust. As an organization, we must consistently build those relationships of trust and credibility in the marketplace.

Jonathan Keane

Jonathan Keane

Co-Founder and CEO of CustomerHD

  • We do everything we can to make it easy for our customers to find information they need.
    To do this, we empower our agents to build help center content! The work is more meaningful and the content drives a more effortless experience for customers.
  • One of our key values is empowerment.
    Our team members are empowered to be creative, be thoughtful, and be decisive to help create a customer experience that transcends the rigid process-oriented approach. 
  • We look for team members who have a servant's heart.
    We have found that when we have people who love to help others, they will lose sleep when they are unable to offer an excellent customer experience. This passion for the customer experience is what keeps the team members happy in their job and then empowering them to make decisions results in a differentiated level of support for years to come.

Ayodele Olumide

Ayodele Olumide

Chief Empathetic Officer at My Customer First Consult

First things first, the customer always has to come first!

  • Absolutely every decision to be taken must be centered around how the customer will perceive the action or inaction.
  •  Take very good care of employees.
    Here's why: if you take care of theirs (needs and concerns), they will take care of yours (delighting customers).
  • It is a tad difficult to delight a person you don't know.
    Learn as much as you can at every interaction with a customer. Be sensitive and observant. There is always something new to learn whenever you interact with a customer.
  • Be excited to engage with a customer.
    Simple as it may seem, customers spot it and get thrilled by it! No distractions. Your everything is on them during the interaction. Who really doesn't like to feel special with all the attention?
  • Sound as human as possible especially when it is a remote interaction.
    Carefully mirror the customer's choice of words or how they speak. And feel free to play with emojis when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Do not mess with speed because time remains, and will continually remain, a very valuable resource to every customer. 

    If you remember this rule of thumb when engaging with customers, "The customer is first a human being before he/she is a customer", interactions with customers will be more personal, humanlike, and delightable.

Debbie Szumylo

Debbie Szumylo

Manager, Customer Advocacy at Thomson Reuters Elite

Over the last few years, I’ve purposely moved away from delight, and instead have moved towards:

  • Solving the customers problem.
    There is nothing more frustrating from a customer’s point of view than asking for help or uncovering a significant issue needing immediate attention, only to walk away without resolution. 
  • Making things easy.
    When I can reduce, and even completely remove, the hassle from the customers interaction with me and my company and simply take care of it for them, I’ve greatly increased the customer happiness factor.
  • Being proactive on behalf of the customer.
    Finally, when I can look ahead and share with the customer an idea of what to expect down the road and where to avoid certain pitfalls, I’m able to add extra value to our relationship and prevent them from encountering additional issues. 

Stephen Spencer

Stephen Spencer

Chief Orchestrator of Customer Experiences

Delighting customers is all about listening to them. Always listening.

In other words:

  • Did you hear what they asked for?
  • Did you hear what they actually meant?
  • Did you hear when the first thing you did didn’t quite deliver what they were hoping for?
  • Did you hear what that meant YOU had missed, or weren’t doing well enough?
  • Did you hear what else was on their mind and nothing to do with your business together?
  • Did you hear something personal that you could use to surprise them, parallel to the service you were providing?

Moving business from a transaction to an experience involves observing every tiny, spoken, unspoken, written or chemical response from your customer.

It’s about making sure you have understood the brief, but also that the customer has themself understood it.

And it’s about never assuming that you are doing enough, until they tell you they are delighted. And of course, that thanks may be unspoken too.

If you really listen to and observe your customer throughout your relationship with them, place yourself in their shoes and see the experience through their eyes, you will build a long-lasting relationship that will survive the ups and downs of any relationship and produce genuine customer delight.

Antonio Susta

Antonio Susta

Head of Customer Experience at Linde Group

Working manly in in B2b we do not aim to WOW customers but we try to keep the experience as much EFFORTLESS as possible, pursuing 3 major axis:

  • fast and competent reply at first interaction (chat, mail, voice, in person)
  • be consistent in the quality of the service (clean and aligned processes throughout the company)
  • fast closing of inner and outer loop 

    Being part of a company of 17 bn $ with 65.000 people everything seems easy but in reality it is not.

Mariella Borghi

Mariella Borghi

BDM at CELI - Language Technology

Delighting customers has become crucial in today's business. For years I have been helping companies to deliver excellence with their customers. In my experience, if you want to delight your customers you need to know them first. Applying data science together with Text Analytics is the key to understand what customers want.

Listening to the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is still the easiest way to understand the level of satisfaction. 

By implementing VOC systems, companies acquire the ability to capture and analyze customer feedback in real time and transform it into customer intelligence.

This creates a unified approach that takes into account the customer's entire customer journey through multiple contact channels. The VOC then turns into a force that will guide the actions and strategic business decisions.

Brian Andrews

Brian Andrews

Senior CX Principal at Medallia

  • Help achieve key business outcomes.
    Driving an outstanding CX is only valuable if it helps the company thrive. We are successful if our customers' are successful. Tying CX efforts with their key priorities clarifies that CX is the way for them to win. Without outcomes, nothing matters.
  • Drink our own champagne (or eat our own dog food).
    Internally, we monitor the health of our relationships and quickly respond to issues. We get real-time feedback in our inboxes and on our mobile devices. Feedback helps drive top priorities and helps us to identify exceptional employees. Listening, learning, and acting are key pillars to delighting customers.
  • Seeing around corners.
    Our customers want us to push the technology and thought-leadership boundaries on our roadmap to deliver solutions to help them delight their customers. Our focus is to make it easier and faster for our clients' employees to understand reality and drive prompt action including using AI, ML, and mobile apps.
  • Creating a passionate, connected community.
    Our customer love accelerating progress by learning from other world-class, best practices. To allow great ideas to thrive, we've created users groups, webinars, local and national events, and other engaging communities.
  • Hiring amazing people.
    People are our secret sauce. The top delighter customer comment relates to the passion and helpfulness of our team. Going above and beyond is commonplace, yet celebrated. We carefully select the right individuals by adding an independent "culture" interview as a part of the process. Our inclusive environment ensures employees can bring their whole self to work. When great employees come to work every day wanting to delight customers, magic happens!

Yassine Berrouj

Yassine Berrouj

Customer Experience Manager at Sniffie

  • Predict their issues before they occur
    Making customers happy is one thing but predicting their unhappiness and reacting before it happens is another thing.
    This could be done for example by training staff on thinking proactively by not only solving customer's current issues but also the ones that may or are likely to occur. This requires thinking beyond the FCR (First Contact Resolution) method.
    For example, staff should be trained to avoid the occurrence of new issues that could happen due to already existing issues or issues from the past. Instead of customers having to tell you what food are they allergic to every time they visit why not have a record of your regular customers and always serve them exactly the food they can eat?
    You can even exceed their expectations and create a map of restaurants that offer suitable food for them. They will use the same map every time they are in the city and thank you for it.
  • Make sure they are never unhappy again for the same reason
    Customers hate issues that occur repeatedly. A huge part of keeping your customers requires fixing issues when they appear, as fast as possible, as efficient as possible without friction and permanently. It's that simple.
  • Pave the path for a seamless experience
    You know that feeling when you feel that the world spins around you, you don't have to do anything because everything seems to just work, effortlessly without you even having to think about it. You just lay and let the experience begin. This is the feeling that your customers should have when they jump on your customer journey.
  • Meet and exceed their expectations
    Meeting expectations causes satisfaction but exceeding them, fires up something in our neurons that simply makes us excited. It's close to an erotic feeling. You definitely want that as apart of the experience that you deliver, it will certainly delight anyone.
  • Exceed their expectations when they least expect it
    Kids love ice cream most when they get it without notice. It works like that with almost everything. Creating WoW effects requires a smart sense of over-delivering to your customers. Think about what that could be, it could be over-delivering value or maybe just an unexpected surprise.

Saadia Ali

Saadia Ali
Business Analyst at EPIC Consulting

To give your customers a delightful experience and to improve customer satisfaction does not involve any rocket science however, it does involve the management’s WILL to do so.

A couple of key steps to to follow:

  • Be proactive, understand your customer’s experience with your product or service through their eyes and recognize your organization's existing capabilities/processes in that light. Many times, this simple exercise of walking in your customer's shoes proves to be an eye opener for the whole organization.
  • Build a culture of being transparent within the organization and with the customers.
  • Manage your customers' expectations by under-promising and by COMMUNICATING any challenges at hand to fulfill that promise.
  • Empower your customer facing staff enough to solve customer’s complaints immediately and in case the issue cannot be resolved instantly, provide the customer with a legitimate and satisfactory reason.
  • Listen to what your customers are telling you – These listening posts could be your customer facing staff, social media, your website, direct emails etc and most importantly take action and inform your customers about those actions - That is the best way to show them that ‘you are listening’.

Key Takeaway...

How to improve customer service is a short term impasse that every organization suffers from! The most vital thing you can do to improve relationships with your customers is improve customer service culture within your organization.

Getting every employee on board with a customer service culture and concept of internal customers might take some time and extra efforts. However, once you amalgamate this concept into your company culture, you’ll improve not only your customer service, but everything from productivity to employee satisfaction.

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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction.


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