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Examples of going above and beyond for a customer

As a small business owner, you are nothing without your customers. This is why at my own company I truly do whatever it takes to show my customers that they are the most important thing in our business.

And it always surprises me that many online store owners look at customer satisfaction as a cost center and necessary evil. When in reality excellent customer service will create loyal customers that will continue to buy from you.

How do you measure customer experience?

It seems like such a difficult thing to measure. I use these 4 metrics to help gauge how well our customer support team is executing our vision of "doing the unexpected" and "wowing customers at any cost."

Help Scout Happiness Report is a great way to measure overall customer satisfaction as a company. You can also drill down further by the employee. We have a benchmark rating of 91% Great.

Anything above this number means we are on track. Anything below means we have an angry customer or 2 and we need to diagnose it. Often times customers just want to be heard and are more than reasonable.

I have trained my customer service team to reach out to anyone who has scored our replies as NOT GOOD. This simple follow-up is a great example of putting in a little extra effort that your customers will really appreciate. Any help desk tool like Help Scout is a great method to quantify your customer service experience.

Product Reviews (Star method) is a great way to see how your customers like your actual products, but it can also shed light on if your customers are happy customers or not. We usually review these product reviews during a new product launch to see what the overall feedback is.

Often we will see if our team left a good impression and had a positive attitude in these reviews. Product reviews are interesting because they are truly a mix of product and customer service.

I really enjoy them because it provides some really cool insight into what we should launch next and how we can improve our products and provide exceptional service.

Social media comments: This is not as tangible as a customer feedback score and it can be difficult to take every single comment on social media too seriously.

But, I often can see an overall theme by reading the comment section on our social media posts and ads. We tend to Focus on Facebook comments and the comments in our owners-only group that we have.

The owners-only group is a really important asset to the business because it's our actual customers and it's a great way to communicate with them on social media. In addition to reading the social media comments, we can also solve common questions easily in the group.

We also like to review what our customers are posting in the group, not just what they are commenting on other posts. Often, we can see them posting examples of exceptional customer service in the group.

This can be a great way to gauge how our actual customers are feeling about our customer service experience.

Returning customer rate in Shopify: This is a quantifiable measurement, but doesn't directly correlate to your customer satisfaction.

How often your customers repeat buy can also be a function of the products you are selling. But, you can be sure that if your customer service is poor that no matter what you are selling they will not be returning.

For example, if you are selling a consumable product or a subscription service the likelihood that your customer buys again is far higher than someone who sells a hard good like a golf club. A golf club doesn't need to be replaced every month like a consumable. I think having a baseline customer repeat order rate for your specific online store niche is important.

For my own online store, I can easily look at our returning customer rate especially when we launch a new product. If we aren't selling to many existing customers that can be an indicator that our customers aren't happy enough to buy again.

Meeting your customer's needs is something that needs to happen every day, not just once in a while. And I would argue that going above and beyond for a customer needs to happen every day for it to have a meaningful impact on your business and your brand.

You can't just be excellent at customer service once in a while.

The best way to wow your customers is to do the unexpected (customer expectations are low already)

When a customer service representative does this it turns a regular customer into a repeat customer. The unfortunate truth is that most customers have low expectations when it comes to customer service. So providing a stellar customer service experience just means doing the unexpected.

Example: A customer emails and says they lost a golf club on the 7th hole and they want to buy a replacement. They are expecting to get a link to buy a new club and they will have to pay for their mistake of losing a golf club.

My team has been trained to do the unexpected, so they will just ship the customer a new replacement club even before they reply back! So they solve the problem and do the unexpected which is shipping the club at no cost to the customer.

This is a great example of outstanding customer service because you are doing the unexpected. This simple change in mindset, allows my team to provide the best customer service experience without having to talk to me.

They never need to ask my permission to do a refund or send the free product they just operate with the mindset of wowing the customers and doing the unexpected. This can take some time to train new employees because it is not the norm.

Key takeaways:

  • Do the unexpected (expectations of the customers are already low - you can wow them!)

  • Eat the cost to do the unexpected

  • Do not debate it, just do the right thing before you even reply (this will wow them)

  • Your customer service team will need the right attitude and actually care about them

  • Employ team members who love your niche (Golfers should work at a golf company)

Here are some examples of great customer service

How do you actually go the extra mile consistently? I let the customer service department run itself. To make sure new customers and existing customers have an amazing experience means I need to trust my team. I better also make sure my employees are happy too!

If I am micro-managing my employees they will do the same to our customers. Once you have found a good candidate and relevant work experience you should let them do their job freely.

I use the 4 measurements I mentioned above to check in to make sure we are on track. I am fortunate that I no longer have to do that because my team members have been with my company for many years. This creates a true win-win situation for my customer service team and our customers.

Example: A customer posted in the group that they had their golf clubs stolen from their trunk. Instead of commenting on the post, we will just take immediate action and send them replacement clubs. They had no expectations that we would do this, this unexpected action truly wows the customer and they will tell others about the positive experience.

This example of great service doesn't take a lot of extra work either. It just takes the ability to see things differently and look at bad customer experiences as the best opportunity to show them how amazing our customer service team is and how seriously we take to make them happy.

The best solutions come from just doing the right thing

Here is another example of good customer service.

Example: A customer calls in and says that their order still hasn't arrived. The shipping carrier has been delayed. Although we have no control over the shipping carrier getting the product there on time we can control how we handle it.

Instead of doing the bare minimum which would be providing them with a tracking number and update. We often will just refund the shipping or offer to ship the products again. Both of these solutions are not expected by the customers, hence providing a great customer experience.

What customer service skills do you need?

Customer service is often the first thing outsourced, but for my eCommerce brand, it is our only in-house position. Although, I could outsource it and save a lot of money by doing that.

I have chosen to spend more to keep this house and I have found that is the best way to truly create a service experience that people will talk about.

They will treat a customer's problem as if it was their own. This is the best way to change your perspective on customer service and make sure customers are raving about your products to all their friends.

It can be super powerful and have a compounding effect. Great customer service can go a long way and drive revenue from simple word of mouth if done properly for a sustained period of time.

On the other hand, a bad customer experience can spread like wildfire.

Invite your customers to talk with your team

Talk with your customers and invite them to talk with you. Our email list is one of the most valuable assets we own in the business and we want to make sure it is extremely healthy and thriving. In order to do this, we ask our customers questions via email. These are real questions we want to know the answers to.

When a customer replies, we reply back. It sounds so simple, but I have seen many emails that have a no-reply email. This is the exact opposite approach we take. We invite and encourage customers to reply to emails, this way we can build an authentic relationship with them.

Many customers know my team members by name, this does not happen when you send no reply emails to your customer list! Having a strong work ethic and the ability to consistently wow customers isn't easy unless they love their job.

Do you have a phone number?

Customer call in's are a great opportunity to build a deeper relationship than just via email. This is another reason that I have my team members in the house who love golf, they can talk about the game my customers and employees love.

We always encourage our customers to call us, even though many like to email us their issues we enjoy just talking and hearing about their round or that perfect golf shot they hit.

You would be surprised how many good ideas we get for new products just by talking to our customers on the phone.

Never give a customer a hard time or debate an issue

The greatest accomplishment for any customer service rep or account manager is to have a customer post about their experience with a rep. Nothing makes me more proud of my team than seeing a customer rave about their experience with them. That is an easy way to know your reps are doing a great job.

Lastly, you should make sure you are talking with your customers wherever they are. So if you are using Live Chat, you better have someone on it.

If you are running Facebook ads, you better have someone on Facebook messenger and so on. Wherever you are having customers engage, you need to be ready to communicate.

Do you have examples of good customer service? Let me know in the comments.

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