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CUSTOMER SERVICE STORIEs
Everyone loves a great customer support story - especially when brands go out of their way to make their customers happy.
From the bank manager who helped an elderly lady create an account to the CEO of a unicorn company who gives up his flight ticket for an unwell passenger, customer service stories never fail to impress, move, and inspire us.
These great customer service stories focus on compassion, empathy, and customer-centricity.
In a nutshell, brands create these wow moments by:
Communicating about issues before customers reach out
Anticipating and resolving pain points before they happen
Going the extra mile to delight your customers
We’ve collected examples of great customer service where you'll learn that wowing customers proactively is not just about doing big, extravagant gestures but also about getting the little things right.
Amazon communicates shipping delays in advance
Slack notifies customers about a security breach
Netflix proactively apologizes for video streaming issues
Kashflow apologizes for a glitch and offers a solution proactively
Optimum Financial Solutions use dedicated relationship managers
AT&T sends personalized ‘video bills’ to their customers
Debenhams has advanced buying guides on its website
Evernote supports quick replies on Twitter
Autopilot contacts customers who visit their support portal
Citibank automatically detects a customer’s travel plans
Airbnb detects travel plans and informs users of hosting services
Lenskart lets customers try frames for glasses at home
Codeship reaches out to users to troubleshoot their issues
Cleartrip proactively reaches out to customers about refunds
Amex detects travel plans and shares useful security tips
Fiverr warns users about what can get their account suspended
Caratlane compares diamonds to everyday objects to guide users
Heap Analytics apologizes for slow query response times
Mention offers to help customers in filtering their tweets
Morton’s Steakhouse surprises Peter Shankman at the airport
Samsung sends man a phone after a viral Facebook interaction
Teabox offers customers who abandon their cart a free coupon
Uber refunds the full trip amount after a bad driver experience
Bonobos gives free coupon to people who abandon their cart
JetBlue greets customer with a welcome parade at the airport
Winc gives a free coupon code on cart abandonment
Amazon apologizes to a user by extending Prime subscription
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While the pandemic triggered order delays, customers continue to expect speedy deliveries. The chances of eCommerce businesses losing out on customers have risen as more entrants join the market and previously offline businesses also got online.
Amazon stands apart by proactively communicating information about shipping delays. By doing this, they resolve questions even before they arise in a customer’s mind, and save time and productivity for their support team, who can resolve more complex questions.
From a short shipment email to the delay in delivery status, letting customers know the progress always builds a better relationship.
A security breach on any scale is every company's nightmare. When customers trust you with their private information, they expect you to protect it 100%. A data breach is also a breach of trust, which is extremely difficult to win back.
Online business communication platform Slack was widely praised and commended for addressing the security breach in their system.
Slack informed its users in advance about unauthorized security access. With specific details about what happened in the breach and how their customers' data was affected, the email also linked to a blog post about Slack's security policies. With transparency as one of the principles on which the company was built, they were genuine about their security policies and won over their customers' loyalty.
The sentiment that you should do your best to make things right with customers during challenging situations is a recurring theme for companies that offer brilliant customer service. It shows their overarching willingness and company-wide accountability to prevent the same crisis from reoccurring in the future.
Some Netflix viewers had a bad experience because of an encoding error in the video player. The streaming giant proactively apologized and threw in a 3% credit coupon to compensate for this. By going above and beyond what their customers were asking for, Netflix took their customer experience up quite a few notches. Providing a discount to make up for errors at their product end made their customers happier, resulting in more satisfied customers who may spend more in the future and become loyal patrons of the Netflix brand.
Apologizing is the most compelling way to turn around a bad customer experience. Because it's so effective, knowing how to apologize is a crucial skill for customer service professionals. However, after expressing empathy, it's essential to state the detailed steps you're taking to resolve the issue. If you need to follow up later, let customers know when you'll have a complete resolution and finally wrap it up with a solution that takes care of unresolved concerns.
Kashflow makes it easy to create and share invoices. They apologized when intended recipients didn't receive documents sent from Kashflow because of a technical issue. Beyond that, they also included a template their customers could use when they resend invoices to their clients.
Having a single point of contact or account manager in your business helps establish trust and strong business relationships, creating fertile ground for customer loyalty.
Optimum Financial Solutions is an Indian IT firm that provides cloud-based solutions for wealth management to financial intermediaries. They assign all their customers a Relationship Manager who takes care of their needs and ensures they don't have to contact multiple POCs to resolve their problems. If a customer is not very active, the relationship managers initiate a courtesy call to check in on the customer and ensure smooth and optimal things. In addition, they also regularly update customers on software releases and get feedback from them to improve the overall user experience.
Customers always want a quick and timely resolution to their issues in an easy-to-digest format. From support tickets to customer onboarding, customer service videos expedite the resolution process making them more straightforward and cost-efficient. They explain vast quantities of information in very little time. The best customer service videos build unique connections between customers and support agents, making customers feel heard and cared for.
AT&T sends a personalized explainer video along with their bills to help customers understand every aspect of the bill in great detail. This ensures that customers know exactly what they are being charged for and helps reduce the number of inbound calls on billing issues.
Buyer's guides are the fastest and most reliable way to influence consumers who frequently visit your eCommerce store. With most of your customers moving their purchases online since the pandemic, businesses need to create assets that can answer shoppers' questions around the clock. A buying guide is one such asset that helps shoppers swamped with options to finalize a product after understanding its features.
For example, Debenhams, a leading UK-based clothes retailer, has set up comprehensive buying guides on its website to help customers find what they're looking for easily. They include information on different types of materials available, the feasibility of design customization, price comparison, shipping rates, and more. They anticipate that navigating around the huge range of options can be daunting to a user and have built the buying guides so that the customer can narrow down what they're looking for and make the right purchase decision.
As personalization becomes one of the true differentiators in customer service, businesses have shifted to chatbots, relying on artificial intelligence to create customized customer experiences. Automated reply messages boost customer satisfaction as customers get an instant or near-instant reply, saving them time waiting for an update.
Evernote deployed a chatbot that tries to anticipate why users might be sending them a direct message on Twitter and shows them relevant conversation workflows to start the conversation. Users can choose to get help on an existing ticket or submit a feature request using available choices. This helps the brand feel more accessible before an actual support agent picks up the issue.
Proactive customer support is about identifying and fixing customer issues before they become issues. Proactively reaching out to your customers can deepen your relationships even when they haven't @mentioned you.
Autopilot, a marketing automation company, proactively reaches back out to users who have visited their support portal, a while after they've left. Autopilot ensures customers get the help they are looking for, and they also receive feedback to go back and improve their help content.
These days, satisfying your customer needs in real-time is crucial to stay ahead of the competitors. But soon, "real-time" won't be good enough. Brands will need to fulfill their customers' needs before they are even aware of them. Smart automation will lead the way to unlock new levels of customer satisfaction. Companies that lag behind this fundamental shift in buyer expectations will be at enormous risk.
Citibank automatically detects a customer's upcoming travel plans based on charges on their credit card. The bank also asks their customers to keep their contact information up to date before their travel plans begin, so they can alert them if there are any suspicious transactions.
While predictive analytics might not seem necessary today, it’s important to set up the building blocks today. The more data you collect, the better insights can be reaped by your data analytics in the future.
Businesses need to collect, analyze and act on CX data to predict behavior before it occurs. Top brands like Airbnb anticipate and deliver services proactively while competitors practice old techniques. If Airbnb notices a customer making travel plans, they proactively send them an email with property details to rent out during their holiday.
The consumer experience bar has risen to dizzying heights, and customers are not delighted with anything less than clairvoyance. However, brands need to focus on critical and creative thinking rather than drowning in a sea of data to take action.
Even before the pandemic, Lenskart, an Indian online eyewear store, let customers buy eyeglasses from the comfort of their homes. The brand understood that customers visiting their site for the first time might be overwhelmed by in-store shopping. They give them the option to try out a bunch of sample frames at the comfort of their home, for free. And should the customers be satisfied with their choices, they go ahead and purchase it.
Codeship is a Continuous Integration service that helps developers automate, test and deploy their builds. Codeship proactively reaches out to users whose builds have failed five times in the last 24 hours. They extend a hand to these users and offer to help them troubleshoot their issues.
Cleartrip is an Indian online travel company. If a Cleartrip customer cancels their trip, they receive an email in about a week that asks them if they got the refund credited to their account. The email mentions they can reach out to their support team if they hadn’t yet received it.
Amex automatically detects that a customer is travelling soon and shares some useful tips with them to make communication easier in the unlikely event of suspicious account activity.
Fiverr is a marketplace where you can find freelance services for a variety of business functions. It lets users looking for freelance services directly connect with the people offering them via chat. When these users are engaging with each other, Fiverr keeps a track of what is being typed in the chatbox. Based on the words being used, messages are displayed that warn users of what kind of interaction can get their account restricted. For example, if the word payment is detected, the user is warned that accepting or asking for direct payments can have implications on their account.
Caratlane, an Indian online jewelry store anticipates people have trouble perceiving the size of diamonds they’d like to buy online. They compare it with everyday objects so that customers have a better idea of whether the pendant is too big or too small for them. Beyond improving conversions, this delights customers and leads to a friction-free shopping experience.
Heap Analytics is an online analytics tool that helps users track interactions on websites and iOS apps. When they notice that a particular query takes longer than usual to execute, they reach out to the customer to apologize for the slow performance. They also reassure the customer that this issue is being looked into, and that they’re working to deliver optimal performance.
Mention, a social media monitoring software, detects when a user is getting an abnormally large amount of mentions on a particular day on Twitter. They anticipate that people may not like receiving a huge number of emails when their brand is being mentioned, so they send out an email asking the customer if they need any help in filtering their alerts.
Morton’s steakhouse decided to surprise Peter Shankman who jokingly tweeted asking them to meet him at the airport with a porterhouse steak when he landed. They actually did, and this story became viral establishing Morton’s as a brand who truly go out of their way to please their customers.
Samsung received a humorous letter with a dragon drawing asking them for a free Galaxy S3. They sent a witty response to the customer on Facebook which soon went viral. Acknowledging the positive publicity from the incident, they actually sent the customer a free phone and even personalized it with his dragon drawing.
Teabox is an Indian tea brand that sells tea and tea-based products online. When Teabox notices a customer abandoning their cart, they give them a call and offer a free discount coupon. This gives customers the impression that they genuinely care, helps uncover problems in their customer’s journey and helps Teabox build loyalty points.
After a customer gave a low trip rating on Uber due to a bad driver experience, Uber was quick to apologise. They went one step further and made sure that the customer was never mapped to that particular driver again. They also refunded the full trip amount to make it up to the user.
Bonobos sends this email when their customers abandon carts, and also throws in a 20% discount coupon for their first order. The email is quirky - and it always gets noticed in a sea of promotional emails.
JetBlue is one brand which is serious about delighting customers in the most unique way possible. When this customer jokingly asked them for a welcome parade when she landed, she was actually greeted by a parade of JetBlue employees holding welcome cards.
Winc is an online wine store based in the US. They offer a free discount coupon if they notice a customer abandoning their cart. Not only this, they populate their email with wine suggestions based on what the customer had earlier looked at to help make their purchase decision easier.
When Amazon noticed that a customer is not happy with a delay in the delivery date despite being a Prime member, they proactively extended his Prime subscription by one month as a token of apology for the inconvenience caused.
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