How to Deliver Great Customer Service in 8 Steps

The principles for delivering good customer service are simple. You need to be customer-focused, fast, and a true product expert. But how do you deliver great customer service and create the kind of customer experience people will rave about? 

Excellent customer service requires you to create seamless, intuitive, personalized, and consistent customer experiences each time. 

Customer service maturity assessment

To help you upgrade the kind of customer service you deliver, we’ve put together this guide that covers the basics of great customer service, along with tips, and examples of customer-led brands you can learn from.

By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what excellent customer service looks like — and how to deliver something even better. 

What is Great Customer Service? 

Great customer service is going above and beyond just answering customer questions to the point. Great customer service is all about creating positive, memorable, and personalized experiences for customers. 

When you offer great customer service, you don’t just focus on creating ‘extraordinary’ experiences. This is a common misunderstanding that some brands might have about delivering great customer service — they prioritize ‘extraordinary’ experiences that only impact the few people who receive them. 

Instead, focusing on consistency and personalization makes all customers happy.

Why is it important to deliver great customer service?

74%1 of people say customer experience is a key factor in their purchasing decisions, but less than half of US consumers say companies offer a good customer service experience. 

This means there’s room for best in class companies to stand out. 

Especially when you consider that 68%2 of customer service leaders have seen an increase in customer expectations since February 2020. Plus, 58%3 of businesses have seen an increase in customer churn since then.Why is great customer service important?So is there a secret to delivering great customer service? Not really.

Fundamentally, providing good customer service means you respect your customer’s time, show expertise, are responsive, and customize the experience. 

However there are always ways to up the ante on this, great customer service can also include adding an element of surprise. Take Zappos for example, whose customer support line has an option you can press to hear a joke of the day. 

Screenshot of a tweet appreciating Zappos 

Sometimes being on hold is unavoidable, but this keeps customers entertained while they wait. It’s a simple way you can make your customer’s experience better. 

8 Steps to Deliver Great Customer Service 

Great customer service isn’t out of reach. Once you know how it’s done, you can integrate the must-haves into your company culture. 

Here’s how to deliver better than great customer service in eight steps, with customer service examples to show you how it’s done. 

1. Be Customer Focused

The companies that win in 2021 will be customer focused. Some might even say customer obsessed. 

With two-thirds of marketers saying their brand competes almost entirely on customer experience, now is the time to step up and become truly customer focused. 

This means you need to prioritize your customer’s needs, wants, and wishes, above the plan or script, and make sure every person in your company is aligned to this goal. It’s about going the extra mile in search of customer loyalty and happiness.

Customers aren’t afraid to say goodbye if their needs aren’t met. 32%4 of people say they’d walk away from a brand they love based on one bad customer service experience. The best way to avoid that is by being customer focused. 

How it’s done

Over at Glossier, the team received an email from a bride-to-be panicking about a much-desired highlighter being out of stock. The customer service rep messaged around the team to ask if anyone had an unopened one they could send to the customer.

Screenshot of Glossier Haloscope highlighter

Not only did the bride-to-be get to wear her favorite highlighter on her big day, but she’ll give them glowing customer feedback. Glossier’s team was focused on delivering a result for that customer, and have likely won her over as a loyal customer. 

2. Respond Quickly

Customers don’t want to wait days for a response. Create a better than great customer experience by responding as fast as you can, without compromising on quality. 

Delays can cause frustration and let emotions run high, especially if a customer has a query about or problem with something essential – like a car, utilities, or finances. 

According to recent research, 42%5 of customers consider 1-3 minutes to be the acceptable wait time to speak to a customer service representative. Only 31% of customers are willing to wait no longer than 5 minutes to speak to someone. 

Customer service technology like Freddy AI for CX can help you speed up resolutions for customers. For instance, the customer-facing chatbot helps customers get help within moments. And with agent-facing AI, your team can complete those essential customer support tasks more efficiently. Speed is an important factor of delivering great customer service

How it’s done

When a Tesla owner found themselves with a flat tire, they reached out to their customer service team for help. Tesla had a loaner tire to this driver within 40 minutes, then came out to fit a replacement within a few days. 

Screenshot of a customer appreciating Tesla on Twitter

Tesla’s efficiency not only creates a happy customer, but helps keep their internal customer service processes streamlined too. 

3. Be Proactive

Don’t wait until your customers contact you. Be proactive, analyze customer behavior to predict problems, and offer a solution before customers reach out to you. 

To excel at proactive customer service, offer relevant, timely, and uncomplicated information to customers. This includes your website, via email, on social media, and through print. 

Proactive customer service also applies before your customer has even received your product. 66%6 of US customers hold a more favorable view of companies that offer proactive customer service notifications. So, always keep customers informed by communicating delays in advance. 

This applies to delivery, but also to notifications about expected and unexpected downtime, sales offers, and links to setup guides after purchase. 

How it’s done

The holiday season is big for console sales, especially with new generation consoles entering the market. Knowing this, Xbox Support has shared an easy guide on how to add new friends.

Screenshot of XboxSupport guide on how to add friends on Xbox

Their Twitter feed features a mix of status updates and helpful tips to help players get the most out of their product. Offering quick, simple user guides through Twitter means they’ll get fewer DMs about these easy-to-resolve support queries. 

4. Be Available Everywhere Your Customer Is

Customers want fast, easy service wherever they are. Gone are the days where service happens on your terms — these days it’s all about being available where your customer spends their time. 

Often customers will take to social media not only to talk about your product or service, but also to find a solution to their query or ask you a question. With 70% of the US population having at least one social media account, and 78% having an account on Facebook, social media service is non-negotiable7

That’s why it’s important that your team needs to be available, active, and responsive on relevant social media platforms. However, with new social platforms launching with increasing frequency, it’s also important to identify the right channel mix for you and find the right purpose for each channel. 

Keeping track of mentions on Twitter can feel like a full-time job at times, but Freddy AI’s social signals can automatically convert tweets into support tickets. 

Customer service teams are also making the most of live chat and messaging on social media platforms, with 81% of customer service leaders investing 36% more in this area8Offer great omnichannel customer service

How it’s done

With so many channels to manage, use an omnichannel customer service platform like Freshdesk to streamline your responses. 

Screenshot of Freshdesk - an omnichannel customer service software

Freshdesk Omnichannel brings customer conversations from social, chatbots, email, phone, and messaging apps together into a single screen. This means you can create more satisfied customers, however, they contact you.

5. Be Available 24/7

51%9 of customers want businesses to be available 24/7, and 75%10 want a response within five minutes. Give your customers a way to resolve their query without waiting for your team to wake up, with the help of chatbots and self-service options. 

Offer your customers the chance to find an answer or fix right away, with self-service 24/7 support options. 

For instance, you can create an informative knowledge base with how-to articles, and design intelligent chatbot workflows that guide your customer to the right result. 

With intuitive self-service options available, your customer can still get the best of your expertise and help without talking to someone. This means you can keep your costs lower, and avoid bringing in an around-the-clock support team. 

How it’s done

Even the largest of companies don’t have their phones manned 24/7 for general customer service queries. American Express lets customers know where they can find support fast, even if they message in through a channel without 24/7 support.

Screenshot of an auto reply tweet from Amex

American Express has autoresponders that give their customers an instant response instead of leaving them waiting. This gives their customers the chance to find an immediate response through an alternative support channel.

6. Offer Intuitive Self Service Options

Customers often encounter the same problems, issues, or have similar questions. Help them solve problems themselves by offering intuitive self-service options.

78% of customer service leaders are investing 31% more in self-service11. Knowledge bases can house articles, guides, walkthroughs, and videos. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages can answer key questions for potential and existing customers. 

Chatbots offer an intuitive way for customers to get the answers they seek. 

Freddy-AI-powered chatbots surface relevant content from your knowledge base to customers using your chatbot widget. Plus, these chatbots can also follow up with conversational responses to create a more engaging customer experience. 

If you’re not already on board with chatbots, now’s the time. 25% of customer service teams will invest in a virtual customer assistant or chatbot by 2030, and research shows investing in this technology leads to an increase in customer satisfaction and a 33% saving, compared to a voice engagement12

How it’s done

At Freshdesk, our support section features a range of self-service options — including a knowledge base, web-widget, video library, and community.

Screenshot of Freshdesk's support section

These self-service options give our customers the opportunity to find an answer or get help whenever they need it. 

7. Prioritise Industry and Product Expertise

Customers want to reach someone that can actually help and solve their problem. Offer excellent customer service by connecting your customers to customer service agents with expertise, product knowledge, and the latest updates. 

34% of UK customer service leaders13 said ineffective internal knowledge management was their biggest challenge in 2020. 

Make it easier to resolve those support queries on the first call with Assist Bot. This agent-facing AI helps your team work faster and smarter, and deliver more consistent responses for customers using intelligently suggested responses, resources, or steps. 

Invest in customer service training for every service employee and make sure they have the right customer service skills. 

Empower them with intelligent software like Freddy AI, and encourage them to use some of their talents and expertise to deliver excellent customer service. 

How it’s done

Over at Wistia, a team member combined their product knowledge and video skills to create videos to solve support queries. This includes customized videos to deliver bad news or congratulate customers on a win.

Screenshot of a Wistia customer service repWistia has combined product knowledge and personal expertise to create these “wow moments” for customers with personalized video support. 

8. Offer Personalized Service

Your customers want to feel like you’ve read, understood, and solved their problem in a personal way. Impress your customers and win them over by delivering personalized customer service experiences. 

75% of shoppers want brands to personalize their messages, and offering a personalized experience can lead to an 8% increase in online conversion rates14. Personalization is great for sales, and it’s great for service too. 

With the right data and technology, you can deliver personalized experiences with ease. To make this easier, 43% of customers are willing to give personal data in order to allow for a more personalized experience15

This can be as simple as using a good customer service software that displays a customer’s previous interactions with you when they get in touch. This way, customers don’t need to relay their history to you — you can see it right there, and route them quickly to the most useful solution. 

Personalized service is all about creating a connection with your customer. Send personalized messages around key dates like birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, or create a memorable experience based on their history with you. 

Importance of personalized customer service

How it’s done

This shoe store owner in Georgetown helped a family’s yearly tradition come true despite the pandemic, by handpicking a selection of options for them to try on and choose at home.

Screenshot of a shoe store owner delivering personalized customer experience

You don’t have to be a local store to make this happen, though. A video of an Amazon delivery recently went viral, when the delivery driver followed the customer’s delivery instructions perfectly.

Exceptional Customer Service Is Your New Benchmark

There are examples of amazing customer service everywhere you look. Big name brands like Amazon and American Express are on it, as well as your local family-owned stores. If you’re not already focused on customer experience, this is your reminder that you should be. 

See great customer service not as the goal, but as the first step on the journey. 

Challenge your team to go above and beyond to create impressive, personalized customer experiences. Become known not for your great service, but for your relentless hunger to deliver amazing experiences for customers. 

Transform your approach to customer service with tools that make seamless, omnichannel service easy. Discover how Freddy AI and Freshdesk can empower your team with powerful, AI-powered tech that drives a better customer experience. 


1 –

2 –

3 –

4 –

5 –

6 –

7 –

8 –

9 –

10 –

11 –

12 –

13 –

14 –

15 –