Five Principles of Excellent Customer Service

When was the last time you received exceptional customer service?

A quick poll around the OBC office found that most of us struggled to give a recent example. That's not to say we've had dreadful experiences but that most transactions fall into the 'satisfactory' category.

We ourselves know how difficult it is to give great service to our clients, especially when you have had many significant changes in your team, which creates added pressure and responsibility to existing and new members.

Nevertheless, we know we cant make excuses because our clients quite justifiably are not interested in excuses, so we have regular "learning lunches" where we continually discuss how to improve our systems so we can keep aiming to deliver great service.

So how can we all turn satisfactory customer service into exemplary customer service?

1.       Most of the time there's nothing wrong with satisfactory. In fact, consistently delivering what you promised is a sign of excellent customer service.


Take Amazon for example. The company has built up a reputation for accurate product descriptions and prompt deliveries. As a result, Amazon came out as the most reputable company in a poll 18,000 US consumers.


2.       In the UK, the high street cosmetics company Lush topped off a Which? survey into customer satisfaction. The company did well in all areas but was singled out for its helpful and knowledgeable staff.

Rowena Bird, co-founder of Lush, has said that recruiting people who are enthusiastic about the brand and rigorous training helps create customer loyalty.

3.       Bird also says that listening to customers and staff and making changes where needed is key to offering great customer service.

4.       Online bank First Direct also did well in the Which? poll, getting top marks for its ability to deal with problems. In practical terms, this means making it easy for customers to get the help they need when something goes wrong.

This could include:

·         a FAQ page on your website

·         having a company procedure for specific problems

·         making sure your contact details are easy to find on your website.

5.       On the flipside, the Which? research showed that not making customers feel valued can damage your customer service credentials. Ryanair scored badly in this category, coming bottom of the Which? survey overall.

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