How to improve your business’s customer service experience

Barbara Jackson

7 min read Last Updated Aug 5, 2020

Not many people have positive associations when they think of the word “customer service.” Some imagine a disinterested employee answering questions in a pained, monotone voice. Others may think of Kristen Wiig’s “Target Lady” character on Saturday Night Live, the overly enthusiastic Target employee who gets so excited by all of her customers, that she talks their ear off. But, both of these examples don’t accurately display what customer service experience is all about.  

What is customer service experience?


The goal of customer service experience is to increase customer satisfaction and provide customer assistance. How well does your business aid customers before, during, and after their purchase? Your business’s response to product questions, order delivery inquiries, troubleshooting, and returns/exchanges are all part of the customer service experience.


Unlike antiquated examples of customer service, these interactions can happen across a variety of channels. Phone calls, emails, online chats, face to face interactions, response times, and employee attitude all fall under the umbrella of customer service experience. 

Why is customer service experience important?

The value of a business’s customer service experience cannot be overstated. Investing in customer service experience will help your business… 

  • Stand out from the pack
  • Keep customers coming back
  • Turn happy customers into your best advertisers
  • Define your brand

Stand out from the pack

With so many companies and products awaiting discovery just on the other side of a Google search, it is more important than ever for your business to stand out from the competition. Fantastic customer service experience is one way to do that. In fact, 55% of customers cite a business’s customer service reputation as the determining factor in their purchasing decision. 

Keep customers coming back 

Perhaps a customer has chosen your product because it has more features than your competitor’s or your price point is lower. Those factors can help make the sale, but what brings your customers back for more? Fantastic customer service. The way your business assists customers after a purchase is critical. After one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again. For maximum customer retention, up-selling, and cross-selling opportunities, it’s imperative that your business invests in great customer service. 

Turn happy customers into your best advertisers

With the right customer service, your customers will be eager to share their stories about your company. Sharing customer success stories on your website is a tried and true method of communicating your customers’ support. Yet not every business has the resources to create long videos or write in-depth customer stories. Another method is to share customer testimonials. A great way to hear from your customers is being active on social media and encouraging their engagement. 

Define your brand 

Many businesses are defined by their customer service. The way that your business responds to customer questions, especially on social media, can shape the way the public sees your business as a whole. Take a look at how Wendy’s utilizes customer service to grow their brand. 

Wendy’s 

While this popular fast food restaurant is typically known for its hilarious Twitter roasts, they are also especially responsive to customer concerns. In addition to being entertaining, customers also know that Wendy’s is accommodating. 

Wendy's

Utilizing the power of social media for customer service is a great way to capitalize on positive customer experiences and grow your brand. 

How to improve customer service experience

Now that you know why customer service experience is important, here are some ways you can improve it. The best place to start? Evaluate what you’re already doing well. Establish metrics to understand how your company is doing and where you need to improve. Here are some popular tools to evaluate your customer service experience. 

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is based around one simple question: “How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or colleague?” Customers just have to answer this one single question and rate their likelihood to recommend a company from 0-10. Then, customers are categorized as detractors, passives, and promoters. Detractors left a rating of 6 or lower. These customers were not satisfied with their experience. Passives rated a company 7 or 8, which means they were satisfied but could switch to a competitor with a better offering. Promoters are the customers who left a 9 or 10 rating. These customers are enthusiastic about the business and their experience, meaning they are likely to spread great word of mouth. 

Surveys

There are two types of customer surveys, transactional and relationship, and it’s important for your business to utilize both to properly understand your customer service. Customer surveys provide a deeper insight to the successes and shortfalls of your business than a Net Promoter Score, which just measures overall customer experience. 

Average online review rating 

What are your reviews saying? Do you have a method for analyzing all of your reviews? Having the right review management system helps you sort through all of your customer feedback to get a sense of customer satisfaction overall. It can also identify trends to show you if you have consistent strengths or weaknesses in your customer service. Let’s say that you are an electronics company, and there are multiple online reviews with low scores, all mentioning the word “camera.” Upon further review, you realize that the camera department is not always at the desk, frustrating your customers. With this insight, you could address this concern directly and improve. 

Social media engagement

All those posts, comments, likes, and shares on sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can tell you more than just how engaged your customers are with your brand. Social listening tools are available that can dig deep into this feedback to reveal positive and negative themes emerging within your market.

Customer churn rate

This is the percentage of customers who don’t repeat business or who cancel their subscription. Are there any commonalities among your customers who have left? How can you improve based on that feedback? Getting a hold of your customer churn rate as early as possible will be a great gauge of progress when tracked alongside your other metrics.

Simple best practices to improve customer service experience

Better customer service experience starts with employees who are all on the same page. Train your employees to practice these tools so that your customer service experience can improve. 

  • Communicate clearly. Speaking in a conversational tone, asking questions, and careful listening will help your employees communicate more clearly with customers.
  • Keep a level head in the face of negative feedback. If you are speaking with an upset customer, take a deep breath and remain calm. The calmer you are, the more likely the customer is to listen. Once both parties are composed, you can move on to solving the issue at hand. 
  • Patience and a good attitude go a long way. Not all customer service experiences will be positive. In these situations, practice patience and a good attitude. Let the customer know you are there to assist them and listen. Oftentimes a customer’s initial frustrations will wear off, and they will be more receptive to your employee’s assistance.

With these best practices and the right metrics, your business can improve its overall customer service experience.

Improve customer service experience with BirdEye

With BirdEye, your business can easily send out customer satisfaction surveys to gauge how happy your customers are with their customer experience. BirdEye also uses natural language processing (NLP) to evaluate customer reviews across the internet. This information is then aggregated to help businesses track review trends and understand how customers feel about their experience. With surveys and insights, your business will have a great overview of your customer service experience. 

Interested in learning more? Find out how BirdEye can help you create a stronger customer service experience. Watch our free demo today!