#BetterThan Customer Service

customer service

This post originally appeared on the FCR blog on February 10, 2016. Click here to read the original.

I was recently sitting in a discussion on quality where we listened to a customer service call. The details of the call are foggy at this point but the interaction included all of the typical ingredients. You know, the “Hi my name is,” the listening, the answering all of the questions, the “thanks for calling,” the goodbye, and all of the documentation that goes along with the call.

When it came down to it, my colleague handled the call according to protocol. But still I found myself wanting more. While there were multiple aspects of the call that were good, much could have been done to make it better.

Oftentimes, this is where showing empathy, making that personal connection, and going above and beyond enters the conversation. For example, the customer may say something about how they’ve been sick or maybe their dog is sick and we gloss over it and just answer their questions. Or perhaps the customer asks how to log into their account to pay their bill. We help them log in and assume they can take care of the bill on their own knowing full well that if they couldn’t login on their own, they probably won’t be able to pay their bill on their own either.

So that got me thinking about good versus better. Our aim should always be to deliver Better Than customer service. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Try a few of these phrases on for size.

“Make the customer’s day better than it was before they called.” Tweet This

“Deliver customer service that’s better than the competition.” Tweet This

“Resolve the customer’s issue better than they expected.” Tweet This

“Treat customers better than they treat you.” Tweet This

“Provide the customer with a solution that’s better than the question they asked.” Tweet This

“Make your next call better than your last call.” Tweet This

“Make calling contact centers better than the typical experience of calling contact centers.” Tweet This

As I said in my practical guide to connecting with customers, wow is quickly becoming an expected ingredient in every customer interaction. It’s no longer good enough to settle for good enough. If you’re in frontline customer service or you serve someone who is, try setting your aim a little higher. Aim for better than and see what kind of difference it makes.Also, I’d love to hear your best better than phrase. Leave us a comment or share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.


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Jeremy Watkin is Director of Customer Experience and Support at NumberBarn. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service and contact center professional leading high-performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, product marketing, social media, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

One comment

  • This post is #BetterThan awesome–love the creative challenge you threw at us, Jeremy. I’m brainstorming now. Here are a couple ideas:

    -“Take lemons that the customer received and make them a margarita better than they’ve ever had before!”

    -“Make your customer smile so much bigger and better than ever before, so much that their cheeks hurt.”

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