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5 ways to give better customer service

Good customer service will give you the advantage over competitors

It’s no secret that great customer service is one of the biggest indicators of a company’s future success – if you do it right you will delight your customers, get great reviews, and (most importantly) create relationships that last.

Businesses who are truly successful care about repeat custom, and it shows in every interaction with their customers and potential customers. So, what’s the secret? Here’s our top 5 ways you can take your customer service to the next level:

1. Get to know your customers

We don’t mean you need to spend your Summer holidays together or follow them to the shops, just spend time thinking about their needs, consider what they might want from you, what they really don’t like, or how you could do a better job of helping them.

The airline, JetBlue, knew their customers hated having to repeat themselves whenever they spoke to a new person or department, so they found a way to fix that; their employees all have access to a system that keeps comprehensive records of all bookings and interactions with individuals, even down to social media activity. This means their customers only need to give a few simple details to get the help they need.

Carry out surveys and analyse your data – what do your customers ask for the most? What do they complain about, and what do they love? Once you know this, you are already on your way to delivering incredible customer service.

2. Consider every contact channel

Anyone who interacts with your business, whether in person, online or over the phone, needs to receive the best possible service.

The bespoke jewellers, Taylor & Hart, receive calls from customers all around the world, across multiple time zones. This made it difficult to ensure all calls were answered 24/7 so, to solve this problem, they use Moneypenny’s Telephone Answering Service. By partnering with a professional answering service, they know customers will always be able to speak to a real person, no matter the time of day or night they call.

Think about your business contact number – when people call, who do they speak to? Are they stuck on hold? How long do they have to wait for a call back if they leave a message? What about your social media, website, and emails? Businesses who care about the service they give through every contact channel deliver better customer service overall.

3. Be responsive and engaging

Today’s consumers expect 24/7 customer service and fast – if not immediate – responses when they engage with a brand. When a customer contacts you over the phone or by email, you have a little time to get back to them – though you will miss opportunities if you leave them hanging for more than a few hours. When someone speaks to you on social media, however, they expect a reaction far quicker. Do you check every day for new mentions and direct messages? Do you respond quickly or do your customers have to wait for days?

Global hoteliers, Marriott, built a Social Media Command Centre in Maryland, USA (now also in London, Florida and Hong Kong). The team there has one goal – to “surprise and delight” guests in order to boost PR for the brand and increase repeat custom. There’s another team in charge of complaints so these guys get to have all the fun; selecting opportunities to gift perks and upgrades, posting about trending topics and chatting to fans of the brand in real time.

If your brand is on social media, it is vital that someone is accountable for monitoring interactions and replying promptly when people get in touch. Beyond the practicalities, this is a great opportunity for you to have a little fun – get involved in trending conversations, offer prizes, discounts, and gifts. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

4. Don’t just have a website, use it

A lot of brands have a website because they think they should, they don’t think about its purpose beyond checking an item of a to-do list. When someone visits your website, it’s essential that they can find what they need quickly and, at the very least, it should clearly explain who you are and what you do. To give a quality service through your website, you will need to give answers to FAQs, provide clear contact information and manage expectations by giving an indication of response time for users who complete contact or booking enquiry forms.

Custom car leasing company, V4B, improved their customer service journey by adding Live Chat to their website. With Moneypenny’s Outsourced Live Chat Service, they provide expert customer support 24/7, outperform their competitors and set themselves apart. Whenever they need or want to, customers can speak to a real person and get a response immediately. In such a competitive industry, high-quality customer service makes a big difference.

The way you present your brand online, and how responsive you are, forms a huge part of your customer experience. Use your website to deliver great service – be helpful, be clear and keep the information up to date.

5. Think about the future

Excellent customer service also includes after sales care. Showing your customers that you think about them after they’ve spent money will make them feel valued and, in turn, make them value your brand. There are a number of ways to do this; a warranty policy (that’s easy to claim against), fast responses to enquiries, tutorials and guides on using your products or services, a ‘thank you’ email that includes a discount code for the next purchase or even a phone call to check a product is working as expected.

Unlike many other brands and businesses who focus their advertising on gaining new customers, Audi runs campaigns targeting the people who already own their cars. These after sales adverts (like the “Make sure your Audi is winter-ready” campaign) focus on accessories, merchandise, seasonal products like cold weather tyres, service, and repairs. They also serve to remind their customers about free oil-checks and other perks they may have forgotten about.

Emails for sign-up anniversaries, customer birthdays, suggested products based on purchase history or a timely feedback questionnaire will remind your customers that you’re there, show them you care about their experience with you, and encourage repeat custom. Simple.

Introducing Moneypenny

Moneypenny is the world’s leading outsourced communications provider, delivering Telephone Answering, Live Chat, Switchboard and multichannel customer services for businesses of all shapes and sizes – from sole traders right up to multinational corporations.

To find out how you will benefit from our amazing people and technology, call us now on 0333 202 1005.

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