Customer service is one of the touchpoints that can make or break your brand image and, eventually, the growth of your business. Outside of the basics like responsiveness, professionalism, and effective communication, providing exceptional customer service will engender the kind of word-of-mouth business and loyalty that no amount of marketing could ever bring.
In this article, we’ve compiled examples of brands that transcended the ordinary in customer service. We’ll also look at what you can learn from them to elevate your own level of support.
What is good customer service?
In every company, the customer service team has two major roles: Help resolve customer issues with minimal effort from the customer’s side, and help customers derive greater value from the product.
A company that wants to offer good customer service should play both of these roles at the right times.
Some core elements of exceptional customer service include responsiveness, empathy, problem-solving, consistency, and personalization. It can also mean meeting customers where they are, adding a human touch, and ensuring that they receive the best experience possible.
Good customer service also plays an important role in increasing customer loyalty. Gartner research found that there’s an 86% probability of increasing wallet share — the amount of money a customer spends on a specific brand — if the customers receive value during a service interaction.
Good customer service examples from top brands
Let’s look at some notable examples of good customer service, showcasing these brands’ commitment to taking a customer-centric approach.
1. NetHunt CRM
When new users sign up for a NetHunt CRM account, they receive a personalized welcome video from their customer success manager. In the message, the CSM introduces themself casually and starts to build a personal connection with the client.
The message demonstrates NetHunt’s dedication to ensuring a smooth onboarding experience. The video adds a human touch, helping users feel more welcome.
Takeaway: Sending personalized content instead of automated messages during onboarding is a great idea to help make customers feel more connected with the brand. It also makes them feel more comfortable reaching out for assistance.
Adobe, the popular design software, has a proactive Twitter presence where they routinely address customer queries and complaints.
The customer support team answers complex questions about the tool and gives helpful advice on the best ways to accomplish tasks.
Takeaway: Showing up where your customers are — in this case, on social — gives them access to help in the moment, rather than expecting them to seek it out through another channel. Aside from being helpful to the individual customer, social media support also helps build brand trust, foster brand advocacy, and is an opportunity to get product knowledge in front of a wider audience.
This is an example of a humorous response by a customer service agent to a glitch that went viral.
A customer support representative, Jen, responded with equal humor suggesting an itinerary and also adding that they will look into the glitch. They also sent over a free package to the customer.
The post went viral, garnering more than 20,000 likes and 4000 shares
This interaction quickly became an internet sensation and the comment section was abuzz with lively discussions.
And, of course, “Skyscanner Jen” became an overnight celebrity. Her responses brought in lots of positive responses for Skyscanner and left a memorable impression.
Takeaway: A little humor goes a long way in making an ordinary customer service interaction a great one.
bareMinerals sends birthday gifts to customers who join their benefits program. This particular customer did not receive one and informed the support team about it, who responded quickly. She ended up getting a handwritten note along with the gift:
She was very happy with the service despite the disruption in the beginning.
Takeaway: The old-fashioned charm of a handwritten note adds a personal touch that digital communication often lacks, making it a memorable gesture. Don’t hesitate to include it in your customer service interactions if it’s appropriate.
Smartpress, a premium online printing service, acknowledges their customers for making repeat purchases. In those messages, they remind customers that their account executive is always available to help with their next project.
Takeaway: Send special messages to your most loyal customers. You don’t have to wait for them to reach out or make their next purchase to start interactions — you can reach out to see if there’s anything you can help them with. This will make them more comfortable communicating with you and help strengthen their relationship with your brand.
Chewy, a pet suppy company, has a personalized, human-driven customer support model that has won the hearts of many pet lovers.
In this tweet, Chewy showed compassion to a customer during a tough time. The customer reached out to support following the death of her dog, hoping to return an unopened bag of food. Not only did Chewy provide a refund for the food, they also sent the customer flowers with a personalized sympathy note.
The customer tweeted about her experience and it racked up thousands of likes and retweets. The tweet also got many others talking about their own positive interactions with Chewy as well as stories of their pets.
Takeaway: Often, good customer service is showing compassion and kindness during customers’ toughest times.
LanguaTalk, a marketplace platform for online language tutoring, enhances customer experiences by sending targeted messages at specific moments in the customer journey. The team uses Help Scout's Messages feature to do this.
Students are offered help if they’re on the tutor listings page for several minutes without booking a trial, and tutors receive guidance when they create an account.
The team says that some tutors were forgetting to complete all of their onboarding tasks and the message above helped improve their onboarding success rate.
Takeaway: This example highlights the significance of proactive engagement and personalized support in guiding users through key points in the customer journey. Using a feature like Messages on your website provides customers assistance in the moment, improving their chances of success with your product.
Read the full case study.
8. Hindustan pencils
When she noticed her left-handed daughter struggling with a sharpener, a customer wrote a letter to the manufacturers, Hindustan Pencils, asking if they had sharpeners designed for left-handed children.
To her surprise, she received a reply letter along with five sharpeners exclusively designed for her daughter. The letter also mentioned that they are working to add the sharpeners to their regular production.
Takeaway: This example proves that exceptional customer service is still possible even if the product the customer wants is unavailable. In this situation, the team could have simply responded by informing the customer that they planned to produce left-handed sharpeners in the future. However, they went above and beyond to ensure that the child had the tools they needed and didn’t feel left out.
Canva never misses out on an opportunity to engage with customers on social media. The team encourages Canva users to share their creations on social platforms and also gives expert tips to help them improve. This is a good customer service idea that any team can adopt.
Takeaway: If a customer is talking about your product, make sure you respond to them! Remember, any communication on social media contributes to the overall image and impression of your brand.
The coffee brand Cometeer, which supplies frozen coffee pods, takes a proactive approach on updating customers when there is a potential issue with their order. In cases where an order has experienced a shipping delay, the customer support team sends an email letting the customer know that the product they ordered may have melted, but it is still okay to consume.
Takeaway: If there are any issues with the product, specific features they should know about, or a delay in shipping, make sure customers know about it upfront. Transparency is an important aspect in customer service.
Chainers, an NFT game platform, hosts regular AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions for customers and prospects. They get to ask questions, voice concerns, seek clarification about the product, and learn more about new features.
Takeaway: Q&A sessions are another great way to initiate customer interactions so that you can stay engaged with customers and address anticipated issues.
Zappos is famous for their world-class customer service. They have a corporate mandate to answer (or at least try to answer) literally any query you throw their way.
A customer once made use of this mandate and made Zappos her personal assistant for a week! She attempted to troll the online retailer to see whether they actually do answer any question that comes their way.
At the start of this seven day experiment, Haley Nahman asked for fashion advice from Zappos before moving onto more unrelated topics such as an opinion on what’s wrong with her cat:
Haley Nahman: “My cat has been acting standoffish lately. Do you think I did something wrong or am I just being dramatic?”
Zappos: “I’m Helen and you got the dog lover here at Zappos. I thought standoffish was one of the attributes of cats. :)”
The customer service team answered every question thrown at them, and the customer later had nothing but good words to say about Zappos’ customer experience: “Over the course of the last week, the Zappos team single handedly restored my faith in online humanity.”
Takeaway: Sometimes going above and beyond for customers can take you well beyond the walls of your company. However, when you’re willing to help, have a good sense of humor, and sometimes even lean into an instance of good-natured trolling, customers will take notice.
Instead of just providing an answer, customer service reps at Remotive respond to support queries with short recorded Loom videos that walk customers through their issue or question and the possible solutions.
Vic at Remotive says, “It might take a bit longer than writing an email (and we might need to comb our hair and get the cats out of the way), but it’s well worth our time. Our customers really appreciate them, plus it gives our work a human face.”
Takeaway: Video is a great format for sending out tutorials as it will help get customers back on track more quickly and help build a more personal connection between the customer and your brand.
Wistia also found a creative way to include videos in their customer service — in email signatures. Customer service agents add a video thumbnail image in their signatures which is linked to a landing page.
The short video explains who they are, their role in the company, and a few fun facts about themselves including a bit of humor. Wistia says that they saw an average engagement rate of 80% for these signature videos.
Takeaway: Whether you’re trying to close a big deal or just checking up on a happy paying customer, videos can help boost engagement and even increase conversion rates. This is also a perfect example of humanizing support and creating connections with customers beyond the product.
You’ve probably heard the legendary tire story that showcases Nordstrom’s customer service ethos.
Beyond providing refunds for the occasional set of tires, Nordstrom is also great at using technology to improve the customer experience. They have an entire tech team devoted to streamlining the shopping experience of its in-person retail customers.
One specific example: With their mobile technology, customers can reserve items for try on before even arriving at the store. “Associates gather the pieces and place them in a dedicated dressing room—texting shoppers once it’s ready.” This makes the try on experience easier and more efficient for the customer.
Takeaway: By embracing innovative technology, businesses — both online and brick and mortar — can create more convenient interactions, ultimately improving customer satisfaction.
Brain.fm uses technology to take customer service beyond the support team. Help Scout’s tagging and workflow features have helped Brain.fm’s customer service team provide more streamlined conversations by automatically forwarding more complex issues to the right person on the right team. This lets Brain.fm employees throughout the company provide additional context which ensures that customers always get the best solutions possible.
Takeaway: Sometimes the best answer won’t come from your support team. Use technology to help streamline the customer service process and loop in the right people early so that customers always receive great care.
Check out the full Brain.fm success story.
17. T&S Brass
In the age of video conferencing, face-to-face interactions are becoming more rare. T&S Brass, a manufacturer of premium plumbing products, visits some of its customers in person to combat that lack of connection. By engaging directly with customers and even participating in fun activities, T&S Brass establishes a deeper bond, builds trust, and strengthens relationships.
Takeaway: Initiating face-to-face conversations as a means to provide exceptional customer service shows a higher level of commitment and builds better customer relationships.
Boost customer satisfaction with exceptional service
Feeling inspired by these examples? If you’re looking to improve your company’s customer service, the first step you’ll need to take is to figure out what “good” customer service looks like for your brand.
Is it sending video tutorials like Remotive, being proactive on social media like Adobe, or being compassionate like Chewy? Identify your core values and evaluate customer expectations to help determine what the best approach is for you.
By setting service standards, training your team, and building a great customer service culture, you’ll provide the type of support that any customer would be happy to shout about from the rooftops.