Customer service gets a lot of hype these days—and yet many companies still aren’t doing all they can to deliver world-class customer service. This means potential customers will probably go searching elsewhere for a company that pays attention to their needs and makes it easier to do business.

So what sets a truly exemplary customer service department apart from an average one? And what can you do to cultivate world-class customer service within your company?

Customer Service

True Customer Service Definition

On the surface, customer service is about offering assistance to consumers who buy a product or service from your business. This usually includes answering emails and phone calls and providing tech support. But the true customer service definition can’t be summarized in just a couple of words. Customer service is about building trust, increasing brand awareness, and creating a company that more people want to shop from.

Defining World Class Customer Service

Assisting customers can take on many different forms. Some businesses might have a basic call center with limited hours and bare-bones service, while others might offer online chat, video support, and extended customer service hours. But the most successful businesses will settle for nothing less than world-class customer service.

And what is the world-class customer service definition? A company that offers this level of customer service is constantly sending the message to each and every customer that they are of value, and that their satisfaction is your company’s top priority.

How Do I Deliver World-Class Customer Service?

Clearly world-class customer service is about more than handing out refunds as necessary. When you’re offering world-class customer service, it will be easier than ever to maximize customer loyalty and consistently attract new customers, because they’ll be so happy with how your company treats them. So how do you deliver world-class customer service? Here are some tips to take your customer service to the next level.

1. Listen to Customers

First and foremost, world-class customer service starts with listening to your customers. We’re not talking about just answering phone calls or responding to emails, but really listening—and then taking that feedback and using it to make improvements in how you do business.

2. Develop a Strong Culture

World-class customer service isn’t just a job, but a culture that should infuse everything you do within your business. This starts by talking about the importance of customer service constantly, making sure each and every employee understands your mission statement and goals.

3. Empathize with Customers

You may hear what your customers are saying, and even give them what they want. But do you really feel for them? Customers know when you’re being genuine, and it makes all the difference in how they relate to your company. Train your customer service agents to truly empathize with customers in order to build world-class customer service into your business.

4. Be Proactive

While answering incoming calls and emails is certainly essential, world-class customer service is about being proactive about the needs of your customers. Are you sending out tracking numbers and updating your customers about their products? Do you allow customers to look at their order history or save items in their cart? If not, you’re missing a chance to make the shopping experience easier and better than ever for your customers.

5. Hire the Right Talent

Delivering world-class customer service is an art that requires the best talent in the business. So if you really want to raise the bar within your customer service department, it’s important to really take your time with the hiring process. Choose experienced agents who are proactive, innovative, and invested in the needs of your customers.

6. Be Honest

No customer wants to be lied to. The best customer service agents don’t beat around the bush or try to talk customers out of something they want. Instead, they face the truth head-on, admit fault as needed, and do whatever it takes to make it right.

7. Ensure Quick Response Times

Today’s consumers are busier than ever, and if you keep them waiting, they might just go elsewhere to do their shopping next time around. Quick response times are an essential part of boosting customer satisfaction, so make sure to keep track of your response times and seek out new ways to reduce them.

Start Delivering World-Class Customer Service Today

Creating a culture of world-class customer service certainly takes time, but it will be well worth the effort. Prioritize your customers’ needs and always look for ways to improve your customer satisfaction rates. You’ll be amazed at how this alone will help your business grow.