Be a star and deliver exceptional customer service

The Importance of Good Customer Service

I really appreciate good customer service, be it face to face, on the phone or via email/letter.

And I really notice when it’s bad, especially when it’s on the phone. That’s probably because I used to be team leader in an insurance call centre and know how to deliver exceptional customer service.

Often its the little things that make you think either well or poorly about a company.

It’s said that if a company treats you badly, you will tell pretty much everyone you know. And with social media, one complaint can go far.

But because I used to work in customer service I like to make a point of saying thank you.

As an side, I think it’s important to note that no matter what your business is, if you are dealing with customers you are working in customer service. And if you don’t treat them how you would want to be treated, they won’t be your customers for long!

Let me tell you a story of good customer service. Actually, it wasn’t good customer service, it was excellent customer service.

The company that I want to sing the praises of is Ocado

Now let’s face it, they are known for their good customer service, so it shouldn’t be such a surprise. But it’s something they still work on. I’m sure we can all think of a business that used to give good customer service….

I made my first ever Ocado order this week. I had a £20 off voucher, the freezer was pretty empty and they sell a lot of vegan and vegetarian food that I can’t get in my normal supermarket. For the Parks & Recreation fans out there, it was very much a “Treat Yo Self” moment.


Now first of all I was impressed by the delivery guy. He was brilliant. But that’s not the main point of this tale.

The receipt from Ocado was awesome. I know that might sound hard to believe, but let me tell you why. The food you have ordered is listed in expiry date. How great is that for easily working out what needs to be eaten first. But that’s not the point of this tale either.

No, the main point of this tale is what happened when I logged into the website on the day my order was being delivered.

To be honest, I don’t recall why I was on the site, but there I was. And I saw that if I placed another order within a week or so I’d get “FREE grocery goodies worth over £15”. Now free is one of my favourite words.

But when I looked at the goodie bundle I was less happy as it contained chicken and salmon. Those of you paying attention earlier on will have worked out that I’m vegetarian – chicken and salmon aren’t really going to fill my heart with glee.

So I emailed Ocado’s customer service team to say I was delighted with what I’d ordered but disappointed that I couldn’t make use of their offer (And no, I couldn’t get the chicken and salmon and give to a neighbour or throw it away. Let’s not even go there.)

I got the normal automatic reply saying they aim to respond within 24 hours. And they did. And it was a lovely reply. Not just standard form letter, but written by someone who had taken the time to understand why I wasn’t happy. It had a personal touch. And as well as an explanation and an apology, it also contained voucher. Which means I can spend it on whatever veggie treats I want. Treat Yo Self #2

So let’s just recap on why it was good customer service.

  • It was speedy. I emailed them in the morning and they replied in the afternoon.
  • It was personal. I felt listened to and the person writing to me showed real empathy
  • It was solved. I felt happy and valued.

And as a result, they have a someone who will shop with them again and will tell people about it. Winners all round.

I’ll leave you with a question.

What do you do to deliver excellent customer service? Competing on price isn’t enough – the only way to go when competing on price is down. Deliver exceptional customer service and you will stand out from rest.


The IT Fairy
Clare is better known as the IT Fairy because the way she can make complicated things easy is simply magic.
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