#BetterThan Customer Service

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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.


Jeremy Watkin
Head of Quality

Jeremy Watkin is the Head of Quality at FCR. He has more than 15 years of experience as a customer service professional.  He is also the co-founder and regular contributor on Communicate Better Blog.  Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership.  Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

3 Comments. Leave new

Angela Woods
02/11/2016 9:46 am

My “better than” phrase comes from Airbnb – “Every frame matters”. It reminds me to actively listen to what the customer ISN’T saying – read between the lines as to why they are really upset.

Maybe they are complaining about having to wait a long time – the reality may be that they didn’t want to wait because it’s a special occasion – or they were running late for something important – they may not really be upset with us but with something else.

This allows me to empathize with the user and put myself in their shoes a bit more, rather than being on the defensive end of things, I can be on their side.

Doug Sandler
02/21/2016 6:46 pm

Great post Jeremy…there is a sign that is taped to my computer that says, “Set unrealistic expectations. And then exceed them!” If you set your mindset to follow the list above that you so wisely put together and exceed them consistently, you will be THE tops in your field….period!

#BetterThan Customer Service – Customer Service Life
02/25/2016 6:00 am

[…] post originally appeared on the FCR blog on February 10, 2016. Click here to read the […]


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