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Companies that know how to make customers happy and really deliver delightful experiences start by hiring enthusiastic people who truly enjoy working with customers, then empower them to solve any problem by having free reign to do whatever it takes to make customers happy. They build processes and systems and programs that are focused on giving employees the tools they need to make great moments happen, rather than focusing purely on the bottom line. And along the way, two amazing things come together — customers are delighted with their experience, then share their joy and bring in even more customers.

Meanwhile, businesses that expect to build a loyal following with average customer service programs need to pay attention, because the truth is that they simply cannot afford to ignore customer complaints. In fact, customers perceive that service is generally worse than it used to be, with a 2017 study from the University of Arizona’s W.P. Carey School of Business revealing that 56% of American families reported having a problem with a company’s customer service. And hang on, it gets worse — 91% report feeling frustration, 84% reporting disappointment, and 64% experiencing anger as a result of their customer service experience. Those are sobering figures, and businesses need to be taking these indicators seriously. It’s not enough to promise great service — business have to really deliver a great service experience to improve customer perceptions.

But as Zappos, Disney, JetBlue, and all of the other companies here have proven, great customer service experiences aren’t actually all that complicated to deliver. The formula is simple — train your employees to put the customer’s needs first, and the rest will follow. Thank back on a favorite experience of your own — one that really “wowed” you — and odds are you’ll realize that it was the effortlessness of everything that made it so special. You had a problem, you reached out — maybe fearing a complicated or convoluted process — but were delighted when the matter was resolved quickly and painlessly. And you’re probably considering rewarding that company with more business in the future. When you make the customer’s day easier, you make them happier, and happy customers come back again and again!

  • Josh Magsam. A writer, speaker, academic, and operations leader with experience in fields ranging from disaster recovery and field service to music technology and e-commerce. He is currently Director of Partner Operations at PartnerHero, a global network of professionals that help startups and growing businesses. When he’s not coaching leaders or building management teams, Josh enjoys hiking in the Cascades with his wife and young son.
  • Sarah Chambers. Editor-in-Chief for Chatra and a prolific author focusing on customer loyalty, success and remote work. A former support executive herself, she currently runs Supported Content, a boutique marketing agency for customer service businesses. When she’s not furiously typing away, she’s climbing, knitting or snowboarding in the mountains of Western Canada.
  • Yaakov Karda. Co-founder of Chatra and a customer support enthusiast. He’s authored and co-authored dozens of blog posts and a number of books on the subject. His writing has been featured in top industry publications and his books are available on Amazon.
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