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How to Exceed, Not Just Master Customer Service Skills

Have you thought about your customer service strategy recently?  Perhaps this may include asking customers, and employees, for feedback regarding your sales and service levels and considering any suggestions.

In many of X5 Management sales and customer service workshops, we often ask participants how they believe their customers would rate them on customer service performance.  A common answer is often, “I’m not sure”, or “We’ve never asked”.

Often organizations make their own assumptions of how they rate in customer service performance based on their own feelings or a few conversations they may have had with customers.  If this sounds like your business, it may be time to set customer service standards within your organization to maintain your current customers as well as develop new customer relationships.



Here are six critical areas in which to set service standards in your business:

  1. Responsiveness
  • How reactive is your team in responding to customer problems or needs?
  • Do you have measurable guidelines in this area?

Challenge your team to become an industry leader and become more responsive to customer by exceeding expectations with an objective of always over delivering to WOW the customer.


  1. Reliability
  • Are you more reliable than your competitors within your industry?
  • Have your team rate your organization’s “reliability” in customer service on a scale of 1 to 10.

The dialogue and conversation regarding your rating may uncover some major challenges and opportunities in this area and measuring your percentage of repeat and referral business can offer some clues.


  1. Speed
  • The speed of your service delivery can set you apart from your competition and make you invaluable to your customers. What is it now?
  • Do you understand your customer’s expectations in this area and have you set standards for your team to deliver on these expectations?

Speed of service is an easy one to measure and most importantly, cannot ever be blamed on factors such as slow supply chain. Customers do not care about your challenges. If your services rely on a third party, ensure they also understand your Customer Service Standards or find a new vendor.


  1. Value
  • What is your unique value proposition that keeps customers coming back to you?
  • How do you continuously plan to add value to your offer?

Become the greatest value provider in your industry and continually show your customers why they need YOU and only YOU! Ensure your entire team understand how important this is.


  1. Competence
  • How does your team demonstrate above average competence regarding your products and services?
  • Are your customers aware of the skills and backgrounds that your team members possess, which make your business first-class?

Demonstrate your expertise by having your team showcase their unique skills and abilities consistently. Recognize and reward them for it and ensure leadership leads by example by doing the same.


  1. Friendliness
  • How do you measure this important expectation?
  • Is this also an obvious part of your organizational culture?

Friendliness is often overlooked when organizations assess their own customer service program. Although this one seems simple and straightforward, many organizations miss the mark and an opportunity to WOW their customers in this area.



First Impressions Matter

These six critical customer service areas are easily measured by your customers and that would make it even more important to be measured by you. Leadership within an organization can tell employees what is expected but unless employees are properly trained, they may not possess the tools to deliver on expectations.

According to the authors of “Blue Ocean Strategy”, Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, if all things are equal and comparable between organizations, consumers will select by price. That fact must be the motivation to consider the importance of the above-mentioned customer service areas.


Looking to expand on this? This book holds the key to delivering Remarkable Service! 


Delivering Remarkable Service is a tailored training course that X5 Management has developed for the Sales and Service business community and its employees. This engaging half-day course offers interactive training and takeaways in the following areas:

  • Defining Remarkable Service
  • Customer Service Standards
  • Individual Skills Development
  • ‘The Cohesive Team’ Skills Development
  • Action Planning


This training is a great asset to any team. Read more about Remarkable Service Training here.


A key concept that is covered is ‘Moments of Truth’, based on Author Jan Carlzon’s book of the same name. He defines this as


“. . .anytime a customer comes in contact with your organization and thereby forms an impression of it.”



Does social media play a role in customer service standards?

In today’s busy environment, many consumers find it easier and more convenient to purchase online, contact organizations online for questions, and voice their concerns (or accolades) online via their own social media accounts.

News travels quickly, and the audiences are growing!

According to Hootsuite (2023):

  • 50% of consumers say that a timely response to their customer-service questions influences their decision to make a purchase
  • Consumers spend 20-40%more with companies that are responsive to questions and complaints on social media
  • 40% of consumersexpect a response within an hour when they reach out to a brand on social media; 79% expect to hear within 24 hours

Organizations need to ensure they are prepared and setup to meet consumer expectations. Hootsuite also reported 80% of consumers wished companies responded more quickly to customer service concerns. That is a staggering statistic!



What kind of impressions are your customers forming about your business?

Over 80% of customers leave an organization because service was less than remarkable, or employees did not go out of their way. Perhaps employees were even rude or did not appear to care. That is a high percentage of customers, not to mention who they may have told about their experience. This turnover in customers cannot be left to chance!

Creating customer loyalty is paramount for any business aiming for sustained success. It involves building strong, emotional connections between the brand and its customers, fostering trust and satisfaction that go beyond mere transactions. Here are some key strategies to achieve this:

Consistently delivering high-quality products or services is essential. Customers must feel that they receive value for their money and that their expectations are consistently met or exceeded.

Remarkable customer service plays a crucial role. Promptly addressing queries, concerns, and complaints demonstrates care and builds trust. Personalizing interactions whenever possible further enhances the customer experience.

Additionally, fostering a sense of community around the brand through social media, forums, or events can strengthen emotional connections. Encouraging customers to share their experiences and feedback creates a sense of belonging and involvement.

Finally, staying engaged with customers through regular communication, such as newsletters or personalized offers, helps keep the brand top-of-mind and reinforces loyalty over time.

By prioritizing these strategies, businesses can cultivate enduring relationships with their customers, leading to increased loyalty, advocacy, and long-term success.

Great people and organizations take new and relevant ideas and make them a reality. Determining what your organization is committed to improve upon, and planning the time, focus, and resources to meet those goals is important and must be reviewed to achieve Remarkable Customer Service Standards.

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X5 Management offers an extensive list of communication, team development, leadership, sales, and service-related programs that can support any businesses training and coaching needs in any industry.

If your business wants to take advantage of the Canada-Alberta Job Grant so that you can expand on your sales and service-related training for your employees, let’s discuss your organization’s training needs in a complimentary Discovery Meeting.

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