Customer service reviews: learning from 3 good (& 3 bad) ones

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There are lots of companies out there that are known for their excellent customer service. If you want to join their ranks, you’ve got some work to do—but fortunately, you also have lots of good examples.

So, how do you make yourself known for good customer service? First, you have to actually provide it. Having the right policies and tools in place will make a world of difference. From there, it’s mostly up to your customers. And as we’ve already talked about customer loyalty, our constant readers should know that loyal customers become supporters of your brand, whether that’s by recommending your brand to friends and family or writing online reviews.

Now, unlike most other articles on this subject, we won’t just show you the good reviews and offer tips based on them. We’ll show you the bad ones too—because often there’s a lot we can learn from those (without having to suffer the consequences of making those mistakes ourselves).

In this post, we’ll cover:

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What is a customer service review?

A customer service review is a review written by a customer that addresses the specific customer service they received (or didn’t receive).
These types of reviews are more specific than general customer reviews (we’ve already written about those here), which could be about products, access to information, the décor—anything, really.

Just in case you’re not 100% on that, here’s the definition of customer service: the service provided to customers before, during, and after their purchase. And this, in turn, covers a pretty broad range of interactions, from face-to-face to phone conversations to emails or website live-chat.

If you and your staff have had what you’re fairly sure is a great customer interaction, and your customer is enthusiastically grateful, it’s okay to ask them to leave a good word about you online. The key is their enthusiasm level.

And what exactly makes a good customer service review? We’ve collected some examples to clear things up.

3 great customer service reviews and what we can learn from them

It never hurts to check out your competitor’s reviews. Reading what customers have to say about similar companies will tell you a lot about what customers expect and how they want to be treated.

Here are three reviews that all mention great customer service. Each one comes with a few handy tips.

Purchase cost isn’t as important as we think

good customer review example
Company: Italics Tile & Stone
Location: San Rafael, California

This Yelp review of Italics Tile & Stone’s San Rafael location has lots of useful tips for readers. All of the positive attributes used by the reviewer speak well for Italics’ staff, but perhaps none more so than the word “kind.” This isn’t a common word when reading through business reviews, and it shows that Italics staff know how to be empathetic, which is one of the best ways to make a good impression on clients.

But what truly makes this a great review is the second-to-last sentence: “I had a very small order and I was treated as though I was giving them business to re-tile the Taj Mahal!”

Every customer counts, even the ones with small orders. Many companies prioritize large sales over small ones, and it’s hard to blame them. But what they’re missing is the realization that a small order can quickly and easily turn into repeat business.

The takeaway: Train your staff to go the extra mile with every customer, regardless of how much they’re buying, and your customer service will be legendary. With a customer service platform like RingCentral Contact Center, you can build out customer profiles of repeat customers and log your interactions with them to better understand how to help them find what they’re looking for:

First impressions matter

hair salon customer review example
Company: Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa
Location: London, UK

Finding a good hairdresser isn’t easy. Some people go years without a satisfactory haircut—this TripAdvisor reviewer, for example. But this review shows that she found one.

There are a few different parts of this review to pay attention to. First off, the first impression: from the moment they walked in, they felt welcome.

Second, the reviewer notes that the hairdresser listened, which is always a good sign: making customers feel heard is a key part of customer service.

And third, the color technician came over to give some tips. Note that the customer only had an appointment with the hairdresser, not the color technician, but at the end of the review note that she had already booked a follow-up for coloring. The exceptional customer service she received had quickly turned her into a repeat customer.

The takeaway: Make a good first impression, and don’t let up! When your staff members are knowledgeable and eager to share that knowledge, you’ll find it easier to create loyalty in customers.

Share team knowledge with each other! Whether you can walk over to your coworker’s desk or station to share some tips, or you’re using a team messaging app to stay in touch with your team throughout the day (and even share files and have video conference calls), customer service teamwork makes the dream work:

Loyal customers become ambassadors for your business

tripadvisor customer review example
Company: Upper East Smiles
Location: New York City, New York

A good dentist is another invaluable service. And it’s even better when you trust their colleagues with your teeth, too. This Google review of Upper East Smiles in NYC recommends three different dentists at the same office, which will encourage readers that their mouths are in good hands (or should we say that good hands will be in their mouths? It’s hard to write about dental clinics sometimes).

💡 Pro-tip:

Learn how to run a remote-work-friendly healthcare practice.

Note the use of the word “kind” again, major points there. Also worth pointing out is the “most affordable care always” aspect, showing that this office prioritizes honesty over profit.

Best of all, the excellent service received by this customer has them bringing in their entire family. For any kind of small medical practice like a dentist’s office, familial loyalty is one of the best kinds, as it can pay off for decades.

The takeaway: First of all, helping customers find affordable goods and services will always be appreciated. And second, loyal customers do more than just write reviews: they become ambassadors for your business and can bring in friends and families to keep growing your client list.

🕹️ Get a hands-on look at how RingCentral works by booking a product tour:

3 awful customer service reviews—and how we can avoid their mistakes

And sometimes, reviews go in the other direction. We can learn just as much from bad reviews, though. Customers are more likely to leave reviews when they have a negative experience: this is where the raw, brutal honesty comes out.

The following three reviews are an exercise in caution for any size company. Read and learn!

(Note: Since the above companies had good reviews, we didn’t feel the need to censor their names. For these ones, however, we’ve blanked out the company names wherever they appear.)

A nonexistent customer service nightmare

bad customer review example
Remember how, in the intro, we said that getting great customer service reviews starts with having great customer service? After reading this review, we should amend that slightly: having great customer service starts with having customer service, period.

This customer tried contacting their airline in multiple ways and couldn’t reach them despite reaching out during operating hours. After that, they tried the 24-hour hotline, which still didn’t work. This airline’s absence of customer service resulted in them not only losing a customer but also this warning to other would-be customers.

The takeaway: Don’t make it a nightmare for your customers to contact you. The need for customer service isn’t going anywhere: no matter what your product or service is, you’ll always have customers that need assistance. And you can’t automate everything.

From making sure you have a good average handle time (or first call resolution standard) when customers call or message you, there are some very concrete ways you can measure how you’re doing on the customer service objective front.

💡 Pro-tip:

Learn more about customer service KPIs to measure.

The best way is to have a contact center (like RingCentral!) that lets you provide omnichannel customer service—which basically means that customers can reach out to you on their preferred channels, whether that’s calling in, sending an email, or messaging through chat.

Stonewalling due to company policy

bad customer review example due to company policy
In this Trustpilot review, a customer’s payment methods were blocked during routine online shopping. When they reached out to customer service, they were told to try again in a few days.

That’s already a bad sign, especially when it comes to ecommerce customer service—you shouldn’t make your customers wait when it’s not necessary. But then, once the customer called in, things took a turn for the worse.

The support agent was “exceptionally rude,” which shouldn’t need further explanation of why that’s a bad thing. The agent then told the customer that it was “customer policy” that she should try again in a few days, and didn’t even try to explain why the original payment methods were blocked, despite being asked numerous times.

We have many issues here. The system glitched and the agent showed a complete unwillingness to work around company policy. This agent also showed no interest in sustaining customer loyalty.

The takeaway: Company policy doesn’t have to be an excuse for unhappy customers, especially when the issue at hand is quite obviously the company’s fault. Train your support agents to acknowledge customer problems and work towards fixing them, whether it’s an individual employee issue or a company-wide one. The impact of your online customer service is becoming more widespread and powerful: here, the business has lost a customer, and this review may turn off other potential customers.

The never-ending customer service loop

negative customer service loop review
We’ve saved the most damning review for last. This customer notes that the scale doesn’t even give a low enough rating. Ouch.

They also state that it’s “not even because the representatives are rude,” itself an interesting point: this company’s problems go beyond unpleasant service and cross the border into pure incompetence.

Support agents aren’t informed, information isn’t shared, and even after 10 calls, nothing has been accomplished. While some companies strive for a high first contact resolution, this one doesn’t seem to recognize resolution at all.

The takeaway: Support agents need to be on the same page, and willing (and able) to share information amongst themselves. Otherwise, customers will be trapped in an endless loop of support hell, where they keep getting muddled information and their issue never gets resolved.

When support agents have an information-sharing platform such as RingCentral Contact Center™, they can collaborate in real time to address customer concerns, instead of passing them along from agent to agent.

Get better customer service reviews by—yep, improving your customer service

So, what have we learned? To provide good customer service, you and your employees need to be able to share information easily amongst yourselves. Basic tips like “empathize” and “listen before making assumptions” are the backbones of customer service but these days, even though they’re expected, they’re still not the norm.

Making a good first impression, treating customers the same regardless of how much they’re spending, and being well-informed (and eager to help customers with your information) will all contribute to customers wanting to write great customer service reviews. Combine those with the right tools to continuously provide excellent service, and your reviews will only improve.

Originally published Jul 01, 2020, updated Jan 13, 2021


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