Good Customer Service: Definition, Examples, and Tips

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Customer service is important to a successful business. Learn more about customer service and the available opportunities as a customer service representative.

[Featured image] A customer service agent sits at their desk in front of a desktop computer, talking to a customer.

Customer service is important to every business. Satisfied customers become loyal customers who spend money and keep businesses afloat. Customers' experiences with a business help them form opinions about the brand they may share with others.

The proliferation of social media and review websites has made it easier to learn about businesses. Customers can now take to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to talk about their experiences and how satisfied they are. 

What is customer service?

Customer service is a team that helps customers solve problems with a business's products or services. As a customer service representative, you may allow a customer before or after they complete a purchase. Some duties may include:

  • Asking and answering a customer’s questions

  • Suggesting products or services to customers

  • Finding solutions for customers

  • Interacting with customers face-to-face 

  • Providing remote support through multiple channels, such as live chat or email

  • Responding to questions and complaints

  • Following up with customers to ensure they’re pleased with the purchase

  • Processing orders

  • Updating records

Types of customer service

Technology has made it possible to serve customers in many ways. Businesses often implement multiple methods of customer service so consumers can choose the one that works for them. Traditional walk-in customer service at brick-and-mortar stores is still doing well, with sales representatives creating a more personalised experience with customers. 

However, companies have expanded customer service options to include other means of communication. This allows them to assist customers when it's convenient for them. These options include:

  • Phone: Many customers prefer speaking to someone over the phone when they have a problem. This is especially true for individuals who have complex issues or are uncomfortable using technology.

  • Email: When you receive a complaint or concern in writing, you have more time to resolve and respond. Another advantage of email is that it allows for discussion if necessary.

  • Live chat: Businesses that offer live chat can provide immediate customer feedback, which can be less time-consuming than phone calls. It also allows the customer to work on other projects while waiting for a representative to chat with them.

  • Social media: If you have the staff to monitor various social media channels, you can publicly and privately respond to inquiries and complaints. Publicly shared solutions allow others to see the exchange and how your business interacts with consumers.

  • Interactive voice support: Automated telephone systems replace customer service representatives for common questions. This lets customers find answers to frequently asked questions that don't require a response from a person.

Why is good customer service important?

Good customer service is essential because most customers return to businesses that treat them well. Keeping customers costs less than attracting new ones. A company with good customer service may also notice additional benefits, including:

  • Better alignment of brand and messaging

  • Greater customer loyalty

  • Higher revenue

  • Increased leads and conversions

  • Satisfied employees

Top customer service skills

When working with the public, it’s essential to communicate effectively and knowledgeably. Speaking confidently about the products or services offered and having answers to anticipated questions adds to a positive customer experience. Successful customer service personnel usually have a standard set of skills that helps them positively interact with customers, which may include:

  • Adaptability

  • Communication

  • Empathy

  • Listening

  • Patience

  • Problem-solving

  • Time management

Examples of good customer service

Good customer service is prompt, solves a problem, is easy to access, and is sensitive to the customer's needs. For example, self-service options like online FAQ sections let customers get answers to questions about business hours, return options, and shipping without waiting in a phone queue during regular business hours.

United States-based online shoe retailer Zappos is known for offering exceptional customer service. Not only do customers have access to a live representative at any time, but they also prioritise the relationship between the customer and the company. For example, customer service representatives have been known to send cards or flowers to customers who mention an upcoming wedding, graduation, or other events during their call.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel group famously allows employees at all company levels to spend up to $2,000 US dollars (or ₹1,61,532 Indian Rupee) to support guests. One customer shared that an employee sent him the laptop charger he left behind in the room and a personalised note. Another employee mailed a child's stuffed animal and a photo album of the toy enjoying the hotel's amenities.

Wipro Limited, a company headquartered in India, is known for being one of the largest multinational businesses and employing nearly 200,000 individuals. The company focuses on IT work and business handling but is known for its excellent customer service and how it sustainably does its global business. 

Customer service jobs

You can find customer service jobs in almost every industry. Demand for customer service representatives will likely stay the same over the next decade. 

You can usually begin working as a customer service representative with a degree in the field from a university or some on-the-job training. The qualifications may differ depending on the company and the role you are applying for. If you enjoy working with customers in this capacity, you may move on to supervisory roles. Here is a list of manager roles and their annual salaries in India: 

  • Customer service representatives: ₹6,20,000 [2]

  • Customer service manager: ₹22,84,000 [3]

  • Customer success manager: ₹15,55,000 [4]

  • Customer care manager: ₹8,12,000 [5]

Next steps

Learning what customers want and how to interact with them is essential to successful customer service. Whether you're new to the field or want to know the basics, consider taking Customer Service Fundamentals from Knowledge Accelerators. 

If you already work in a call center, Telephone Language from Georgia Tech helps you learn and practice effective English communication techniques. You can find these courses, Specialisations, and Professional Certificates on Coursera.

Article sources


Business Standard. “Indians Value Quality of Customer Service: Study,” Accessed April 3, 2024.

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