Customer Service Standards: How To Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

Written by Hsien Naidu, CEO, TreeAMS

In an increasingly competitive environment, keeping your existing customers returning to your establishment is as important as gaining new ones. Therefore, every company needs to deliver exceptional service if it hopes to retain its customers, build brand loyalty and ultimately increase sales. 


Related: 8 Steps To Better Operational Audits 

Every time businesses manage to increase their customer retention by just 5 percent, they enjoy reaping a significant increase in their profits somewhere between 25 percent to 95 percent. But the reality is that it’s not always the case for every business. The truth is, 7 out of 10 people who walk into your business will come out and will likely never return every time you fail to deliver quality customer service. Furthermore, to increase the pain of it, Harvard Business Review revealed that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. 

Those “lost” customers go to a competitor, which means we do not even need the competitor to beat us in terms of product, price or service to poach our customers. If our company consistently fails to deliver on our service quality promises to our customers, we hand them to our competition on a silver platter. To gain the benefit of retaining customers and avoid impending loss, the critical question facing every business today is: “How can we improve our customer retention?”

The answer lies in providing outstanding customer service. Customer service is not just about the product or service itself; it’s about how you deliver it – from start to finish. To communicate the message of outstanding customer service to the entire organization, you must measure customer service against what the brand stands for and what the brand promises to its clients. One way to know if your customers are happy with you is to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. However, do we wait till we receive bad feedback from our customer service surveys before we act?

This methodology for maintaining customer service is rather counter-intuitive, since by the time we receive negative feedback, it already means the failure of customer service has already happened. Prevention is always better than cure. It’s better to take care of the possible customer service problem that may arise then to have to solve the problem afterwards. Some proactive steps that can be taken to maintain customer service standards are ensuring quality training, regular audit checks, and performance reviews.


A formalized training program should be in place to facilitate the onboarding of any new team member. The onboarding process should provide training that mimics the customer service standards expected as closely as possible. Technology today allows new staff to access training programs at their own pace through online training and for managers to assess performance standards through assessments and evaluations before deploying the team members to new job roles. 

Audit Checks

A successful audit builds upon a set of objectives and the criteria that describe those standards. It should be clear to everyone in the organization what the company’s commitment to the customer is. In this case, it is what Customer service means in your industry. Making sure the team in different parts of the process understands what is expected of them and how to perform their duties effectively is essential in customer service delivery. Knowing when and how to retrieve the situation in case of service failure is also critical. An audit program that covers the various customer service touchpoints can give the business owner feedback on how the team handles clients during regular internal and mystery shopping audits.

Performance Review

Being able to analyze and take appropriate action after the data on customer service is collated is just as important as effective designing and implementation of the audit programme. To this end, it is essential managers in charge of customer service can monitor the results of various service quality delivery against the company’s commitments and compare that to the cohort in terms of medians, benchmarks and categories. Being able to interpret the information effectively guides the team towards understanding areas of weakness and for them to focus on proactive measures to improve on potential lapses and improve overall customer service.

However, implementing such a customer service excellence program is a challenging process regardless of your product, industry, or client base. The inherent inefficiency due to traditional methods of tracking customer implementations – usually using Excel worksheets, Microsoft Projects, and a flurry of meetings and emails with no formalized approval processes requires a dedicated staff to enter and organize the data provided by the auditors. The traditional methods also lack program visibility which leads to lower internal accountability. The good news is that today’s technology allows for real-time visibility and streamlining of data collected and summarized on a single outcome sheet that improves profitability through performance benchmarking.


To simplify the process of Customer Service Auditing and enjoy the benefits of retaining your customers to increase your profit by up to 95 percent, you need cutting-edge technologies like TreeAMS, to develop KPIs for customer service behaviour, evaluation, and setting of benchmarks and review of outcomes.

You need software with a Training Feature which allows you to seamlessly upload training programs, monitor participation and assess understanding. Having identified the criteria that describe your company’s customer service standards, you can then ask questions whose answers will reflect how well your team has embraced the service culture of your business. These questions should be organized on one single platform, in various categories and evaluated to see how well your team is performing against the desired benchmarks, customer expectations and among members of the team.

A comprehensive and systematic franchise management software removes the pain of manually collating information, documenting and categorizing it so that the data arrives at a point ready to be analyzed. With its help, you can save 90% of the time you would have invested in simply managing the data. Now, your team can focus on critical actions that can make all the difference in how your company delivers quality customer service that keeps your customers returning.

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