The retail industry is notorious for bad customer service. Many of the published stories on customer service have to do with poor worker-to-customer communication. As a manager or supervisor, it’s your job to make sure these kinds of situations are prevented at all costs, and instead, have great customer service stories be publicized.

What is good customer service?

Before we dive into examples of good customer service, it’s important to understand what good customer service actually is. In short, good customer service is all about providing timely, attentive, and pleasant service to customers. Good customer service ensures that the customer’s needs are met in a way that builds their relationship and trust with your organization.

3 important qualities of customer service

As we look at various examples of good customer service across different companies and industries, you’ll notice that they all share 3 important qualities of customer service. They are:

  1. Professionalism: This means that customer support reps, agents, and retail staff display a positive and professional attitude to everyone they interact with.
  2. Patience: Every customer is different. Great customer service requires patience, understanding, and flexibility to deal with varying situations.
  3. People-focused: Good customer service is centered around connection and building a great relationship with your customer.

Examples of good customer service situations

Ok, now that we all know what good customer service means and the qualities it includes, let’s take a look at some common examples of good customer service skills in different situations.

  1. A customer had to wait a long time to connect with a customer service agent: Unfortunately, customer service teams can easily be short-staffed and deal with too many customers at a given time, which results in lengthy wait times. When this happens, customer service reps should thank customers for their patience and do everything they can to ensure the rest of the interaction is as speedy and efficient as possible.
  2. A customer needs to cancel an order, but can’t find their order number: One of the best qualities of a good customer service representative is their ability to solve a problem with little information. In this situation, a great customer service rep should request all of the information they possibly can. What email did the customer use for the purchase? What day did they make the purchase? Once they have as much information as possible, provide adequate follow-up and steps that will be taken. If the cancellation needs approval or takes time to process, ensure the customer knows what that timeline looks like and share any confirmation numbers of communication they should look for.
  3. A customer was given incorrect information from another employee and called to complain: This situation happens all too often for practically every organization. In this case, you want your customer to feel heard, appreciated, and respected. Let your customer tell you what happened and how they feel. Then, patiently address the issue and provide them the correct information in a way that makes them feel supported and acknowledged.

Examples of good customer service in retail

  1. A customer had to wait a long time to check-out: Much like long wait times for call centers, sometimes long lines in a store are inevitable. In this situation, you don’t want to take any more of their time than necessary, so focus on checking them out as quickly as possible, and do so with a smile and patience, too!
  2. A customer was incorrectly charged for the same item twice and they want a refund: Money can be a sensitive topic for customers, which means they’ll likely want their refund ASAP. But unfortunately, banks and credit card companies may take longer to process refunds. Look for ways to keep the customer happy; consider providing them with a discount for their next purchase, or maybe see if they’d be happy receiving the refund via an in-store gift card.
  3. A customer is unhappy with a purchase and wants to make a return after the exchange period is up: While customer service policies are put in place for a reason, sometimes it’s worth bending the rules if that means you can turn a dissatisfied customer into a happy one. Be honest and forthcoming about the process that you need to follow, and do so in a friendly, communicative manner.

Customer service skills

Good customer service skills at a high level can come naturally to some. But when explaining customer service to your team, it’s all in the details. Excellent customer service skills are rooted in your businesses’ detailed definition of customer service. To define excellent customer service skills, think about the key messaging and values that your company revolves around. Then, create long-form and short-form learning material consisting of processes and procedures that encompass those messages and values.

It’s true that some employees will be inherently good at customer service. Employees that are great communicators and problem-solvers are the ones to look out for when interviewing. Even if you ask all the right customer service interview questions, and the interviewee is nailing the interview, you’ll still need to train that future employee on the thorough dos and don’ts of your brand’s customer service.

Customer service training

Excellent customer service starts with effective, enjoyable training. If employees can’t embrace learning customer service skills, they’re not going to execute those skills properly to customers.

In retail, use eLearning material to brief and reinforce action. With tools like Lessonly by Seismic, you can deliver training prior to on-site training to have employees prepared to perform. Furthermore, you can assess the learning of individuals and deliver ongoing training along the way — all on a digital platform. You can create and shape your learning however you want to. From a high-level customer service duties course to a lesson on customer service phone tips.

Learners can reference back to the material on a whim with any mobile device. If you don’t want your reps using their phones under the counter, consider printing off a quick guide of internal customer service tips. A customer service skills list that consists of actions and reactions or FAQs and responses is a great cheat sheet for employees to refer to.

It’s necessary to note that retention doesn’t come from learning something once. It takes repetition and immersive learning. On some learning platforms you can schedule certain lessons at a cadence weekly, monthly, or annually to keep employees refreshed on information. If a lesson needs updating between then, the updates are saved automatically and the scheduling will not be affected. When learning happens at a cadence, it becomes memorable; information is retained and relevant experience is gained.

When it comes to creating great learning, we provide a platform that enables you to incorporate a mix of media. That way, learners can be engaged and entertained with learning as opposed to dreading the experience. Besides the standard customer service training examples, sprinkle some fun into your learning. For example, throw in some customer service quotes throughout the lesson. Starting out, these can be quotes from famous people that pertain to a certain example, but after some time, you can update the average quotes to great customer service quotes from your employees. These retail quotes can reinforce brand values and make an employee feel recognized for their knowledge.

Be sure to define good customer service for your team and provide real-life examples in training. Incorporating these customer service examples in training allows employees to imagine themselves in similar situations prior to actually being in them. Use simple scenarios to display how good customer service examples can quickly become bad customer service examples.

Excellent customer service

When your employees are performing examples of good customer service, those actions echo throughout a company. If it remains consistent, it becomes a staple. Here are some good customer service examples that set the bar for retail brands. These great customer service stories set the bar for competitors.

Providing excellent customer service goes beyond lessons on customer service tips. Whether you’re managing a team for a retail call center or not, providing excellent customer service over the phone is a big factor in today’s definition of amazing customer service. Call center customer service tips or retail customer service tips should be a briefing of all the takeaways from employee training. Any tips lesson should function as a tool to quickly reference, but excellent customer service examples come from more than just distributing tips. Great training has a lasting impact on consistent, excellent customer service, and is the first step to define excellent customer service skills throughout a business.

Examples of companies with good customer service

Good customer service examples are challenging to find. We often read horror stories or worst-case scenarios, but there are examples of good customer service. There even seems to be a consistent group of companies with good customer service skills that deliver an exceptional experience for most customers. We’ve found a few companies with effective customer service that are worth mentioning.


Chick-fil-A continuously perfects the customer service experience. Every employee at Chick-fil-A possesses good customer service skills and they regularly go the extra mile to ensure an excellent customer service experience. In fact, the employees were rated the most polite in the food industry. What can we learn from Chick-fil-A? Put the customer experience at the forefront of every touchpoint, and the company will be easily distinguishable from the rest.

Trader Joe’s

Countless customer service examples are born out of this supermarket specializing in organic produce. Not only do customers love Trader Joe’s products, but they also continually praise the good customer service skills the employees have. Trader Joe’s shows us that in saturated industries, like supermarkets, delivering a good customer service experience is key to earning brand loyalty.


Why would any consumer buy a pair of shoes online? Even if the shoes were cheaper, how would they overcome the fear of the shoes not fitting?  Zappos knew the answer was good customer service skills. The company pioneered an entire industry through examples of good customer service situations. However, they couldn’t have predicted it would become their competitive advantage. Zappos employees build relationships with consumers through every customer service experience and this leads to extreme brand loyalty.

Why companies should value customer service

In the digital age, one bad service complaint can forever hinder a company’s branding image. It’s more important than ever that superior customer service is at the center of every business, despite the industry. And too often, companies undermine the value of a good customer service experience. They build incredible products but forget that’s only half of the battle. We’d like to highlight a few advantages a good customer service experience can provide.

Retain customers with good customer service skills

Converting new customers is far more expensive than keeping existing ones. Companies like Apple are incredibly successful because of brand loyalty. Once a customer buys an iPhone, it’s rare they ever make a change. Effective customer service will payout in the long run. Plus, it’ll keep customers away from competitors. Create a brand with good customer service skills that consumers can write home about. The result? Happier customers and a customer service team that does better work.

Word of mouth is a company’s best friend

5-star customer service examples are a company’s best channel for acquiring new customers. When customers are so pleased with their customer service experience, they’ll recommend the company to their friends. Eventually, these references which are created from good customer service skills, not products, will turn into new business. They’ll also strengthen the credibility of the brand.

These examples of good customer service can be a reality

These customer service stories and examples don’t have to be fiction. You can make them a reality for your organization with customer service training. Lessonly by Seismic’s training and coaching software empowers teams to be lean, mean, customer-serving machines. Want to see how? Get a demo to learn more.