How to Improve Customer Service

Make service a core company value and rally your team around the customer.

May 2021 - 5 minutes

In today’s market, offering superior products and services is table stakes in order to win their loyalty. Customers now weigh experience as equal to products and services.

80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its product or services.

Source: “State of the Connected Customer,” Salesforce, October 2020.

When a customer contacts customer service, it’s the moment of truth for your company. Every caller, emailer, texter, and social media commenter deserves personalized care and a quick case resolution. Depending on your response, will you gain a lifelong customer or lose them to a competitor? The following tips show you how to make those crucial customer service goals a reality.

Make service a company value

Great customer service doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It involves every aspect of your company and depends on every employee, whether they directly interact with your customers or not. That’s why a customer service culture is so important: It prioritizes happy customers above all else and supports and empowers the service team. When service is one of your company’s core values and a “must-do” for every employee, everyone understands its importance and is held accountable.

Enact internal customer service

Treating everyone who works in — or with — your company as a customer is known as internal customer service. It ensures every employee prioritizes service in every interaction they have every day. That includes Ruth from accounting, Leo in sales, and Jamilla from IT. When you view everyone you work with as a customer, you set off a chain reaction throughout your organization.

Prevent problems before they start

Customer service agents form the front line for complaints, but they are rarely the fundamental cause of them. Problems often start in other departments or even with external vendors, whether that’s because of a faulty product or a service problem. Any misstep along the way can lead to the problem or defect that sparked the inquiry.

When you think of everyone you work with as a customer, you can avoid many cases entirely because you help them do their job well.

Create a service tree

A service tree is a document that shows the relationship between every position, team, and department in your company. It focuses on who’s responsible for what and details specific roles and actions. If your company has more than 20 employees, start with the responsibilities of each department. Bring in department heads and team leaders to discuss exactly how each person on their staff will further those goals.

Find out what everyone needs to do their job better

Most employees want to do an excellent job. They get frustrated with the obstacles that keep them from this goal. It might be clunky technology that turns a quick task into a long ordeal or disconnected systems that leave them scrambling to find the information they need. Too much frustration can even cause them to leave your company for a different job.

79% of service professionals say it’s impossible to provide great service without a complete view of customer interactions.

Source: “State of Service,” Salesforce, December 2020.

You can easily avoid this employee churn. Just as you solicit feedback and recommendations from your customers, send out internal surveys to find out what employees need to be more efficient and effective in their work. Then, think about ways to improve their experience.

Set up your teams for success

If employees tell you they need a certain number of hours to complete a task, allocate that time or add more hands to speed things up. Be transparent with everyone about their role expectations so there’s no confusion.

If your agents have told you they lack sufficient knowledge to solve customer issues, make sure you offer the best customer service training. Consider learning modules from Trailhead to upskill agents. And determine if agents have the technology they need to get a 360-degree view of each customer, including their preferences, past purchases, and service history. When this information is available on every agent’s console, customers will always interact with someone knowledgeable about them and their case.


77% of agents say they have the tools and technology they need to do their jobs.

Source: “State of Service,” Salesforce, December 2020.

Facilitate team bonding

Close friendships at work go beyond boosting employee satisfaction. These relationships create trust between employees so that they can provide even better customer service. Provide opportunities for employees to get to know each other. Implement peer-to-peer recognition programs that allow employees to give public kudos to teammates who’ve helped them deliver stellar customer service and solve tricky challenges. Plan virtual coffee chats and team-building exercises. Add a social element to communications such as company newsletters and internal social media groups.

Improve the experience for everyone

Altering your company’s culture and upgrading your technology to improve customer service will reverberate throughout your organization in many positive ways. Employees and customers will be happier, more engaged, and more likely to stay with your company.

Now that you know how to improve customer service, learn about the technology solutions that will help your team resolve customer concerns even faster.


How Collaborative Customer Service Improves Customer Experience and Accelerates Agent Productivity


Use Surveys to Understand Service Agent Wellness and Increase Productivity


The Secret to More Efficient Customer Service Processes? 71% of Service Professionals Know it’s Automation


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