Search Our Site

We have 3,759,785 registered online learners.
15 new learners so far today.

5 tips for great customer service

schedule 3rd May 2019 by Virtual College in Retail Last updated on 3rd May 2019

Tips on customer service

Why is Customer Service important?

Customer service isn’t just something for individuals on the shop floor of retail to think about. Great customer service is a business-wide ethos and attitude that brings with it a wealth of benefits, ranging from customer loyalty, to reduced complaints, and even better staff morale. In this article, we’re going to give you five tips that can help any business improve their level of customer service.

Be available through multiple channels

It’s really important to get with the times. Modern customers, whether they’re a high value banking client, another business, or someone purchasing through your ecommerce store, expect to be able to contact you in a way that suits them, not you. Great customer service is all about communication, and you’ll always be off to a good start if the customer can speak to someone in a way and time that they find best. The best businesses therefore offer a range of communication methods, not limited to a phone number and email address on the website. This includes things like online chat, or a ‘call me back’ option.

Maintain constant communication

Some customer service enquiries take minutes to resolve. But many others can play out over days and weeks. This is the same whether you’re a designer working on a large project with a team of developers, or a call centre operative dealing with banking complaints. Always ensure that you check in with your customers on a regular basis for those longer relationships - this helps to show that they’re more than just a number or ticket, and that you’re working on doing business with them. Keep records of communication too, because this will help you quickly recall information the next time you deal with someone. It also ensures that

Take a holistic approach

Customer service should never be limited to only the customer service team or individual in your business. It’s something that everyone in the business needs to think about, because you never know when customers might deal with various aspects of the business. Too many companies have a customer service department that eventually ends up dealing only with complaints and issues, because other departments, such as ordering or finance, aren’t trained for great service. This is the case in physical stores too - there’s always the chance that customers might speak to merchandising or housekeeping employees - they need to give good service too.


Never assume that you know what a customer is talking about when they first start speaking, or that you can resolve their issue without them having to explain everything. Listening fulfills two important functions. Firstly, it ensures that you gather all the relevant information about whatever it is they need - whether they’re simply enquiring about a product, or they’re making a complaint - which ensures that you can more effectively respond to them. Secondly, listening also shows that you care about what the customer has to say. If they’re making a complaint then it shows that you want to hear their side of the story and listening to an enquiry shows that you’re thinking about their needs.

Be Positive

Finally, being positive can have an enormous effect on how successful your customer service is. A negative approach from your end is always likely to elicit a negative response from the customer, and if they’re already making a complaint, it will a make the situation worse. In a complaint scenario, explain positively how you’re going to resolve the situation, and where possible, present yourself as being on the side of the customer. If you’re having to tell someone that something is out of stock for example, focus on when you’ll be able to deliver the item, rather than the fact that it’s not available. This will really help ensure the customer comes away from the interaction feeling good.

Great customer service isn’t necessarily something that comes naturally, and it’s always something that can be improved. If you’re looking to improve the level of service in your business, then Virtual College has you covered. Our customer service training courses are specifically tailored to different industries to help ensure individuals have the right knowledge for their role. These include courses in hospitality, as well as those in healthcare, which is sometimes forgotten when it comes to good customer service.

Related resources

Virtual College Logo

Author: Virtual College

The latest training news brought to you by Virtual College. We create innovative digital learning experiences that inspire people to develop the skills they need to thrive in their careers; enhancing and enriching the organisations they work in. For 24 years, we have been developing and supplying collaborative, customer-focused e-learning technology for organisations world-wide.

ISO 9001:2015
Crown Commercial Service Supplier
LPI Accredited Learning Technologies Provider


+44 (0)1943 605 976

Virtual College

Marsel House


West Yorkshire

LS29 8DD

Awards for footer
Gold and silver award winners at the Learning Technologies Awards 2017 - including gold for excellence in the design of learning content.


We are in the process of moving to one Virtual College website. If you want to go back to a course, or start a course, bought from our old website then you may need to login to our original learning management system. Otherwise, please proceed to our new learning management system to return to your training.


You are already logged in. Click the button below to be taken to your LMS dashboard. Alternatively, click logout to leave the system.