Customer Service Tips (with Real-world Examples)

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

Customer loyalty and referrals are critical to the success of flooring retailers. While offering quality products is important, great customer service is often key to creating a loyal customer base and generating referrals.

Here are five real-world examples from other industries that illustrate exceptional customer service and tips on how they can be applied to the flooring industry.

Zappos offers free shipping (for deliveries and returns), a 365-day return policy and a 24/7 customer service line. The online retailer even encourages its customer service representatives to spend as much time on the phone with customers as needed, without worrying about call volume. The result is a loyal customer base that raves about their experience with the company.

Application: Offer an unconditional satisfaction guarantee to customers. This will ease any concerns they may have about purchasing flooring and demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Ritz-Carlton has a policy that empowers employees to spend up to $2,000 per day per guest to solve any customer problem. The hotel chain also has a program called Wow Stories that encourages employees to share stories about going above and beyond for customers. These stories are then spread throughout the organization to inspire others to do the same.

Application: Empower your employees to solve customer problems. Celebrate when they exceed customers’ expectations. This will create a culture of exceptional service that’s noticed and appreciated.

Nordstrom has a policy of “doing whatever it takes” to make their customers happy, which has included shipping a pair of shoes to a customer who forgot them at a hotel to accepting a return of a snow tire (even though the department store doesn’t sell snow tires). Nordstrom also offers free alterations and has personal stylists to help customers find the perfect outfit.

Application: Go above and beyond customers, even if it means stepping outside normal services. Offer free services like design consultations and make sure staff is well-trained to provide exceptional customer service.

Fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A is known for its friendly and efficient employees.

Application: Flooring retailers can train their employees to provide unmatched customer service, including friendly greetings, a willingness to answer questions and follow-up after a sale.

Rapha is a high-end cycling apparel brand that offers free coffee, food and Wi-Fi in their retail locations. The amenities create a welcoming and comfortable environment for customers, and, as a result, they often spend more time browsing and trying on merchandise.

Application: Flooring retailers can create a similar environment in their showrooms by providing free refreshments and comfortable seating areas.

Four Takeaways
1. Listen to customers. This is the first step in providing great customer service. Take time to understand their needs and concerns, and work with them to find solutions that meet their needs. During your consultation, ask them questions and write down the answers.

2. Provide personalized service. This can make a huge difference in creating customer loyalty. Get to know customers and their preferences, and use that information to create a customized experience for them.

3. Be responsive to customers’ needs and concerns. Respond to inquiries and complaints promptly and professionally, and be proactive by reaching out to customers to ensure their satisfaction.

4. Follow-up with customers after a sale or service. This demonstrates your commitment to their satisfaction. It also provides an opportunity to address any concerns they may have and to ask for feedback.

Jim Augustus Armstrong is founder and president of, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. To obtain a free copy of Jim’s groundbreaking flooring industry report, Stop Leaving Millions on The Table, visit Jim can be reached at 530-790-6720 or [email protected].

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