Consumers Weigh In: The best customer service examples

We were looking for the best customer service examples out there, so why not ask consumers in the United States to share their experiences with us by sending us their opinions in the form of video responses?

"The ideal is that they just efficiently handle whatever your request is, whether it's a question or a refund or whatever it may be."

The study

We completed the entire study of 100 respondents through Voxpopme’s community of on-demand consumers in four hours.

We combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study in the platform, and the platform neatly packaged the results in one dashboard.

consumer study on good customer service

consumer study on good customer service

As a screener question, we asked:

When was the last time you contacted customer service?

  • One week ago (Advances)
  • One month ago (Advances)
  • One year ago (Advances)
  • I haven’t contacted customer service in a long time

On the quantitative side, we asked two questions:

How do you prefer to contact customer support?

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • In-person
  • Other

How was your last customer service experience?

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Medium
  • Poor
  • Very bad

On the qualitative side, we asked:

  • Tell us about your experience with customer service.
  • What is the best case you’ve ever experienced when contacting customer service?
  • And what was the worst ever experience when contacting customer service?
  • What is the ideal customer service experience?

The results

Here’s a quick highlight reel of responses:

The quant results

Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents prefer to talk to customer support by phone. Thirty-five prefer live chat, and six percent prefer email.

How consumers prefer to contact customer support.

Forty-five percent said their last customer service experience was excellent, 32 percent said good, 11 percent said poor, seven percent medium, and five percent reported it was a very bad experience.

consumers rate their last customer service experience

The qual results

Respondents in our video research recorded a quick asynchronous video message for the qual questions – selfie-style, directly from their phones.

The automatic sentiment analysis showed that 41 percent of all statements were positive, with 19 percent neutral and 40 percent negative.

consumer sentiment to customer service experience

Unlike the quant questions – which are self-reported answers – this sentiment analysis pulls from what respondents said in their video responses.

Read next: How Natural Language Processing helps us understand consumers better

The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of some of the most mentioned topics.

At times, I also use the Theme Builder and my knowledge of the subject to build and group themes for topics that I consider related.

The analysis

Then I skim through the automatic transcripts and each response.

consumer responses about customer service experiences

The definition of good customer service

Consumers gave us clues into their definition of good customer service through their answers, including:

  • It must be easy, for example “We will call you” buttons on the company’s website
  • Getting a free product replacement when it’s warranted
  • Swift action
  • The company makes up for mistakes
  • Knowledgeable staff who can help and find the right information
  • Staf has an understanding and friendly tone
  • Good follow-up if a call-back is needed
  • Making returns easy
  • Being able to help right there
  • Making customers aware of related and relevant services
  • When the entire interaction is connected, and customers don’t have to repeat themselves

"I think friendly is a huge one that so many people are lacking in customer service jobs."

The definition of bad customer service

Likewise, respondents in the study also gave examples of what they considered bad customer service, including:

  • Responses were too scripted
  • Waiting on the phone for too long
  • Not getting the needed help
  • Unnecessary or unexpected charges
  • When staff doesn’t know what they are doing
  • Transfer after transfer after transfer to other people
  • When staff tells customers they are lying
  • Disinterest in the customer’s problem
  • When customer service reps are hard to understand
  • Connection is lost, and there’s no easy way to talk to the same rep again
  • Missing the context of the situation – for example, when reps try to upsell when somebody calls to cancel a service
  • Moving people from channel to channel – i.e., phone to online or vice versa
  • Not understanding the actual problem

"Turning a difficult situation into a positive one, I think is the ultimate goal of customer service."

Read next: Responsiveness in customer service matters, so why are some brands struggling?

Where to next?

One way to scale the understanding of customer satisfaction is to invite them to leave a short video response after a customer service interaction and give feedback that way. Get that started today at

Read next: How you can use video surveys for your next project!

What’s a question you’d like to ask consumers?