A woman standing behind a counter smiles at the person standing in front of her. Customer service standards.

Customer Service Standards: Meet the Ones That Matter Most

Customer service standards will set you apart from your competition. Chip R. Bell, a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and service innovation, says that customer service standards impact a company’s success more than anything else.

“The biggest differentiator is service, not product, proficiency, or price.”

Chip R. Bell

“Our Net Promotor Score is above the industry average and I definitely think TextExpander is a contributing factor to that.”

Ty Schalamon, Technical Support Manager, SketchUp

In this article, we’ll discuss the customer service standards customers value the most and how to meet them. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Are you tired of typing the same responses over and over again? It’s time to put that repetitive strain in the rearview mirror.

What are customer service standards?

Customer service standards represent the quality of service that an organization strives for in all customer interactions, based on its values, mission, and vision. They can also be defined as an organization’s service expectations or objectives, or as guidelines for how to deliver customer service.

Those standards are embedded into every interaction you have with customers, from how you greet them to how you handle complaints.

The most universally adopted standards include responsiveness, transparency, accountability, empathy, over-delivery, availability, a positive attitude, omnipresence, a commitment to empowering customers, and automation like TextExpander.

Here’s a breakdown of each customer service standard:

  1. Responsiveness: Being prompt and timely in addressing customer inquiries, requests, or complaints. This involves responding to emails, calls, or messages within a reasonable timeframe and providing regular updates to keep the customer informed.
  2. Transparency: Being open, honest, and clear in all customer communications. This includes providing accurate information, setting realistic expectations, and admitting mistakes or shortcomings when they occur.
  3. Accountability: Taking responsibility for resolving customer issues and following through on commitments. This involves owning up to mistakes, offering appropriate compensation or solutions, and taking steps to prevent similar issues from occurring.
  4. Empathy: Making an effort to understand the customer’s perspective, feelings, and needs to provide more thoughtful and tailored support. This means addressing their feelings as well as their issues.
  5. Over-delivery: Exceeding customer expectations by going above and beyond what is required or promised. This could involve offering additional services, personalized assistance, or unexpected gestures that create a memorable and positive customer experience.
  6. Availability: Ensuring customer service channels are accessible and convenient for customers to reach out. This may include offering multiple contact options (phone, email, chat, social media), extended operating hours, or self-service options.
  7. Positive Attitude: Interacting with customers in a warm, welcoming, and upbeat manner. This involves using positive language, displaying genuine enthusiasm, and making customers feel valued and appreciated.
  8. Omnipresence: Having a consistent and cohesive customer service experience across all touchpoints and channels. This ensures that customers receive the same level of service and support, regardless of how they choose to interact with the company.
  9. A Commitment to Empowering Customers: Providing customers with the tools, resources, and knowledge to independently make informed decisions and resolve issues. This could involve offering self-service portals, educational materials, or personalized guidance.
  10. The Use of Automation: Leveraging technology and automation to streamline customer service processes and improve efficiency. This may include chatbots, virtual assistants, or automated workflows that can handle routine tasks or provide immediate customer assistance.

By incorporating these standards into their customer service strategies, companies can create a positive and consistent experience that builds trust, loyalty, and long-lasting relationships with their customers.

Why customer service standards matter

For organizations, customer service standards are key to delivering effective customer service. They establish a common understanding of how to treat customers and handle specific situations, which is helpful not only for training new hires but for guiding customer service professionals in their day-to-day.

These standards also help customers know what to expect when interacting with organizations. Customers can use this information to decide whether they want to do business with a company or not. 

For example, setting a standard for response time is useful to both support agents and customers.

“If both sides understand when they should expect a response, there’s less friction in the customer experience because agents have a clearer understanding of their workflow. So long as they meet their established expectations, customers will feel like they’re being treated fairly,” says customer service specialist Clint Fontanella2

Top customer service standards 

Earlier this year, HubSpot’s Service Blog surveyed 100 consumers across the US to determine which standards were most important to them. 

The top five standards, ranked in order of importance, were responsiveness, accountability, over-delivery, availability, and friendliness or a positive attitude.

1. Responsiveness 

As Alana Chinn notes in her summary of the survey’s findings, being responsive means more than simply responding (although that in itself is important and not always a given).

Responsiveness is also about being efficient and genuinely helpful: “A quick response is great, but you’ll want to follow that up with a speedy and thorough resolution to their request,” she wrote.

2. Accountability 

Accountability involves acknowledging problems and taking responsibility for solving them. Angry customers want to feel heard. In most cases, they want validation, not an explanation — at least at the beginning of the interaction. 

3. Over-delivery

Overdelivering means exceeding expectations. In customer service or support, that might look like this:

  • Giving customers more than just short-term, immediate solutions; anticipating their future needs. 
  • Doing everything to solve customers’ problems and sometimes compensating them for their trouble.
  • Delighting customers

4. Availability

Availability is being there for customers when they need help. Setting clear expectations is essential here: customers need to know what companies’ operating hours are and when customer service teams are available. 

Customer service representatives need to be as responsive as possible during publicly announced service hours.

5. Friendliness or a positive attitude 

Customers expect to have positive interactions with customer service representatives and support agents. Empathy, kindness, and politeness matter, especially when the customer is stressed. Because of this, it’s important to hire customer service professionals who embody those traits.

How to meet top customer service standards 

Customer service professionals need strategies and tools to meet customer service excellence standards. Here are tips for raising the bar for quality service:


Meeting this customer standard starts with setting team and individual goals. But a commitment to responsiveness isn’t enough: customer service professionals need the help of technology to achieve their goals. 

Teams can improve responsiveness by adopting AI tools and omnichannel support; providing customers with self-service resources (such as a knowledge base or a community forum); and automating repetitive tasks2.

For automating repetitive writing (such as typing standard responses to FAQs) text expansion is one of the most effective solutions. Tools such as TextExpander help customer support teams leverage the power of text expansion to dramatically improve their response time. 


The most challenging customer interactions are the ones when saying the right thing matters most; they’re also the ones when customer service professionals find it difficult to decide what to say.

For these situations, it helps to have answers pre-prepared. Templates or canned replies not only serve as a starting point for handling complaints but also help ensure a consistent support experience for customers.

Most customer service software programs have a “Saved Replies” feature. “Saved Replies” help users quickly store, access, and pull up standard responses.

Text expansion software takes the idea of “Saved Replies” even further. For example, TextExpander allows users to create saved replies with fill-in-the-blank form fields and multiple-choice options — making it easier than ever to send standard responses that are still personalized.


Making a kind, empathetic impression helps any customer service interaction run more smoothly. When customer support agents include a personal, conversational greeting; a thank you to the customer for reaching out; or state that they’re happy to help, it makes customers feel supported and cared for4.

Text expansion software makes it easy for customer support professionals to communicate in a warm, friendly tone no matter how they’re feeling or what’s going on around them.  

See how TextExpander works

Dear customer,


We are writing to confirm that your refund for (value) has been processed. 

It can take 7-10 business days for the bank which services your credit card to reflect that.


Best regards,


Thank you for reaching out to Support, and I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble.
Could you elaborate on the issue you’re experiencing?
1) Are you able to launch the app?
2) If so, is it crashing?
3) If the app is stable, then is it not working as expected? How so?
I look forward to learning more so I can help get this sorted for you.
I apologize for the delay in getting you a response to your request. We had some issues with our system, and the team didn’t receive your request until today. Your customer experience is our top priority, and we hope to make this right quickly.


What are 5 important customer service qualities?

The five qualities of customer service are responsiveness, accountability, over-delivery, availability, and friendliness.

What are examples of customer service standards?

Examples of customer service standards include responsiveness, transparency, accountability, over-delivery, availability, friendliness or a positive attitude, omnipresence, a commitment to empowering customers, and the use of automation

What are the 7 skills of good customer service?

These seven skills can help customer service representatives consistently deliver exceptional service that builds customer loyalty and strengthens the company’s reputation:

  1. Communication skills: Excellent verbal and written communication abilities are essential for clearly understanding the customer’s needs and effectively conveying information. This includes active listening, asking clarifying questions, and explaining things in a way the customer can understand.
  2. Problem-solving skills: The ability to analyze issues, think critically, and develop creative solutions is crucial for effectively resolving customer complaints or concerns. Good problem-solving skills help find the root cause and provide satisfactory resolutions.
  3. Patience and empathy: Remaining calm, composed, and empathetic, even in difficult situations, is vital for defusing tensions and making customers feel understood and valued. Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes allows you to respond with genuine care and concern.
  4. Product/service knowledge: A comprehensive understanding of the company’s products, services, policies, and procedures enables customer service representatives to provide accurate information and resolve issues confidently.
  5. Adaptability: Adapting to different customer personalities, communication styles, and situations is essential for delivering personalized service. Flexibility and adjusting your approach based on the customer’s needs leads to better experiences.
  6. Attention to detail: Paying close attention to details ensures customer requests are handled accurately and completely. This skill is crucial for avoiding mistakes, following through on commitments, and providing tailored solutions.
  7. Positivity and professionalism: Maintaining a positive attitude, even in challenging interactions, and projecting professionalism through your words, tone, and demeanor can greatly influence the customer’s perception of the service experience.

What are customer service protocols?

Customer service protocols refer to the established guidelines, procedures, and standards that organizations put in place to ensure consistent, high-quality service delivery to customers. These protocols act as a framework for how customer service representatives should handle various situations and interactions.

References and further reading

1.  Strategic Customer Service: Managing Customer Service Experience to Increase Positive Word of Mouth, Build Loyalty, and Maximize Profits. Kindle e-book. John A. Goodman (2009).

2. What’s Customer Responsiveness? (& How to Create a Customer Responsive Culture). Blog post. Clint Fontanella. HubSpot.

3. The Top 5 Most Important Customer Service Standards, According to Consumers. Blog post. Alana Chinn. HubSpot.

4. 31 Phrases to Show Empathy in Customer Service – Top Example Scripts. Blog post. Sarah Chambers. TextExpander.