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Having a strong customer service philosophy in place is critical to growing a successful customer service team. Think of it as a personalized strategy based on the company mission, values, and beliefs.

A great customer service philosophy statement provides your team members with a set of guiding principles for everything from managing new customers to maintaining customer loyalty. By taking time to define your own customer service philosophy, your service reps are able to provide excellent customer service that fits together in a cohesive strategy. 

When developing your own CX philosophy, it can help to draw from some of the greats. Let’s take a look at some examples of how top companies define their ideal customer service experience. 

11 Customer Service Philosophy Examples from Top Companies

Learning from other companies that have good customer service philosophies can help you create a baseline for yourself. 

1. Apple

Apple’s customer service was summed up in an easy way for company employees to remember using the acronym (you guessed it): APPLE.

Apple's customer service philosophy is an acronym of the company name.

Coming up with something easy to remember that can be recited on the fly is crucial for the complete saturation of customer service values from the top to bottom of a company. 

If your team fumbles on “What are our core values, again?” then it becomes impossible for them to tie this philosophy into their daily work. 

It’s also important to break down what exactly makes Apple’s customer service philosophy so great: personalization, understanding needs, present solutions, understand issues, and an invite to return. This may sound basic but it works! 

Hubspot notes that Apple’s “Genius Bar” (part of their retail and customer service centers) fundamentally reshaped how we experience product services by prioritizing first-party retail experiences and highlighting the expertise of their staff. 

2. Disney

Walt Disney dedicated his life to creating almost too-good-to-be-true magical experiences for his customers. The Disney philosophy is to “delight customers by putting employees first.” 

Disney's customer service focus is on employees.

Customer service starts with how you select, inspire, and lead your own team. In fact, Disney uses an acronym much like Apple: C.A.R.E. Clarify, align, reinforce, and empower. This is specifically for team leaders, instructing them how to bring out the best in their staff. 

Disney is also well-known for having a CX plan that is thoughtfully created and to be followed with strict adherence. His philosophy was to offer high-quality customer experiences through an emotional connection with the customer. 

The company has gone so far as to build an institute strictly for teaching customer service representatives the customer service plan. This customer philosophy has put Disney in the position of one of the most profitable and well-loved businesses in the world.

3. Virgin

Virgin is not just a media company or airline—it is a multinational, multi-business corporation. Even though Virgin has so many facets, their customer service philosophy blankets them all. 

Virgin sums up their customer service philosophy succintly.

The founder of Virgin, Richard Branson, states that the customer experience should champion two things: fun and value for money. These are two very simple answers to a relatively broad span of human desires. But, in knowing this, staff can approach every customer interaction with a simple consideration: how do I make this fun and how do I ensure value?

On their company About Us page, Virgin adds: “If it matters to you, then it matters to us.” This is a great customer service philosophy that every company should seek to emulate. Virgin also touches upon the importance of challenging the status quo (disruption), honesty (“decent and straight-talking,” they say), and progressivism. 

As you can see, their CX philosophy also leaves room for future improvement, ready to adapt to changes in technology and expectations. 

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4. ooShirts

A solid customer service philosophy is especially important for newer brands looking to make waves in an oversaturated market. That’s why I’m going to highlight ooShirts, a t-shirt printing company who promises “rave-worthy service” as well as “awesomely low prices.” 

When you’re breaking into your niche, your CX philosophy should be centered around what new and exciting something you intend to offer customers that the other guys just don’t have. 

Raymond Lei, owner of the company, notes that: “One of the things [ooShirts offers] is really fast turnaround time.” In a society obsessed with speed, ensuring customers are getting their products as fast as possible is a sign of a good CX philosophy. 

Clearly ooShirts is nailing it as they have grown from one small shop to five retail locations and have now launched a spin-off company, Little Raymond’s.

5. Creative Colors International

Creative Colors International is a leader in the repair and restoration of leather, vinyl, fabric, plastic, and carpeting in automobiles and commercial/residential buildings. When it comes to their customer service philosophy, the company’s website states two things:

Creative Colors has a detailed customer service philosophy.

This customer experience philosophy is tried and true. You’ll see it a lot with “money back guarantee”-type promises. This removes any risk from the customer’s decision to work with them. CCI goes a bit further, though. They promise to help you find someone who can fix your problem if they can’t do it themselves. While their quality of work makes them successful, their customer service philosophy takes it up a notch. It is simple and to the point: “Always exceed our customers’ expectations.”


No one does it like LEGO. Their customer service philosophy is succinct and successful. “Only the best is good enough” applies not only to their product but to how they deal with customers. “The best” is their baseline. Nothing else suffices. And, they have devised a catchy, one-sentence philosophical summary that employees can recite like a mantra. 

LEGO's customer service philosophy focuses on the best for their customers.

LEGO also uses their own product as a metaphor for how they envision their customer philosophy: “As children shape their own worlds with LEGO bricks, we play our part in having a positive impact on the world they live in today and will inherit in the future.” Founded in 1932, LEGO has created an empire that has shifted as it needed to. If customers suggest it, they listen. In fact, they go as far as to let customers design and vote on potential new LEGO sets they want to see using the LEGO Ideas platform.

7. Zappos

Zappos, the online shoe and clothing retailer, encompasses its customer service philosophy as: “To live and deliver ‘Wow!’”. The focus on customer service dedication is central and it is integrated into every part of the company. It is celebrated and encourages service representatives to be innovative on behalf of the customer. It leads to customer satisfaction and good customer retention.

Zappos says Customer Service should always have capital letters. It is at the heart of the Zappos company and how it works. Their strategy has been successful, too, as they sold to Amazon for a cool $1.2 billion. Build a positive company culture and let that inspire staff to deliver the best possible experiences to the end-user.

8. McDonald's

There are very few places in the world that do not recognize the iconic logo of McDonald’s. While their food and prices are a significant part of their success, so is their customer service philosophy. They consider “Actions are bigger than words” as central to all they do. They aim to put their customers, people, and community first.

McDonald's has a simple but effective customer service philosophy.

It is a simple philosophy, but it runs through everything they do, including community outreach through Ronald McDonald Houses that supports seriously ill children and their families. What have they achieved with this strategy? They provided 2.6 million overnight stays, worth 935 million in lodging and meals in 2019 alone.

9. Traders Joe’s

Value is where customer service philosophy lies with Trader Joe's. Their company values put customers and their interactions with them above all else, ensuring their staff are always present on the floor and ready to help by allowing them to stock shelves during the store’s open hours. They hold customer-centric socialization in higher regard than speed and efficiency—a radical stance nowadays. 

Showing a customer they are valued and that staff want to assist them over anything else has brought Trader Joe's accolades from both consumers, including many celebrities, and business executives alike. 

Their “chatty employee” strategy has earned them fans both in the media and from the public. Shoppers become elevated to superfans and advocates for the brand, treating the corporations as more of a local hot spot than just a place to pick up beans.

10. The Ritz Carlton

The Ritz Carlton has received numerous accolades for high standards of care and service, including being the only hotel management brand to receive the Malcolm Baldrige Award

There is nothing more important than their customers. They aim to provide the best personal service and facilities for their customers, including extensive room maintenance every 90 days to keep things top-notch. 

This philosophy permeates not just their high quality customer service support team but the whole company. It is steeped in their core values. 

Each employee including housekeeping, maintenance, front desk, and management is all trained to hold this philosophy and make sure guests are treated in the gold star manner. Their success has set the bar high and has been cited as an inspiration to other companies such as Apple.

11. Warby Parker

Warby Parker had a radical idea to cut out the middlemen and launch a virtually integrated eyewear company based on a state-of-the-art e-commerce offering.

Warby Parker uses a well-known sentiment in their customer service philosophy.

They position themselves as a challenger brand and launched with a bang. But, right from the beginning, the founders were acutely aware that they had to do everything in their power to retain customers and sustain growth by instilling an unbeatable customer service philosophy.

Warby Parker actually keeps it to the basics with the mantra “treat others as we’d like to be treated”. They also acknowledge that people are complex and different and try hard to understand their customers, using AI to analyze and support them along their journey.

This philosophy is worth taking note of as, since launching in 2010, Warby Parker has spread worldwide and grown to a $3 billion a year business.

How Do Your Company Values Impact Your Customer Service Philosophy?

How do company values and customer service philosophy overlap?

A strong set of company core values are important in every organization. Whether you value the honesty towards your customers, your ambitious standards, or your passion for progress, you should match it with your customer service philosophy.

Your company values impact your customer service philosophy as consumers will expect to receive support that is in line with your reputation.

Simply put, your core values will make your company stand out from your competitors and you’ll need to apply them to all your departments, especially customer service.

How To Develop Your Customer Service Philosophy

Developing a customer service philosophy might not be the easiest task.

Though, like with the examples above, when you develop a powerful strategy that matches your company’s values, you’ll be able to elevate your business as well as improve your reputation.

What are the essential attributes of customer service?

And what about the important characteristics of customer experience you should know?

Let’s go through the best ways to develop your customer service philosophy and values within your team.

Pssst...Looking to outsource your customer service operations? We've rounded up the best customer service outsourcing providers to help you find the right match!

1. Put Yourself In The Customer’s Shoes

Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes is the base of every interaction. A little bit of empathy goes a long way!

If we look at Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends, we can see that 48% of consumers have a more favorable view of organizations with proactive customer support.

Zendesk's Customer Experience Trends report shows that customers view companies with proactive support more favourably.

For this reason, it’s instrumental to understand what customers want, put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, preempt their issues as much as possible, and ultimately provide proactive support.

For instance, sending an email to our customers with our latest deals or reaching out to them before having an issue with their product are more likely to positively impact their experience.

On the flipside, if a customer has to wait three days for an email response, or if they’re placed on hold for an hour over the phone, you’ve already created a negative experience for the customer before you’ve even gotten around to addressing their problem.

2. Provide Customer Self-Service 

In the digital and connected world, we live in, having a straightforward and quick way to find solutions is essential to many consumers. When you think about it, if a customer has to reach out to a customer service representative for additional help, then your customer service has already fallen short.

This is exactly why you should include self-service in your customer service philosophy.

According to the 2018 State of Global Customer Service Report by Microsoft, 66% of customers prefer being helped with customer self-service rather than engaging with an agent. 

Most customers start with self-service before engaging with customer service agents.

Also, the same report found out that 88% of consumers expect the organization to offer an online self-service support portal on top of their traditional customer service department. 

3. Keep Their Expectations Realistic And Be Honest

Honesty and transparency are other factors that every customer service philosophy strategy should include. 

In fact, keeping your customers’ expectations realistic is important avoid disappointment and to make them understand what you actually can or can’t do to help. That builds trust—and trust is the extra-special secret ingredient that turns customers into loyal advocates.

For example, Virgin has included honesty in their company values and every interaction with their customers will be transparent without overpromising.

Take some time to analyze what falls within the scope of your offering, and what isn’t viable or achievable. Use this information to guide the messaging of your customer service philosophy. That way, you won’t end up inadvertently making promises you can’t keep.

4. Are You Customer-Centric or Problem-Centric? 

There are two ways of handling issues management with your customers: the problem-centric approach and the customer-centric approach. 

The problem-centric approach tackles issues on a case-by-case basis, viewing each situation as a singular challenge requiring a solution. Alternatively, the customer-centric approach takes the history of the client into consideration, their unique circumstances, and all other previous interactions you’ve had. 

To successfully carry out a customer-centric approach, you’ll need to keep detailed logs of customer information, support histories, and relevant notes. That way, a new representative can still provide superior service, even if they’ve never personally met the customer before. 

Both approaches have their merits, and no one approach is the “right” way—however, not everyone has the resources to maintain a customer-centric approach. Whichever route you take, ensure you have the right systems in place to carry it out consistently.

Follow This Template for Creating a Customer Service Philosophy

When you write your customer service philosophy, think of the customer’s journey from start to finish. How do you want it to begin? How do you want it to end? What steps do you need to take along the way to get there? Once you’ve answered those questions, you can create an authentic philosophy that rings true.

Since Apple has such a succinct and effective philosophy, we’ll use their framework as a template example from which you can model your own customer service philosophy!

  1. How will you greet your customer when they approach you for help?
  2. How will you come to understand the nature of your customer’s issue?
  3. How will you present a solution for the customer?
  4. How will you address or resolve any complaints or concerns?
  5. Once you’ve handled the issue, how will you maximize the potential for your customer to return?

Related read: Best Complaint Management Software

Final Thoughts

Customer service philosophies not only drive CX teams to be kinder, smarter workers but also elevate the company as a whole. It is clear from the above examples that positioning a company around a clear customer service philosophy can bring success to a brand. If a customer is happy and satisfied, then the churn rate is low and repeat business will build.

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