More than ever, customer service can be a megaphone. With online review sites only gaining in popularity, how you treat every customer can be broadcast within mere minutes. Focusing on the basics of customer service will help your business, not to mention your online reviews.

So with the all-important Google Reviews and Yelp in mind, let’s take a look at how some world-famous companies excel at customer service.

You’ve most likely heard about how Zappos empowers their employees to do almost anything to help their customers. From 10-hour customer service phone calls to hand-delivering a pair of shoes to a Las Vegas traveler, Zappos clearly delights in delighting the customer.

Steal this tip: Empower your employees to solve a menu of possible problems. This will help them feel more confident on the job, and your customer will be pleased, too.
As we’re writing this, Amazon’s public perception is taking a hit with their protracted negotiating tactics with publishers. Regardless, Amazon’s customer service is viewed as stellar with generous terms for free shipping, easy methods of contact and hassle-free returns.

Steal this tip: As a local business owner, you can’t possibly stock every item like Amazon does, but take a good look at your most popular product line. Are there new items you can add and tired products you should retire? Have you told your customer base about new products? Consider a giveaway to get your local customers excited about a hot product.

Trader Joe’s
The Monrovia, Calif.-based company has legion of fans for its well-edited store-labeled products. From “Two-Buck Chuck” wine to seasonal maple cookies, fans of Trader Joe’s know they will find one-of-a-kind products at reasonable prices. Friendly staff and quick checkouts are other high points for TJ shoppers.

Steal this tip: Shoppers aren’t overwhelmed at Trader Joe’s with dozens of salsas or yogurts. Take a close look at your shelves and product offerings. Make sure you have well-priced, quality items. If possible, offer a few store-labeled products or a service people can’t find anywhere else.

American Express
In a world where most people find credit card companies odious, American Express shows up on “Best Customer Service” lists every year. Fans of the company even blog about their positive experiences (hop over here for a heart-warming tale). Amex’s vision statement is: “To be the most respected brand in the world. To win the hearts, minds, and wallets of our customers by providing extraordinary customer service.”

Steal This Tip: What can your business do to create extraordinary experiences? Could you send handwritten notes, thanking your customers? Consider offering an extra service or product at no charge. What about finding an “unexpressed need” and then offering a solution?

Every day is a great opportunity to pursue excellent customer service. Spend a few minutes thinking about the ways you can engage in creating memorable service. It will be an investment that will pay off for years to come.

Olga is a Senior Manager in Sales and Marketing Operations at Connectivity.