As a business owner, there are few resources more valuable than customers who have become raving fans of your business. But as you know, this doesn’t happen automatically. Here are three important ideas to keep in mind as you work towards creating “promoters” of your business. These have been tried and tested in the real world – by me and by many of my clients.

Expectations matter. Take two high school students as an example – student 1 is a straight-A student who studies late into the night virtually every night of the week. Student 2 is a C student who rarely opens his textbooks once he gets home from school. Now imagine that both students received an 85% (a solid ‘B’) on a science exam. How will they react? It’s obvious – student 1 will be devastated, while student 2 will be delighted. They both received the same grade… but they had different expectations. Manage the expectations of your customers by not making commitments you cannot keep. If you know that a project will take you two days to complete, tell them it will be ready in three… and then impress them by delivering the finished product a day before they were expecting it. It is much, much better to exceed reasonable expectations than it is to set high expectations and then fail to meet them.

Consistency matters. McDonalds hamburgers may not be your preference as “best” hamburger in the world, but they’ve become a household name across the globe by being consistent. When you visit a McDonalds, you know exactly what to expect, even if you’ve never been in that specific location before. When you offer consistent service, your clients and customers know exactly what to expect… and they will be comfortable recommending you to others because they know the level of service that will be provided. Be consistent!

Going the extra mile matters. Most businesses today provide a poor customer service experience. If you and your employees are able to answer questions and courteously address complaints, you are already ahead of the pack. If you are willing to the extra mile to keep your customers happy, I can guarantee that they will take note. Every question and every complaint that you receive from a customer is an opportunity to blow them away with the level of service you provide. Take full advantage!

The time you spend serving your customers is one of the most important investments you can make. Providing top notch service will turn customers into promoters of your business – and there’s nothing better that!