No matter what the nature of your business may be, customer service is an essential skill. If you and your employees can provide exceptional service on a consistent basis, you are going to be successful – I’ve seen this play out over and over again. Below are three practical tips you can put into practice immediately:

Follow up—even when you don’t “need” to.  Make sure that you follow up after any sort of contact with your customers, and especially after they have any questions or problems. This can not only be a good chance for you to ensure that your business is performing well, but it is a great chance to be able to prove to your customers that you truly care about service.

If you screwed up, allow customers to be upset about it. You agreed to provide them with a good or service, and if they think that you failed them, then they will be upset. Give them a chance to vent and get everything off of their chest before you try to make any adjustments and fix the situation. Obviously you need to make the matter right, but you also need to acknowledge that mistakes were made before you move on. If customers feel that you’re trying to sweep your mistakes under the rug, they’re going to remain upset, even once you’ve resolved the situation. I know that this is a difficult skill to master, but it’s important.

Let customers get the inside look. You might not always be able to describe the technical details to your customers. However, rather than just tell them “we are working on it,” or, “it will be taken care of soon,” consider telling them what is actually going on. If your tech guys are double checking the solution, or if you are currently evaluating ways of making the process more cost effective, let your customers know. Customers don’t need to know every detail of your operation, but giving them real information, when it’s appropriate, instead of vague explanations will increase their level of trust in you.

At the end of the day, it’s all about your customers. The long term relationships that you build are the lifeblood of your business. Let your customers know that you care about them and value their opinion— and you are much more likely to have customers stay with you through thick and thin.

What are some of the best customer service tips you’ve picked up over the years? Leave a comment and share your thoughts below!