Careers Business Ownership 9 Tips for Providing Excellent Customer Service Share PINTEREST Email Print The Balance Business Ownership Becoming an Owner Small Business Online Business Home Business Entrepreneurship Operations & Success Industries By Alyssa Gregory Alyssa Gregory Alyssa Gregory is an entrepreneur, writer, and marketer with 20 years of experience in the business world. She is the founder of the Small Business Bonfire, a community for entrepreneurs, and has authored more than 2,500 articles for popular small business websites. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 11/20/19 Excellent customer service creates loyal customers for life who are willing to refer your business to friends, family, and colleagues. Providing this type of excellent customer service starts with a genuine desire to delight your customers, but you also have to think beyond selling your products or services. You need to consider the cumulative experience your customers have when they visit your store or website, what they think and feel, and what you can do to make it better. Learn more about your customers to create a pattern of excellent service in your small business. 01 of 09 Know Your Product or Service To provide good customer service, you need to know what you're selling, inside and out. Make sure you and your customer-facing staff know how your products or services work. Be aware of the most common questions customers ask and know how to articulate the answers that will leave them satisfied. 02 of 09 Be Friendly Customer service starts with a smile. When you are in a face-to-face situation, a warm greeting should be the first thing your customers see and hear when they ask for help. Even when handling customer service requests via telephone, a smile can come through in your voice, so make sure you're ready to be friendly. 03 of 09 Say Thank You Gratitude is memorable, and it can remind your customers why they shopped at your store or hired your company. Regardless of the type of business you have, saying thank you after every transaction is one of the easiest ways to start a habit of good customer service. 04 of 09 Train Your Staff It's important to make sure all of your employees, not just your customer service representatives, understand the way they should talk to, interact with, and otherwise assist customers. Provide employee training that gives your staff the tools they need to carry good service through the entire customer experience. 05 of 09 Show Respect Customer service often can involve emotions, so it's important to make sure you and others you have handling your customer service tasks are always courteous and respectful. Never let your own emotions overtake your desire to see your customer walk away happy. 06 of 09 Listen Listening is one of the simplest secrets of customer service. It means hearing what your customers are saying out loud, as well as what they are communicating non-verbally. Watch for signs that they are displeased, while listening to what they say to you directly. 07 of 09 Be Responsive There may be nothing worse than nonresponsiveness to a customer who is trying to get help, resolve an issue, or find out more about what you're selling. It's important to respond quickly to all inquiries, even if it is only to say you are looking into the issue and will be back in touch. Some response is always better than none so the customer doesn't feel ignored. 08 of 09 Ask for Feedback You may be surprised what you learn about your customers and their needs when you ask them what they think of your business, products, and services. You can use customer surveys, feedback forms, and questionnaires, but you also can make it a common practice to ask customers first-hand for feedback when they are completing their orders. 09 of 09 Use Feedback You Receive You need to do something with the feedback you receive from customers in order to make it useful in your customer service process. Take time to regularly review feedback, identify areas for improvement, and make specific changes in your business.Excellent customer service often comes down to consistently checking in with your customers and making sure they are happy with the products and services you're selling and the process of purchasing, ordering, working with you. If you do that successfully, you are on your way to becoming known for providing excellent customer service.