title:Do Yourself A Favor: Provide Outstanding Customer Service! author:Rita Ballard source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_2193.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:06 category:business_and_finance article:

Your customers are your business. Without them, life would be very difficult. The best way to keep your customers, and get new ones, is to provide outstanding customer service.
Any contact with a customer provides fertile ground for giving great customer service. On the phone, try smiling when you talk; the smile can be heard on the other end. When meeting a customer in person, shake hands, touch a shoulder or an elbow lightly, and smile with your heart. In written correspondence, use words and phrases that portray a picture of openness and friendliness.
Providing memorable customer service is a great way to keep your name in front of your customers, create an interest to prospects, and be remembered by those who are recipients of your customer service.
Here are some of the ways that you can provide excellent customer service:

Promptly return phone calls.
Go the extra mile; give a little extra, for free.
Send small, inexpensive (but not cheap or tacky) gifts to new clients.
Keep in constant contact.
Remember customers on major holidays with a card or postcard.
Ask, “Is there anything else I can help you with?”, and mean it.
Chat with your customers about their interests.
Offer to link back to their websites, or place an article of theirs on your site.
Refer them to others who need what they offer. Always say, ‘Thank you!”
Call or email just to say hi.
Tell them how much you enjoy working with them – often.
Provide freebies occasionally – articles, pens, notepads, etc.
Remember birthdays.
Be creative and unique.
Show them easier, more efficient, or faster ways to do things.

I know that whether or not I hear back from a customer, they will appreciate and remember me. They are more likely to tell others about my business because I have honored who they are and what they need. Creating wonderful business partnerships not only generates more business, but also gives you a widening circle of valuable friendships.
Outstanding customer services is as much about you as it is about your customer. It shows what kind of a business person you are and demonstrates what is important to you. Customer service is a function of the heart, a simple matter of expressing your feelings and sense of gratitude for your customers. How you do this can enhance or hurt your business. Acknowledge those who have chosen to work with you and you will be advertising your business in the best possible light. Ignore your customers and you run the risk of limiting repeat business with them. Simply treat your customers the way you like to be treated.

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