Outstanding customer service has to be at the core of every business operator’s mission, and it’s important that this edict be at the forefront of every individual employee’s directive. Making positive customer experiences happen is a collective effort, but they start and end with individual employee efforts. Here are some ways that you can instill the importance of excellent customer service in your workforce and build strong customer relationships.

Establish Standards About Time

Each customer service need is going to be slightly different from one another based on the problem that a customer is experiencing. Nevertheless, you need criteria about how team members respond. You should have set standards about the turnaround time for the initial response to a help request and the time that a request is fully resolved. Ultimately, time may be one of the most crucial elements in customers’ estimation of good customer service. People who give you their business will expect you to care about providing fast help, and they’ll be sure to hold it against you if it appears as though you don’t.

Be Receptive to Criticism

Even if you or an employee feels like a complaint is unreasonable or inaccurate, it’s important to not respond defensively. While a criticism may not be constructive, you have to respond to it defensively. Make an earnest effort to address the customers’ problem. Be willing to explain something that a customer doesn’t understand correctly patiently and positively. In some instances, it may be necessary to take on the role of an educator in helping a customer feel satisfied with what he or she feels is a shortfall in a product or service.

Apply What You’ve Learned From Your Customers

In situations where your customers’ product or service issues have been common or repetitive, you should use your customer service interactions to draw insight about what changes you can make. Changing certain qualities about a product or altering various steps or components in service administration could work to proactively prevent future problems.

Ultimately, the positive feeling that customers feel about their interaction with a company is what will keep them engaged. A customer who feels as though a company works hard towards meeting his or her needs is not particularly likely to look for another company. A responsive company who demonstrates a consistent commitment to providing good customer service can set itself apart from its competition, create a strong reputation, and foster long-lasting relationships.