Offering top-notch products and services is only part of what it means to run a successful business. Cultivating and nurturing your business’s relationship with your customer base is every bit as important. Here’s how you can inspire your team to always put that relationship first and hone their customer service acumen to perfection.

Teach the Right Skills

Make sure every member of your team truly understands what it means to give exceptional service. Qualities to look for, cultivate, and encourage in existing and potential team members should include empathy, strong communication skills, consistency, adaptability, and patience. A strong work ethic is also essential. Your customer needs to know he can count on your team to stay focused and make sure issues are resolved in a timely, satisfactory manner.

Encourage Engagement

It’s not enough for your team members to know how to handle customers successfully. They also need to stay completely dialed in when it comes to customer service, as opposed to simply going through the motions. When your employees are happy and love what they do, it’s infinitely easier to pass that goodwill and satisfaction on to the customer. Make sure your team members know that what they do is valued, as well as give them a way to feel any concerns they have are being heard.

Be Proactive

Although you’ll never be able to avoid problems altogether, a little proactivity goes a long way when it comes to keeping your customers happy. Customers like to feel like they have a personal relationship with the companies they give their business to. Make sure yours always have access to real people when they have questions, concerns, or issues to address. Cater to your customer’s needs and be as communicative as possible via all the avenues your clients use to get in touch with you. Encourage your entire team to do the same.

Reach Out and Relate

Great customer service means being able to relate to each patron on an individual level. Teach your employees to interact with customers the same way they would friends. Facilitate conversation by identifying (and leveraging) common interests or shared values. Always readily admit to mistakes and happily make them right. The proper follow-up to ensure every customer’s complete satisfaction is important as well.

Successful businesses prioritize and take care of their customers thoroughly, happily, and without fail. How will you encourage your team to be part of that process for your company?