The customer is always right. It’s the standard saying you hear if you work in customer service. Companies are constantly working to strengthen their customer satisfaction. Here’s how you can improve customer service to ensure the happiness of your customers.

Start every conversation on a personal note

You never want to get right into the conversation. Before anything else, start the conversation on a personal note. Asking questions about the weather or how their day is going makes the conversation feel more personal, allowing the customer to feel a connection with not only you, but the company as well. Good customer service shows the customer that you care about them. When you make a customer feel welcomed, cared about, and taken care of, that’s when you have the best customer service.

Ask questions to understand the situation

If a customer is speaking with you because of issue, never say “There’s nothing I can do”. You are there to help the customer and if a problem is out of your jurisdiction, take it to someone else who can assist. Always ask the customer questions to fully understand the situation. Going over a timeline of the problem with a customer will allow them to feel understood. Asking questions is a great way to ensure you have every detail necessary before moving forward to solve their problems.

Speak with empathy

The issues and concerns customer service representatives deal with on a daily basis cover an array of emotion. You have easy customers and you have the more difficult customers that just don’t accept what you may have to say. Validate a customer’s issue or concern and make them feel valued through speaking with empathy. In the event of an irate customer, take a deep breath and put yourself in their shoes. Customers are human beings dealing with real life issues. Regardless of how unimportant an issue seems to you, it could be entirely different to a customer.

Be apologetic, not defensive

Here’s where “the customer is always right” comes into play. Of course it’s vital that you defend company values, goals, and the overall mission statement. However, when a customer service representative is solving a problem for a customer, apologizing is key. There is a right time and place to defend yourself, but in front of the customer is not one of them.

Make Yourself Available

Many customers deal with automated phone systems, emails, or even false promises of returned calls. If you as a customer service representative are the best person for the customer to contact, give them the information they need to reach you. Often customer service can’t fix things overnight, so keeping a line of available communication for the customer will ease their mind in the meantime.

Customer service is everywhere. Great customer service is rare. If you want to stand out from the rest, improve your customer service by trying out these tips.