A lot of business advice focuses on bringing in new business, which is a great thing.

More business potentially means more money and more opportunity for a company to thrive. Introductory offers are also great ways to attract customers eager to score all sorts of super deals simply by signing up.

Plus, there’s  always the possibility that a certain amount of your existing customers will stop patronizing your business, whether it’s due to something about your business that makes them unsatisfied or for reasons completely unrelated to you and your performance or quality.

So that’s why smart businesses need to figure out ways to make new customers feel welcome as well as making existing patrons satisfied. If you do things right, especially in terms of customer service, these new customers will keep coming and they will soon move into the established customer category.

Building this loyalty day after day certainly isn’t easy, but ultimately is worth the effort. To get started, try some of these customer service tips and get your team fired up.

Avoid asking too much right away. Though your team might need some basic info about a customer account when they come in, call or email, asking too many questions can be a turn-off, especially sensitive or financial details. Instead, your customer service team should have some of that information already available.

Don’t pass them along without telling them why. This really should be “don’t pass them along at all” since every front-line person should have the tools and resources to help people, or be able to find answers without worrying about wrapping up a call super fast. But if a caller does need to be transferred to a different department or expert, politely explain what’s happening, apologize, and share how their great service will continue.

Offer options besides phone. People hate waiting on the phone, and even a minute can feel like 10 minutes. So if you’re serious about customer service, acquire the hardware to call people back or helping them via text or chat.

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