When it comes to stellar customer service for your small business customers, what are you doing to stand out from the competition?

Whether your small business has been around for years or you just recently opened it, keeping customers happy is critical to your long-term success. Without happy customers, you can all but be assured of having a rough time of it when it comes to making a go of it.

So, what are some keys to turning your customer service efforts up a few notches heading into 2016?

Treat Customers Like You’d Want to Be Treated

Even though it sounds like an old cliché, it rings very true in the hearts of many.

In order to get customers to like you and want to continue doing business with you, it is important that you treat them how you would want to be treated. If you’re giving them lackluster customer service, ask yourself if you would stand for such service if the roles were reversed.

Among the best ways to achieve stellar customer service as a small business owner:

  • Care – It sounds so simple, but caring about your customers is crucial. Some small business owners may get lost in all they have to do in order to keep the company running smoothly, so they sometimes overlook customer service. They might figure that a few lost customers here and there won’t add up; think again. Losing even a handful of customers on a monthly basis should be reason for some concern.
  • Act – Don’t be reactive; be pro-active with your customers. Get a sense for what they want, why they want it, and of course when they want it. Your customers can give you a plethora of feedback no matter what your brand. Whether you offer satellite or cable television deals that include your ability to offer at least 8 package options, sell auto and a variety of other insurances, provide supplies for taking care of one’s home or you are in the business of countless other products and services, be the small business owner customers turn to. While you of course need to be responsive and react with follow-ups on their calls, emails, texts etc. coming to them before they need you never hurts, plus it shows they are on your mind.
  • Listen – Last but certainly not least, always listen to what your customers have to say. From the compliments to the complaints, be a good listener and don’t turn a deaf ear to your customers. How frustrated do you get when something you buy etc. isn’t what you wanted? You call up the business and get stuck on hold or the customer service person can’t help you. Put your ear to the grindstone and listen to what your customers have to say.

Being a successful small business owner involves myriad of talents, so entertain how you can do even better in 2016.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.