The 10 Commandments of Great Customer Service

Have you ever entered a store, faced an employee with a nasty attitude, and turned right back out the door? There’s nothing more unwelcoming than poor customer service. After all, stores and companies should be pulling you in rather than pushing you out. If you’re a business owner, customer service is king. If you’re having trouble retaining customers and bringing new ones in, you and your employees may have poor customer service.


Below, you’ll find the ten commandments of great customer service to help you bring in customers and their wallets.

1. Always Listen

If you want to understand your customers, you need to listen. If you have a customer service chatbot on your website, it’s most likely filled with questions, comments, and concerns about your products or services. When you receive these, make sure you listen to them to learn how to make your products or services better. 


Also, make sure you look at the reviews left on your website. For example, when looking at CanvasPeople reviews, you’ll notice many customers are happy with their responsiveness and easy creation process. When it comes to negative reviews, however, you never want to point fingers and place the blame somewhere else. You own and run the business, and as the leader, full responsibility falls on you.

2. Know What Customers Want

To deliver superior customer service, you need to know what customers want. This doesn’t mean multitasking while they’re talking to you on the phone or in person. It means giving them your full undivided attention to truly know what they want. Do they need a new running shoe? Listen to their complaints, their history with running, what they like and don’t like in a shoe, etc. Doing so will allow you to find the glass slipper that fits perfectly and will keep them coming back for more.

3. Understand Body Language

Body language plays a major role in how you deal with customers and how customers deal with you. If you notice your customer is angry, agitated, or annoyed, don’t respond with similar energy. Instead, let them get their frustrations out and work with them to solve their problem. As for you, make sure your body language conveys genuineness and that you’re willing to help them.

4. Make Customers Feel Appreciated

There are many ways you can make your customers feel appreciated. Doing so will make them feel special, rather than just another number, which will make them want to come back and shop at your store. Use their name sincerely when talking with them. Go the extra mile and teach them about your products or take time to answer their questions. Or, use a rewards system and give loyal customers extra perks and discounts. These are just some of the ways you can make your customers feel appreciated.

5. Know How and When to Say Sorry

As they say, the customer’s always right. Even in situations where something might not have been your fault, it’s important to take ownership to diffuse the situations and keep your customers happy. Knowing how to say sorry sincerely and when will be something your customers remember forever. And it’s not just about saying sorry—it’s about acting on it, too. So, if a situation arises, offer your customer a replacement, discount, or free service. 

6. Be Empathetic

Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will allow you to see their problems at a different angle. When you get to know your customers, you’ll understand why and how they use your products or services. This will allow you to think of ideas for a new product or service that will make their lives even easier.

7. Understand the Importance of a Smile

Have you ever walked down the aisle of a grocery store and a random customer smiled at you for no reason? While it was a simple gesture, it most likely lifted your mood and made you happy, even if it was just a brief moment. A smile holds a lot of power. Make sure you and your employees greet everyone with warm and welcoming faces.

8. Be Polite

Being polite is just as important as keeping a smile on your face. Make sure you and your employees always say please, thank you, good morning, and have a good day. Kindness goes a long way, and being respectful will establish a sense of trust. After all, companies with good customer service earn more profit than those that do not, so it pays to be kind!

9. Give More Than You Take

Giving more than you take is another way to boost your customer service game. Think about things you can offer customers they can’t get elsewhere, or how to thank people who didn’t even buy anything. A follow-up email is one way to show appreciation, or you can consider punch cards where their 10th item, such as a coffee, is free.

10. Treat Everyone as a Customer

Lastly, treat everyone as a customer—even those who come up to your booth at a trade show, grab a free sample, and leave. For example, if you have a service with free subscribers, offer them all the help they need even if they’re not paying you a single dime. You never know when they might convert to a loyal customer or recommend some to your business.

Key Takeaways

Bottom line, treating your customers with respect and sincerity will go a long way. From being polite to understanding your customers, these are just some of the ways you can improve your customer service.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.