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The Right Kind of Service: Paying Attention to Customers and Employees
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What's one way to gain an edge over your competitors? Having great customer service.

Think about it — we've all been customers before, so we all know how effective strong customer service can be, and how ineffective bad customer service can be. Right? So how can your small business thrive with its customer service? By understanding your customers' (and employees') frustrations.

Let Empathy Be Your Guide When Offering Customer Service

We all know how trying it can be when we're given bad customer service. If a mistake is made with our order, we complain. If we've been charged for something we didn't purchase, we complain. And when we've been given several different answers before finally receiving the right one, we complain. In short, we all know how frustrating it is when we receive poor customer service, so if, when providing customer service, we occasionally have to deal with frustrated (and maybe even irate) customers, we should first remember what it's like to be in their shoes.

Showing some empathy shows a customer that we not only care about her problem, but that because we understand it, we'll try and fix it as soon as we can. So, if you can communicate your empathy to a customer, chances are the customer will calm down, feel taken care of, and proceed to trust your services and, ultimately, your company.

Understanding Your Employees Will Improve Their Customer Service

Knowing how to treat your employees is also essential to running a business smoothly. The more involved you are as a boss, the more you'll know what needs to be addressed, and the better your employees will be at their jobs. One way to accomplish this is by listening to your employees' frustrations. What are they struggling with? What do they wish they knew more about? By understanding the challenges they face, you'll discover how best to train, teach, and inform them. Once your employees are better prepared, their work will improve. Once their work improves, their customer service will improve. And once customer service improves, your company will be well on its way to gaining that edge over your competitors.

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