If you have experienced any part of the business world, you have heard the saying, “The customer is always right.” Beyond this, there are many reasons why customer service is essential in a competitive business market. If you pride yourself on your business smarts, you understand the vital role your client relationships play in long-term success. A relationship is more than just meeting someone and talking to them on the phone. When it comes to a real relationship with a customer, you have to get to know them on a personal level as well. Ask about their family, talk about their favorite vacation, find out what sports team they like, find out their children’s birthdays and their wedding anniversary. Customers love to feel as though they matter on more than one level. More often than not, customers and clients just want to be heard. They want to know that their needs and wants are being not only listened to but received. That is it. They want to be heard.

As business professionals, it is our job to find out what those wants and needs are and then let them know that we hear them and fully intend on delivering to the best of our ability. Do they enjoy coffee? Meet them at their favorite java spot to discuss business. Is their favorite wine a pinot noir? Buy them a bottle for their wedding anniversary. When it comes to business, maybe the customer isn’t ALWAYS right, but treating the customer right IS always right.

There will be times that you run into those customers that are rude and angry for what seems to you like no reason. However, don’t take things personally all the time. One thing we have learned in the customer service world is that most times, it has nothing to do with you directly. Maybe they were stuck in traffic and were late to work. Maybe their child is sick, or spouse was laid off. Perhaps they found out some news that was hard to accept. When this happens, they may take it out on you because you are the one directly in the line of fire. In these moments, don’t lash back at them. Take a step back and put yourself in their position for a moment. Would you be upset? Would you expect courtesy and honesty? Remember, customers just want to be heard. Let them know you understand their frustrations and will do what you can to relieve some of that, it will go a long way, trust me. Treat them like you would treat your family and bring value to the relationship on both sides. By doing this, they will feel you aren’t just there to get every ounce of money out of them that you can, but you care about them as a person and want the best for their needs.

In today’s business world, if you’re providing sincerity and extreme value to your customers, you are adding to the potential of your success by nearly 100%. Instead of being the business that is all about corporate greed and dishonesty, you are delivering something much more respected and appreciated, and your worth will be rewarded. The foundation of a stable business is having the customer’s best interest at heart. By doing so, you will earn their trust, ensure they will come back to you over and over again, and may even refer you to others. By building relationships, you are creating the foundation for your success. And that is a structure that will stand longer than any other.