The Dos And Don’ts Of Customer Service: Best Practices

Hello to all the dedicated business owners and employees out there! It’s no secret: thriving in today’s market requires more than just a great product. Your customer service game needs to be top-notch. Having been on both sides of the customer service counter, I’d love to share a few key pointers with you. Let’s dive into the essential dos and don’ts that could make or break your relationship with your clientele.

The Golden Dos of Customer Service

  1. Listen Actively: Before offering solutions, ensure you understand the customer’s concerns. This means focusing on their words, tonality, and non-verbal cues.
  2. Empathize: Remember that golden saying, “Treat others how you’d like to be treated”? It’s timeless for a reason. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
  3. Respond Timely: Whether it’s an email, a call, or an in-person query, timely responses can differentiate you from competitors.
  4. Stay Updated: Regular training sessions ensure that you’re equipped with the latest product knowledge and communication skills.
  5. Seek Feedback: Use reviews and feedback as learning tools. This not only helps improve service but also shows customers you value their input.

The Critical Don’ts in Customer Service

  1. Never Make Assumptions: Assuming a customer’s needs or emotions can lead to miscommunication.
  2. Avoid Negative Language: Phrases like “I can’t” or “You have to” can come off as unhelpful. Instead, opt for positive alternatives like “Let me find out” or “It would be best if you”.
  3. Don’t Interrupt: Let the customer finish their thought before jumping in. It’s basic respect.
  4. Never Take It Personally: Some customers might be having a bad day. Focus on resolving the issue, not on the emotions.
  5. Don’t Overpromise: Always be realistic about what you can deliver. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver.

The Importance of Body Language in Customer Service

Non-Verbal Cues Speak Volumes: Often, it’s not just what you say but how you say it. Your body language can convey confidence, empathy, and understanding, or it can unintentionally signal impatience and disinterest. Maintaining eye contact, offering a genuine smile, and adopting an open posture can go a long way in making customers feel valued and heard. On the other hand, constantly checking the clock, crossing arms, or avoiding eye contact can send negative signals. Amazon Product Recommendation: A book that revolutionized my understanding of this topic is “What Every Body is Saying” by Joe Navarro. It provides great insights into reading and using body language effectively, especially in a customer service setting.

Incorporating Technology Without Losing the Human Touch

Blending the Best of Both Worlds: While chatbots and automated systems can handle high volumes of routine queries efficiently, there’s a fine balance to be struck. Many customers still value human interactions, especially for complex issues. By using technology to handle the basics and seamlessly transitioning to a human representative when needed, you can provide quick solutions without sacrificing personalization. Amazon Product Suggestion: One tool I’ve found incredibly helpful is the “Zendesk Customer Service Software”. It integrates automation with human support seamlessly.

The Role of Active Listening in Resolving Conflicts

Hear, Understand, Act: Disagreements and misunderstandings are inevitable in customer service. However, active listening – which involves fully concentrating, understanding, and responding to what the customer is saying – can defuse many tense situations. It signals to the customer that their concerns are valid and that you’re genuinely committed to finding a solution. Amazon Product Tip: “The Lost Art of Listening” by Michael P. Nichols is a fantastic read that delves deep into the power and techniques of active listening.

Rewarding Loyalty: Recognizing and Valuing Repeat Customers

Beyond the First Sale: A business thrives on not just attracting new customers, but retaining existing ones. Recognizing and rewarding repeat customers can foster loyalty and turn casual buyers into brand ambassadors. Consider loyalty programs, exclusive deals, or even a simple ‘thank you’ note for their continued support. Amazon Product Recommendation: Using a CRM system like “HubSpot CRM” has been a game-changer for me. It helps track customer interactions, making it easier to identify and reward loyal patrons.

Adapting to Changing Customer Needs in a Digital Era

Stay Agile, Stay Relevant: The digital era has transformed how businesses interact with customers. With the increasing use of social media, online reviews, and digital communication channels, it’s vital to be where your customers are. Embrace new platforms, be receptive to feedback, and adapt your strategies to changing customer preferences and behaviors. Amazon Product Suggestion: The book “Building a StoryBrand” by Donald Miller provides excellent insights into refining your brand message in the digital age to resonate better with customers.


How can I ensure consistent customer service across my team?

Regular training and setting clear guidelines can help maintain consistency.

What if a customer is being unreasonable or aggressive?

Stay calm, listen actively, and if needed, involve a supervisor or manager for assistance.

Can automation and chatbots replace human customer service?

While they’re useful for handling basic queries, nothing can replace the human touch in complex or sensitive situations.

How often should I seek feedback from customers?

Regularly! Monthly or quarterly surveys, combined with after-service feedback forms, can be effective.

Mastering customer service isn’t just about following a rulebook. It’s about genuine human connections, understanding, and continuous learning. By keeping these dos and don’ts in mind, you’re well on your way to forging lasting relationships with your customers. Remember, every interaction is an opportunity. Make the most of it!

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