Seth Godin reminds readers of the two most obvious secrets to service businesses in his Dec. 28, 2005, blog:

* Take responsibility
* Pay attention to detail

When I read his blog, it reminded me of some service businesses Inc. has covered in the past, which serve as great examples of companies that have mastered these secrets.

* The Inn at Little Washington goes as far as paying attention to the mood of its guests as they arrive. The staff assigns a rating from 1 to 10 (7 or below indicates unhappiness) to a guest's or party's mood, and then sets out to create an experience that will ensure the guest or party leaves with a mood rating of 9.

* David Neeleman of JetBlue frequently flies his airline to personally talk with customers and gain valuable feedback on its service and accommodations.

* The owner of Aladdin Auto Service Center not only fixes cars, but also fixes spirits by providing a very serene and welcoming waiting area for stressed out owners, complete with a prayer room, books on poetry, religion, even mechanics, and complementary tea.

Paying attention to detail is really a simple way any service business can satisfy its customers and keep them coming back. What is your business's secret to great service?