If a customer complains or is unhappy with your product or service, don't be discouraged. If they cared enough to share their feedback, you have been given a great opportunity to better understand what is needed to truly delight your customer base.

Customer delight is a core value at Porch.com. We literally have this value painted on our walls. So how do develop a culture that places an emphasis on customer delight? Here are eight principles to live by.

1. Always be timely

In today's business world, speed is essential. If your company delays in responding to customers, you're missing a huge opportunity to capture valuable insights and feedback. Don't give your competitors an opportunity to serve your customer better and faster than you can.

2. Always listen to your customers ...

The Lean Startup preaches that to build something useful entrepreneurs need to develop products and test them with real customers. The same goes with serving your customers and understand their needs. Listen to customer feedback religiously. To this day, I still read every piece of customer feedback sent to our company and I make an effort to share those insights across the company to ensure we are continuously building the right products and features. If you don't have a "Feedback" link on your site that distributes customer feedback to your entire leadership team, add it.

3. ... but give them what they need (not always what they want)

Henry Ford said it best when he claimed, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." It's crucial to get real customer feedback on their needs and wants, but when it comes to building products, use your own vantage point to build something that's both realistic and useful. Some of the greatest products out there people didn't know they wanted until they arrived, and now they can't live without them.

4. Give customers little things when they don't expect it.

Uber and Lyft are continually locked in a heated battle for market share. Anyone who uses their services knows the amount of unexpected rewards or credits they offer all the time. They know that one way to a customer's heart is showing them they care about them more than the bottom line.

5. Give customers a point of contact

It's very important for customers to know that they have someone they can come to with concerns or comments. Giving them a specific person as a point of contact at your business humanizes the relationship.

6. Give customers space

As a customer yourself, have you ever gotten too many emails from a company? It can be extremely frustrating and harmful to a business-customer relationship. Even for companies with the best intentions in mind, remember that sometimes it's best to step back and give customers space.

7. Have policies, but always be flexible

With customer service, not every situation is black and white. We have policies for how we deal with certain customer issues, but the truth is, every situation is a little different and it should be treated as such. Always be open to flexibility in order to please a customer.

8. Tell your customers how you will help them

Many times when customers call in for support, they get told that their problem is being fixed, but they don't really know what that means. People like to know what's going on and if your customer has a problem or issue with your company, explain to them the steps you will take to solve it. The transparency will be appreciated.