Within your business, however, it should mean the actions that you take on a daily basis to ensure that your customers feel valued and committed to remaining your customers.

Exceptional customer service is a competitive advantage, delivering value and cultivating customer loyalty. Here are four ways any business can deliver world-class customer service:

1. Think about customer needs before they do.

Customer Service means knowing the people who buy from you and why they do so. Regularly evaluate their needs. Is a new season coming up where they need to reorder products or schedule service? Or is it time to look at taking action for their customers? Remind them. How can your business be a partner or ally in helping your customer meet needs? Answer that question, and you'll become indispensable.

Good customer service means knowing the people who buy from you and why they do so. Regularly evaluate their needs. Is a new season coming up where they need to reorder products or schedule service? Or is it time to look at taking action for their customers? Remind them. How can your business be a partner or ally in helping your customer meet needs? Answer that question, and you'll become indispensable.

2. Train your employees.

Don't assume that employees understand your expectations when it comes to greeting customers, answering the phone, and dealing with customer complaints. Be specific in how you expect them to treat the people who do business with you and monitor them until you're sure they have it right. Look for ways to give your employees a measure of autonomy to solve customer complaints or problems on the spot without always having to seek you out for approval.

3. Be accessible.

When customers have questions or problems, they want to be able to speak with a human being quickly. Don't make them go through layers of voicemail or wait long for a response or resolution.

4. Solicit and review feedback.

The best way to know whether your customers are happy is to find ways to solicit their feedback, then review and address it. Look for patterns in comments and critiques; one-off criticism could just be an anomaly. When you see comments repeated, however, it's a good idea to investigate further whether you have an area that needs correction.

Published on: Aug 12, 2014