A business would be nowhere without its customers. Afterall, they drive the sales. That's why it's important to prioritize customer satisfaction and maintain an authentic relationship with your audience. If a customer has a bad experience, it's your responsibility to make it right, and if they have questions or concerns, it's on you to support them in any way you can. 

We asked a group of successful entrepreneurs to share their strategies for achieving 5-star customer service. Follow their tips to create an experience your customers will never forget. 

Focus on keeping your staff happy first.

Great customer service begins with a great workplace experience. In fact, Jennifer A. Barnes, founder and CEO of Optima Office, Inc, says her company's motto has always been, "happy staff equals happy clients." 

"We've created an exceptional work environment with great benefits, flexible hours and a culture of trust and respect for our employees," Barnes says. "Five-star customer service starts with having happy, supported employees."

Create a customer-centric culture.

In a customer-centric company culture, your employees should know how important your customers are. Empower them to use their best judgment to ensure you have happy customers, says Maria Thimothy, consultant for OneIMS.

"Knowing you care about your customers is important in allowing employees to take necessary actions when needed to make sure the customers are happy," Thimothy adds.  

Help customers help themselves.

In the modern age, customers often find self-service easier than reaching out to a customer support representative. That's why Jordan Conrad, founder and publisher of Writing Explained, recommends empowering customers to help themselves through great content.

"Take the time to create useful knowledge-based articles that are relevant to the problems you see in your feedback -- and update them!" Conrad says. "Too many companies have outdated articles that guide customers through user environments that don't even exist anymore." 

Up your social media game.

Social media is a quick and easy way for customers to get in touch with your brand and tell you how their experience went, says Stephanie Wells, founder and lead developer of Formidable Forms. Make sure you're prioritizing your social channels as a customer support platform.

"More consumers are reaching out to brands via social platforms to praise their products, leave reviews, and make complaints," explains Wells. "If more businesses focus on the social media marketing aspect of their customer service strategy, they'll see what a difference it can make in their conversions and sales."

Be quick and effective.

According to Kevin Leyes, founder and CEO of Leyes Media and Team Leyes, your customers want fast, effective responses, so it's important to ensure you're delivering on that.

"We live in the age of immediacy," says Leyes. "Everything is fast. Be decisive and find solutions to all their problems."

Offer refunds.

Syed Balkhi, co-founder of WPBeginner, says his company has gained tremendous goodwill and word-of-mouth by giving full refunds to clients who were unsatisfied.

"As a result, the clients came back to us when they were ready to invest in our products," Balkhi says. "They also told their friends and peers about us and that lead to new customers. Letting customers get refunds has worked very well for us and I strongly suggest it."

Personalize your communications.

At a time when so much of business is automated, the companies that take time to personalize their communications and give human-to-human responses are the ones that will stand out to customers.

"Customers don't want generic responses that sound like you cut and pasted it from every other conversation," says Serenity Gibbons, local unit lead for NAACP. "They want specific answers to their questions with detailed responses on how you will help them."

Over-communicate with clients.

Zach Binder, president and co-founder of Bell + Ivy, says over-communicating with clients has been the key to the company's greatest success. 

"We always want to be honest about how things will proceed, what the best plan of action is and what they need to do on their end to grow even further," Binder says. "We leave no questions unanswered and they seem to appreciate that."