A responsive and dedicated customer service presence is important for every business, no matter how large or small. A company that values feedback from patrons and makes a concerted effort to keep them happy will go much farther than one that fails to do so. Furthermore, customer retention is directly related to the adequacy of a company’s attention to their customers’ needs. If you’re looking to begin your company’s customer service efforts, or are looking to improve upon efforts already in place, consider the following practices.

Respond Quickly

When someone reaches out to a business, time is often of the essence. If they’re having an issue with a product or a problem with a service, they likely want their concerns dealt with promptly so they can continue with their day. This is why it’s wise to have a team member solely dedicated to customer service and retention. If a company responds to a client’s inquiry swiftly, they’re much more likely to be forgiven, thus keeping their good reputation intact. When the issue isn’t dealt with quickly, or at all, consumers are more likely to share this negative experience with their friends and social media followers, which could prove detrimental for a brand.

Know What People Are Saying

It is wise to have someone on your team dedicated to scanning social media platforms, searching for your brand’s name and associated hashtags. Responding to every comment, whether good or bad, allows followers to know that you are easily accessible and engaged with your clients. This activity will bolster your brand awareness and can also give you a clue as to the general perception of your brand. You’ll begin to notice trends or themes, which you can then capitalize on if they’re positive, or address if they’re not.

Respond to Reviews

Wherever your patrons can leave reviews, be sure to check them often and respond to every single one. If the review is positive, thank them profusely for being a valued customer. If it’s a negative review, thank them for their feedback and offer to correct the issue. An immediate apology with an overcorrection is a great way to quickly repair the relationship and hopefully keep them as a customer for life.

With all of these practices, be sure your responses are personalized and heartfelt. Consumers are wise and will notice if your responses are templated or mass-produced. Great customer service is a way to keep shoppers returning, so increase your profits by making this a cornerstone of your business.