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I am convinced that word of mouth recommendations are the lifeblood of many businesses and I make no bones about going back to basics this month.

Your potential customers want to believe they are making the right choice by choosing your product or services. Hearing people say good things about you increases their confidence in you and helps persuade them they haven’t made a mistake.

Here are 10 really easy ways to provide good customer service and get people saying good things about you and making recommendations.

1. Provide excellent value. It should go without saying that your product or service should be first class and competitively priced.
2. Provide first class customer service. Think about how you like to be treated and treat your customers in the same way.

3. Be polite and friendly. A smile and a cheery ‘hello’ really do go a long way. Get to know your customers.
4. Answer queries promptly. If you don’t supply the answer you can bet one of your competitors will.
5. If a customer has a complaint, apologise. Now isn’t the time to get into an argument. Sort it out quickly and you may still have a customer.
6. Thank customers for their business. A quick email or phone call goes a long way. A ‘thank you’ card or note also works well.
7. Be active on social media. Provide interesting or amusing content, special offers and promotions, and encourage your customers to share them.
8. Spread the love. If you receive positive comments or praise ask if you can include it on your website or on social media. Good testimonials are gold dust.
9. Refer business to non-competitors. If it is a job you cannot handle, recommend someone else. It costs you nothing and you may find that they refer business to you in turn.
10. Get involved in the community. If you sponsor a child’s football team it isn’t going to cost the earth. However, that is your name on those eleven shirts being watched every week by family and friends, not to mention the opposition!

Sometimes it pays to keep it simple.

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