Creating an environment where customers feel appreciated improves satisfaction and loyalty, and the best way to achieve this is through actions rather than just words. Here are some simple do’s and don’ts from Deborah Ellis for making your customers feel valued:

Do listen. It is impossible to provide the customer with an answer without understanding the question. Let customers finish telling their stories before trying to solve the problem.

Don’t pass people to others. A one stop service is the best because it saves the customer and company time. If you need to refer the customer to another colleague, explain to the customer why someone else has to be involved.

Do show respect. Good manners are easy to have and go a long way. Ensure that your team are polite and respectful at all times.

Don't forget that your service reflects your brand. Your customers can find what they need elsewhere, but if you make the customer feel appreciated, understood and cared for, the end result is simple but powerful - a strong connection to the customer that goes deeper than the normal company-customer relationship.

Do ask people how you can serve them better. Use the feedback to create customised service experiences. When people feel understood and appreciated, they keep coming back.

Don’t ask people for feedback if you are not going to do anything with it. They’ll wonder why you wasted their time.

Do manage customer expectations effectively. It is important that you let your customers know what is going on. For example, if a plane is delayed and the message shows that the plane will be departing in a few minutes, then it’s a few more minutes and so on. This will only frustrate customers more than if you were to say the plane will be departing in twenty minutes.