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What are five of the most important customer care rules? What are five of the most important customer care rules?

Exceptional customer service is fundamental to practically every business. Simply put, good customer care is the cheapest - and one of the most effective - marketing tools your business can have.

While being a relatively straightforward concept, many businesses fail to offer great customer service simply because they don't know where to start, or don't know what it fully entails. However, the beauty of it is that often it's the smallest things that count the most - so here are five simple rules your staff should follow every day.

1. Listen

One of the golden rules of business is that the customer always comes first. It goes without saying, then, that you need to be aware of what they want and need.

Train your employees' listening skills and ensure they are actively seeking out any issues or concerns customers may have. It's important that staff can empathise with customers and nail down exactly what they're after.

2. Make it personal

Now more than ever, customers want to feel like they're someone of great value to a company.

small business owners should therefore encourage their staff to get to know customers on a personal level. Learn their names, find out what their favorite products and services are, and tailor each interaction to their individual needs in mind.

3. Smile

Never underestimate the power of a smile! Especially for businesses that rely on direct face-to-face interaction with customers, the mere curve of the lips can define the client's experience with your company.

Make sure your employees are used to smiling regularly and creating a generally welcoming atmosphere to visitors.

4. Remember your manners

Just like a smile, a simple 'please' or 'thank you' can have a massive impact how a customer perceives your company.

They cost nothing but the positive vibes they can generate are huge, so always remind your staff to remember their manners.

5. Be wary of overpromising

Trust is a key factor in holding onto your customers. One of the easiest ways to lose that trust - and your customers - is to break a promise.

Simply put, you should never promise to offer something to a customer if you aren't absolutely certain you have the means to do so.