The most important people in any business relationship are the customers, because without the customers, there is no business. You probably avoid some businesses because you received bad customer service there. Customers will do the same to you if you don't treat them well. Learning to provide quality customer service takes just a little discipline, honesty, courtesy and respect.
Maintain a Professional Environment
The basics of professional behavior are obvious to most people. Dress in a business-like manner; be it in a uniform, polo shirt, or shirt and tie. Keep your place of business clean and neat. Answer customer's requests in a timely manner. Have the discipline to act and operate like a professional.
Even if you provide customer service via telephone, maintaining a professional environment will keep you in the right frame of mind for treating customers in a professionally. Something as simple as a clean desk could translate into a better experience for you and for those you deal with.
Be Polite and Respectful
The best way to treat your customers with respect and politeness is to follow the Golden Rule: "Do to others what you'd have them do to you." Treat your customers the way you want to be treated, and they will come back.
Always be polite with your customers. Greet them as "Sir," "Mr." or "Miss," and always remember to say "please" and "thank you." Acknowledge every customer when they come up to you, even if you are serving another customer. Greet the customer, and let him know you will be with him in a moment. If it's going to take a while to serve the customer you're with, let him know. If possible, call somebody else over to help the second customer.
Always Be Honest
If you lie to your customers, you will drive them away. Once they realize you lied to them, they will never come back and will probably tell others.
If you can't meet a customer's request, have a problem filling an order or can't make a deadline, say so. Explain the situation and problem to the customer. This can be hard, but it can be rewarding; customers will understand and will respect your honesty. They will know they can trust you with future business too.
Always try to offer the customer an alternative or a solution if you can't fill her request. If you have another product or service that can do the job, tell the customer about it. If necessary offer a discount to keep the customer happy.
Don't be afraid to apologize to your customers. They've gone out of their way and spent their time to come to you. If you can't do what they want or there is a delay or problem, say you're sorry. Apologies cost nothing, but they show you respect the customer as a person.