Regardless of a company’s size, product offering or prices, its lifespan depends on its ability to deliver quality customer service time after time. Customers help build your reputation, grow your network of contacts and establish your business, meaning everything comes back to how you treat them.

Quality customer service can be difficult to maintain across all levels of a small company. If you’re the head of a small team, you may feel obligated to focus on certain customers who can directly help your business grow, or you may feel swamped as your customer base grows. Here’s how to get the balance right so that each customer is treated equally:

Stay Positive

In the face of adversity, and especially when they directly raise a concern with you, customers want you to recognize their problems but ultimately be focused towards resolution. Products can underperform and results can fluctuate, but a customer just wants to hear what you can do about it. This could mean changing your offering or schedule, but as long as what you do is in the name of making things right, the customer should understand.

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Positivity extends beyond crisis management and is a key part of your working relationship with your customers. If you’re meeting with them, be active and engage them in friendly conversation, rather than sticking strictly to business. If you’re pitching new ideas to a customer, and trying to get their buy-in, the energy you bring can make or break a deal. Deliver your ideas with enthusiasm, and your customers will visualize them clearer and feel confident moving forward with you.

Be Proactive

Have you spotted a chance for your customers to get in on the ground floor of a great opportunity? Perhaps you can go beyond your established offering and deliver increased results, or you can simply foresee a problem occurring and take steps to eliminate it. Customers love hearing that you have their best interests in mind day-to-day, rather than just when you’re in contact with them.

Proactively helping a customer needs to be carefully balanced when you’re managing multiple relationships at once. It can be easy to focus entirely upon one, and deliver spectacular results for them while unintentionally neglecting others. If you see an opportunity for a customer and don’t have the time to speak to them yourself, delegate it to another member of your team and receive their feedback later. It’s all about striving for great results across the board, and managing the time you spend with each customer equally.

Be Adaptable

A customer’s needs and expectations may not always fall in line with your own. It’s a matter of communication and diplomacy to establish what the customer expects from you. If your customer expects something that you don’t think is possible, explain the difficulties you face and offer a compromise. Customers demand the best results and are always looking to push you further. Be sure you don’t reach a breaking point, but whenever you can, rise to the challenge.

If a long-term customer leaves you, set aside some time to ask them for feedback. What did they like about your company? What do they feel was lacking? If they were to return, how would they prefer business to be done? Show that you’re open to refining your products and services and you may pick up on trends you can address to make your overall product better for new customers.

Your customers are the life-blood of your company. They drive your sales, and are the measure of how you are performing against your competition. Show each of them positivity, proactivity and adaptability and they’ll see that you’re determined to give them—quality service. Keep this up as your company grows, and you’ll find yourself as a market-leader in your field with a wealth of testimonials that show customer service is your utmost priority.

Author: James Story writes on behalf of