Most adults have experience with some sort of customer service jobs. I spent a long time working as a customer service representative to get myself through my undergrad. Later on, working as a content manager in a newsroom, I realized that all that time I spent listening to angry customers in a stuffy call center paid off.

As I managed my newsroom, I spent a large portion of my time analyzing my customer (or reader, in this case) satisfaction. I read their comments and messages on social media and worked with my editors and reporters to create the best content for our targeted audience. I worked with the sales team to organize the best ad layout.

Prioritizing customer service is entrepreneurship’s best-kept secret, and it is all too easy to get overlooked when you’re trying to run a business. Here are three tips to guarantee customer satisfaction:

Be Real

The strangest insult I ever received when I worked as a customer service representative was when a woman called me an “automatic operator.” She wanted to speak to someone “real.” It took some convincing on my part to get her to believe that I was, in fact, a real person who could help her with her questions.

While it’s fun to laugh at, there’s validity to a customer’s concern when they don’t feel like their concerns are truly being heard. Be friendly and approachable in all your marketing and public relations, and more people will be drawn to your organization.

Find A Target Audience

My grandma used to always say “you can be the ripest, juiciest, sweetest peach on the planet, and there’s still going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches.” That being said, you can’t possibly satisfy everyone with your company, so find the audience you can satisfy and do everything you can to guarantee their satisfaction. It will make things so much easier for you in the long run.

Keep Your Promises

I can’t tell you how many cancelled subscriptions I’ve made to different companies because they haven’t maintained their end of the bargain. Deals go out the window and companies try to find the easiest way to make a buck.

It’s just bad for business, and it’s hard to keep a customer once you’ve already proven to them you can’t be trusted. Keep your promises — and make sure your employees are held to the same standard.

I could go on and on with more tips I’ve learned from my own customer service experience, but I think those three wrap it up as best as possible. While focusing on your customers’ satisfaction might seem tedious and mundane at times, it’s crucial that you understand your business is a two-way street: you need your customers just as much (if not more) than they need you. Recognize that and appreciate each individual for keeping your business running, and more will flock to you.

by: Emily Brady

Emily Brady received her Bachelors at Brigham Young University Idaho where she majored in Communication Sciences with an emphasis in journalism and professional management. She has written for Scroll News and Deseret Digital Media and is currently a freelance writer. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading and swinging in her hammock.