It’s 2013. Have you resolved to enhance the customer service you provide this year?

Give your business an honest look to see if you’re following through with these 10 safeguards to ensure the best possible customer service from your company and all its employees.

1. Be nice: When you’re nice, everything goes well, even if a customer has a complaint.

2. Be accessible, respond quickly: Answering the phone or an email request quickly is key to getting top marks from your customers. In fact, being accessible quickly is consistently ranked among the top factors for customer satisfaction.

3. Give the benefit of the doubt: Don’t fall back on policies and procedures to respond to a customer’s complaint. The customer is right, remember?

4. Don’t lose your cool: Arguing or getting defensive just doesn’t work with customers.  Stay above the emotion.

5. Be generous: When you’re generous, you’ll reap the rewards. Think about how you can offer, time, tangibles or just a generous spirit.

6. Get to the point: Answer the customer’s question or complaint quickly, taking a direct route from “A” to “B”. That means if you already know how the conversation is going to turn out, skip to the outcome. Everyone appreciates saving time.

7. Find the “happiest” solution: Everybody wants to be happy.  Consider what would make your customer happiest and do that.

8. Smile: When you smile, your messages are more well-received. That goes for in writing and on the phone, too.

9. Listen: Listening to your customers requires using your brain. You must truly understand what a customer needs to fulfill that need.

10. Empathize: Make sure you customer knows you know how he or she feels. This is call “empathy” and the more you can show it, the better.

Now, you may think your company does all 10 of these things already, but there’s always room for improvement. Implementing a mystery shopping program such as those available through Customer Perspectives can help you be sure and, with its results, help you plan to make improvements.