By Sue Ratcliffe, head of customer service, alldayPA

1. Your customer is always right...well almost. It’s the way you handle a customer’s frustration or complaint that will win you loyalty and respect. Explain the true situation without making the customer feel stupid or patronised

2. Respond to all complaints in a timely fashion - most of the time, knowing that someone has listened to them, even if they don’t like the answer, is half the battle. Remember - you have two ears and one mouth for a reason!

3. Do not sacrifice the satisfaction of three customers for the sake of one difficult one. The negative impact on a team when a customer is unreasonable has a knock on effect on their other work. You could be at risk of delivering sub-standard service to other customers. One piece of business is never worth it

4. Be approachable - your door is always open, communicate when you can talk to them and do your best to help

5. Be honest - it’s a cliche but it is the best policy

6. Be responsive - Respond to your clients whenever they are in touch with you - if they have a problem at 3am on Sunday there is likely very little you can do. However, a quick email when you see it on the Sunday saying you will prioritise their issue when you are back in the office on Monday, builds a relationship

7. Build a partnership as well as a relationship - give them insight into your way of working or create collaborative workspaces. For example, our customers can edit and update their dynamic call script remotely whenever they want; it means they feel in control

8. Know your client - who makes which decision, who influences the decision maker? You can save yourself time as well as boost relationships by knowing who to talk to and when

9. Don’t underestimate the power of human to human contact - pick up the phone or meet them in person, the art of conversation and interaction is not dead! Email is useful but it has it’s place

10. Customers need love when things are going well too - don’t just be in touch when something goes wrong. The equity you have built during the good times will stand you in good stead in difficult times

By Sue Ratcliffe, head of customer service, alldayPA