06/04/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Customer Service Etiquette: How to Keep Your Customers Happy

Who doesn't feel welcome at Disneyland? Walt Disney got it right when he said, "Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends." If only life were as simple as a fairy-tale.
Shirley Temple presented Walt Disney with his special Academy Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937.

A good salesperson can sell anything, but keeping the customer coming back for more is the key to measuring success. These days, promotions galore are getting customers in the door, but are they repeat customers? Making a customer happy is not always easy, so what can we do to help?

  • Think Before You Speak. Keep your tone friendly, even if you're having a bad day.
  • First Impressions Create Lasting Impressions. Begin and end every encounter on a positive note.
  • Be Polite. It takes a lot less energy to be kind, so remain professional at all times. This could make the difference keeping an unhappy customer from moving on to the competition.
  • Be Creative. Search for solutions the customer may not have considered.
  • Be Honest. If your customer has a problem that you can't fix, tell them up front. Under-promise and over-deliver whenever possible.
  • Be Thorough. Follow through on all that you promise to deliver. Share the game plan with your customers and make sure you do everything you say.
  • Follow Up. Once you have solved a problem, make sure you follow up to ensure the customer is not just satisfied but pleased with the results. Exceed customer expectations.
Think the Golden Rule when it comes to customer care: Treat others only in the way you want to be treated.

Lisa Mirza Grotts is a recognized etiquette expert and the author of A Traveler's Passport to Etiquette. She is a former director of protocol for the City & County of San Francisco and the founder of The AML Group, (, certified etiquette and protocol consultants. Her clients range from Cornell University and Microsoft to Nordstrom and KPMG. She has been quoted by The Sunday Times, the San Francisco Business Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. She has appeared on various radio and television stations, such as ABC, CBS, and Fox News. To learn more about Lisa, follow her on and