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At Their Service

Your company is nothing without customers. Make sure you play nice by following these steps.

This story appears in the August 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

1. Start at the top. Your attitude toward customer service is the primary determinant of the quality of your company's service. If you think customers are a pain and always want something for nothing, that attitude will permeate your company, and service will be lousy.

2. Put the customer in control. The best kind of customer service happens when management enables employees to put the customer in control. This requires two leaps of faith: trusting customers not to take advantage, and trusting employees. If you make these leaps, your customer service quality will skyrocket. If not, you'll soon learn the hard way that nothing's more frustrating to customers than companies claiming something is "against company policy."

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