You may have seen the results of an American Express study showing that Americans will spend 9% more with companies that provide excellent customer service. How does your company rank in customer service?  Does your store have the highest rating amongst consumers? Do you have a presence on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook? Are customers writing favorable reviews about you on Angie’s List, Yelp and blogs?

Is your store known as the customer service leader? If not, it is time to re-evaluate your store’s procedures and how each department interfaces with your customers.

Below are eight key items for top quality customer service.

1. Know your customer’s desires.Your customers will let you know what they want and how you can provide good service.

2. Be a good listener.Ask questions of your customer to determine their flooring needs. Listen to their words and tone of voice, watch their body language, and most importantly, find out how they feel. Don’t make assumptions or guess what the customer wants. After your conversation, can you list three things that are most important to your customer?

3. Make your customer feel important and appreciated.Always find ways to compliment them. The goal is to generate good feelings about doing business with you. Thank them every time you get a chance and be sure to convey sincerity. Customers don’t buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to problems.

4. Explain the purchase process.Take time to explain how your store works, including the sales, measuring, and installation steps.

5. Provide continuous solutions.Always look for ways to help your customers. When they have a request, show them you can do it. Make doing business with you easy. Always do what you say you are going to do.

6. Apologize when something goes awry.Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done. Oftentimes if you work extremely hard to solve any problems that come up, your customers will be more likely to recommend you to their friends.

7. Give more than expected.Elevate yourself above the competition. What can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere? Follow-up and thank people even when they don’t buy flooring from your store. Perhaps the buying situation changed and they will return soon.

8. Get feedback.Encourage and welcome suggestions about how you could improve. Listen carefully to what they say and provide a method that invites constructive criticism, comments and suggestions. Check back with your customers regularly to see how things are going.

The selling landscape is changing quickly with consumers doing more research online to find flooring products and choose where to shop for them. Implementing these customer service tips can help keep your store ahead of the competition.