We all want to know what the magic words are in running a successful business–is it drive, passion, risk, money? The truth is, it’s not really the words that we want to hear, it’s what our customers would love to hear us say. It’s the words that will bring your customers the greatest sense of satisfaction and the words, as a business owner, you feel proud to stand behind. Keep these short, but important phrases top of mind during your daily customer interaction.

“How Can We Help?”
Too often business owners go above and beyond to guess their customers wants and needs. But if you give your customers a platform, they are happy to provide these details for you. The simple, open-ended question of “how can I help?,” kicks off this dialogue on a positive note that invites solution-oriented discussion. Whether it’s on your website’s “contact us” form, your Facebook Business page, or your online reviews, this question positions your business as a pro-active problem solver.

“We Are Always Here”
Gone are the days when business hours ended when the “We Are Closed” sign came out at 5:00pm. Today’s on-demand technology makes the marketplace just a click, tap, or swipe away–on any device, at any time, on any day of the week. Yikes! And while this doesn’t mean that small business owners are working 24/7, it does mean that your business needs to be searchable, mobile friendly, and just a “click-to-call” away at all times. Being found on the first page of the major search engines, popping up in local listings (like Angie’s List, Google Maps, and Yelp), and appearing sleek and optimized on all mobile devices truly legitimizes the words: We are accessible; we are here for you. Even if you choose to save your emails responses until Monday morning, when you are present on major digital platforms you bring credibility to your commitments.

“We Hold Ourselves Accountable”
Oh, the blame game! No one likes it, but when you’re a small business owner it’s your responsibility to ensure satisfaction–and to hold yourself accountable when satisfaction is not met. There is no better way to maintain and monitor this accountability than online reviews, a place to bask in the positive things your customers have to say and a place to turn the negative things into something great. In fact, 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, using reviews to inform and inspire their purchasing decisions.

“We Appreciate You”
Customer appreciation must go on long after the sale has been made and the “thank you for your business” email has been sent. The best kind of appreciation is one that gives a deal to your customer in the form of an easy-to-use online offer. Whether it’s a loyalty incentive, a discount on future services, or even a Starbucks gift card, these type of offers demonstrate your thankfulness for their business more than any words ever could.