As I am both a service provider and a consumer, I’m quite comfortable saying I believe good customer service is essential to maintaining or growing your business. Excellent customer service is what begins to separate one from the crowd. So, it stands to reason that, regardless of how great your service or product is, poor customer service will eventually bring your business to its knees.4 Elements of Customer ServiceManage Expectations: Whatever your service or product may be, ensure you consistently deliver on your service promises. If your company promotes that it guarantees a maximum 24-hour turn around on services, make sure that’s what you deliver…every time.Communicate Expectations: Let the customer or client know what they can expect from you and what you’re going to do to ensure they get it. Ensure everyone on your team is aware of the customer service standards you’ve set for your company. They should understand how important consistent delivery of superior service quality is to your bottom line.Exceed Expectations: Once you’ve set the standard for your customer service, try and find ways to deliver above and beyond. Your client is already expecting what you’ve promised; now knock their socks off by taking it a step further.Follow Up: Particularly in the professional service industry the golden rule is “Follow up, Follow up and then, Follow up some more.” Never leave a client wondering where things stand. Make certain you have a communication plan in place to always keep clients updated on progress during the project as well as maintaining continued success upon completion.Too often companies can make the mistake of putting most of their effort into getting new clients and not enough into delivering on the services they’ve promised. I firmly believe that customer satisfaction from your current clients is the most valuable resource for attracting new customers.Most clients won’t complain about poor customer service, especially when it’s the 2nd or 3rd time, they’ll just go elsewhere. And, these days, they’ll share their bad experience with their network of connections in person and through Twitter, Facebook, as well as various other online business review services. Local business reviews through Google serve as a very public platform for customers to easily comment on the businesses found in their directory. Here’s where the impact of bad customer service can begin to drastically impact your bottom line.Superior customer service is one of the most important tools left that seldom costs money and creates the most impact. It’s more costly to attract and secure new clients than it is to keep the ones you’ve got satisfied.Customers and clients are not only interested in the service or product you’re offering; it’s the additional elements of service that create loyalty.