When companies think about how they can differentiate their organization in clients’ minds, they often think about the brand, advertising, or even some gimmicky product. These may all be important long-term strategic initiatives, but what your customers experience when they use your company’s products and services is much more likely to have a lasting impact on their loyalty—and not just once, but repeatedly.

When you think about it that way, it’s clear that the experience your customers have when interacting with your company matters far more than you might have thought initially. That doesn’t mean other things don’t matter; they do. But those things are secondary to excellent service experiences for your customers. Great branding, advertising, and unique products all result from the experiences you offer as a company. Here are five ways you can improve the service experiences of customers:

1. Change The Way You Think About Service

One of the best ways to improve your customer service is to change how you think about it. Today, service is often considered as “giving people what they want.” But if you only think of service, you’re missing a huge part of what service is really about. Service is about much more than that. It’s about helping customers solve problems, discover new things, and meet their needs in a way that connects them to your company in a meaningful way.

It’s about creating an experience beyond a simple transaction and making customers feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. When you expand how you think about service, you open yourself up to various new service ideas. A recent study found that 83% of consumers believe brands are responsible for doing good.

2. Train Your Employees to Be Great at Serving Customers

In today’s world, where competition is fierce and customers have many choices about where to spend their hard-earned money, excellent customer service is as essential as ever. Unfortunately, many companies have fallen behind in this area. They have allowed customer service to become an afterthought or have hired employees who aren’t well-equipped to provide outstanding service. To compete in today’s marketplace, you must ensure that your employees get equipped to provide top-notch service.

3. Efficient Support System

Even if you are providing great products or services, now and then, something goes wrong. When it does, you want to ensure you’re ready to respond quickly and effectively. Having a system in place for solving problems and resolving issues will go a long way toward retaining customers who might otherwise get upset that something went wrong.

Regarding customer service, it’s important to remember that it’s an ongoing process. Customers will always have questions or concerns about their experience with your brand. You can always ensure the best answering service or automated response by outsourcing from the best.

4. Build a Product That’s Easy For Your Customers to Use

The reality is that you can’t please every customer every time. Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do, however, expect you to make things right when you mess up. A great way to do that is to create easy products for your customers. That doesn’t mean your product needs to be simple or boring. It does mean, however, that it must be intuitive enough for any customer to use it with little or no instruction. Your product should also be appropriately scalable to work for customers at any level of expertise.

5. Don’t Make Transactions Your Only Point of Contact With Customers

You will have to make transactions with customers from time to time. After all, that’s the very nature of operating a business. What you don’t want to do, though, is make those transactions the only point of contact between your company and your customers. When you make your transactions the only point of contact between you and your customers, you miss a valuable opportunity to connect with them. You are also setting yourself up for more negative reviews and customer complaints.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on creating a positive experience for every person who interacts with your brand. Ready to start improving your customer service? Try the above tips.