Win with courtesy! How many times have you said “I am never going to do business with that person or company again”, because you were the recipient of rudeness- intentionally or not. When you translate that to lost sales over the enormity of the wide- world of commerce- the numbers would be nothing less than staggering.
That’s a pretty costly absent “please” or “thank you.”
So, let’s take a step back- despite the transgression in the" value“ of good manners – there really is a cost of rudeness to business! Somewhere along the way, many businesses and or managers stopped recognizing what the impact of courtesy, or rather lack of courtesy, plays to the bottom line. Employee morale is impacted as well as customer service and productivity. We as consumers have choices- whatever services or products are being sold. It is a mistake to assume that courtesy is not a required skill of you and more importantly, of your employees. All employees- in living, recorded or virtual!
It has been reported many times following this recent dramatic economic downturn, that great “Customer service” will win the game, particularly important for independent businesses as they compete against global or national entities. Customer service trumps pricing. And the big guys are getting it- look how many call centres- after receiving a gazillion complaints- are moving centres back to North America. They have put a real dollar value on the relocation to increase customer satisfaction. Courtesy is not a luxury but a true business necessity. Start by recognizing that principle.
While I am speaking in generalities, customer service training-beginning with civil greetings, thank you and professional communications, are skills that are useful in print, on the phone, electronically, nonverbally, and face-to-face. Build positive workplace relationships and increase client service satisfaction by ensuring that civility is an important part of your business and personal culture.
A confident employee, who has been equipped with customer service and or social skills training, will be far more equipped to achieve success in any situation. And just as importantly, will be remembered. Frankly- we’re not born with these skills and if you weren’t fortunate enough to have had it drummed in to you as a child- it needs to be learned….Do not assume that all are equipped and recognize the value in ensuring that your employees and yourself, present your best. Everyone prefers a pleasurable experience.
My next biggest issue is- Blackberry’s/Laptops run amuck! I get it- that incredible ego drive making it impossible to ignore the need to be “connected”. The unconceivable concept that an instant response from you might turn your world or theirs on its axle. I’ve been there and frankly am not completely absolved of this behavior, however I have learned that it is much more efficient and, also considerate- to read the request, ponder and respond with FULL and accurate information.
Along this vein, there is no way to say it but outright- IT IS RUDE to the speaker to be reading e-mails or laptops when in a meeting.. Verbal interaction is valuable and the benefit of participating triumphs. Learning from direct communications is a significantly more important opportunity which you will miss if you are distracted. I recognize that both technology and angst feeds this newer behaviour but embracing a courteous, technological conduct will prove to be much more fruitful$. Unless a crater is about to implode the world in 30 seconds, most other deals or decisions will wait the hour.
So- I finish with saying, thanks for reading!
Karen Behune Plunkett
I am a passionate serial entrepreneur who is anxious to share my experiences and knowledge with you.