In today’s post I discuss the need for training staff how to be courteous in business. It’s a sad shame that I have to talk about this, but we have to do it!
I’ve been noticing a trend lately and it’s bothering me. More and more of my clients are asking me if I have training programs for “the basics.” When I ask what they mean by “the basics,” my clients tell me they want me to train on the common courtesies of communication as it relates to business. I continue to be amazed by this request. After all, isn’t this something that all parents are teaching their children? Isn’t this something that people naturally bring to the job? Apparently not.
Here are a few of the “courtesy basics” we’ve added to the Market Viewpoint training modules recently at the request of our clients. If you are involved in the training of your staff or hold that responsibility for your organization, you may want to add these things too.
- When giving change or providing a customer with a receipt or paperwork, the courteous thing to say to the customer is, “Thank you.” Avoid saying, “There you go!” I hear this quite often from cashiers in stores and businesses. It sounds more like a send-off when it should be an expression of gratitude for the business. The casual phrase diminishes the importance of the business exchange.
- When a customer thanks you for service, an appropriate response is, “You’re Welcome.” You can also say, “It was my pleasure.” Avoid saying, “No problem!”
- As a customer, I certainly hope that the service I am paying for is not a problem. A customer should never be made to feel as if they are an inconvenience or a bother.
- When asking a customer to be inconvenienced, be sure that your request includes the word “please.” For example, if you need to place a telephone caller on hold, the polite way to phrase the request is, “May I please place you on hold for a moment while I get that information for you?”
- Wait your turn to speak. This is especially important in situations where a dispute is in process or a customer has called to complain about something. It’s important to give customers a chance to fully express themselves and explain their problems and issues before we offer a solution – otherwise we might be offering the wrong solution!
By being courteous and handling each business transaction with polite professionalism, it takes the edge off of encounters that could result in lost customers and revenue. Your employees need to know this and your customers will notice the change.
Are you training how to be courteous in your organization? If so, what prompted the need for this training?
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