Courtesy pays in business

Manners are not a new concept. Or at least they shouldn’t be. But these days when you deal with a lot of businesses, or people in general for that matter, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they are. Use of simple words and phrases like please, thank you, and can I help you appear to be on the decline, and if this is the case in your business, it is probably costing you on a pretty big scale.


It would appear that loss of common courtesy is an international problem. (Funny how no-one’s up in arms about this pandemic!) So much of a problem it appears to be, the Singapore Government has run a campaign called the Courtesy Campaign, designed to remind people to practice basic polite behavior. I wouldn’t have thought such a campaign was necessary, but then as I was confronted with a complete lack of courtesy at the hands of my local supermarket sales assistant, I started to think differently. Maybe the Singapore government does have the right idea, and maybe a few businesses could learn a lot from their phrases like "Courtesy begins with me. Pass it on."


One of the times I am most often made aware of a lack of manners in many organisations is when I’m on the phone. Any staff members who use the phone regularly as part of their role can probably benefit from scripts. No matter how great you think your staff are, having a clear template of how you want your business represented on the phone can’t hurt, and can avoid rude or surly responses if someone’s having a bad day.


The scripts mantra can translate to most areas of your business. By that I mean make sure your team is aware of what you expect from them, and how you expect them to go about doing it. You may think it’s obvious what you want, but amazingly, people can’t mind read. Create written goals, objectives and guidelines and make sure your staff are aware of them.

As much as many managers assume common courtesy is a given in their staff, some of your team may not have been brought up with the level of manners you would like. I’ve blogged before about customer expectations, and most of them aren’t unrealistic or extraordinary. Most customers just want to be treated with respect and courtesy, and if they don’t find that in your staff and your business, it’s highly likely that they’ll take their business somewhere else.   

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 17/07/2009 at 8:44 AM | Categories:


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fast loan wrote on 19/10/2009 2:06 PM

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