The Importance of Professional Business Etiquette

The Importance of Professional Business Etiquette

One thing I’ve noticed is that majority of employees don’t interact with clients / customers in a professional manner. This has a very bad impression on customers and makes it seem like one isn’t dealing with professional businesspersons but laypersons! This is true whether the contact is through face-to-face or via phone or email; whether the businessperson is a low-level employee, a secretary / receptionist, or a high-level manager; whether the business is a shop, a small business or a large company with many branches. It seems that employees never learn simple manners that can go a long way in making an impression on the customer / client.

Some examples: Phones are answered with a simple “hello” instead of a phrase showing that we are interacting with a business not an individual. When calling a business on the phone, a potential customer has to ask whether s/he has reached the business. A better way to answer the phone would be with a statement like “XYZ Co. How may I help you?”

If a customer launches a complaint or requires assistance, it’s very likely that s/he will never get a follow-up call. Most likely, the customer has to make repeat phone calls to the company in order to get the required service.

If one is lucky to get a response to an email, it tends to be very informal and unprofessional. Most of the time emails are very basic and provide little or no assistance. If you contact the wrong department, you either get no response or get a rude response instead of a helpful one pointing you to the correct department.

Face-to-face, receptionists tend to be very informal. Instead of replying in a formal professional manner, they reply in an unfriendly and unprofessional manner. For example, compare the following conversations:

A: you approach the receptionist. The receptionist just stares at you without saying anything or goes about doing their work, as if you aren’t there. You say, “Hi, I would like to meet such and such.” Receptionist says, “Sit and wait. He will be here in 5 minutes.”

B: You approach the receptionist. Receptionist quickly greets you and asks you how he may help you. You say, “I would like to meet so and so.” Receptionist says, “Please take a seat. He will be here in 5 minutes.”

Of course, the second manner is friendlier and more professional and will make you feel more at ease. You’re more likely to want to continue doing business with such a company instead of those that are unfriendly and unprofessional.

So, it’s important for the success of the business to deal with clients / customers in a friendly, respectful, and professional manner. It would be helpful if employees placed themselves in the shoes of the receiver and then consider how they would react to such behavior. It might also help to attend customer service etiquette seminars.

©Radeya Business Services

Previously published in Gulf News –


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