Good Manners Are Just Good Business
By Lydia Ramsey
Wednesday, 1st September 2010
Do you think that good manners and customer service are one and the same?

If you answered 'yes', you're right.  Isn't it amazing how many people don't seem to understand that today?  

Everywhere you turn, there is someone else with a horror story about customer service. Any business that doesn't believe that good customer relations have everything to do with success will not be around long.  Treat people well, and they will continue to come back. Treat them poorly, and they will go elsewhere.

When people have a bad experience, they usually leave without saying why.  If the conceirge at your hotel is rude, you don't go back, but you don't tell management what went wrong. 

However, when the name of that hotel comes up in conversation, chances are good that you will tell other people more than they wanted to know about your unfortunate experience.  If the incident was bad enough, you won't wait for an excuse to speak up. You'll create one, and the people you tell will pass your story on.

Offering good customer service is a simple matter of good manners and basic courtesy.  It means smiling at the customer and making eye contact, not just putting your hand out for the money while chatting on the phone with a friend.  Focus on the customer.

Hold the door for people coming into your business or rise when someone enters your office. See that people are comfortable when they have to wait.  Offer them a cup of coffee or something to read. Some doctors' offices provide televisions in their exam rooms so patients can pass the time watching their favorite shows. 

Listen to your customers when they have a problem and sympathize.  Take responsibility for what goes wrong if even you don't feel it was your fault. When people fell valued, they will come back.  When they sense that you could care less about them or their needs, they will look around until they find someone who cares. It may take awhile, but when it happens, your customer is history.  

© 2010, Lydia Ramsey.  All rights reserved.

Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert, professional speaker, corporate trainer and author featured in the Wall Street Journal and many other off-line and on-line publications.  Lydia shares her business etiquette tips in her monthly e-zine, her blog and on Twitter. 

To register for these free services visit www.mannersthatsell.com today!
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