Practice Good Manners in Business

Jo Ann Joy

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Good Manners with Customers:

Good manners are more than being “nice, " and they should be part of your fundamental business strategy. Everyone who makes up the company must always use their best manners which includes behavior, attitude, and grooming. Remember that your customers are judging you and your employees from the first moment they enter your business, and first impressions last.

Did you know that people look at your face first and your feet second? That is what the etiquette experts say, and they say that is why it so important to be well-groomed from head to toe. That is also why your first reaction to a customer must be a smile and eye contact. You must focus your attention on the other customer, listen to them, and let them know that you are interested in what they are saying. Use your customer’s name and thank them for doing business with you.

Communicate clearly and carefully. Carefully choose your words and how you say them. Be certain that you understand the customer and the customer understands you to avoid misunderstandings. Communicate intelligently and maturely. Always try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and understand how they feel. Try to see things from the customer’s perspective and let them know that you will do whatever is necessary to meet or exceed their expectation.

Customers appreciate it when you ask about their families and show an interest in their job and their interests. This makes them feel important, and they will like you for it. Use your sense of humor and positive attitude as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people’s trust. Remember, customers do business with people they know, like, and trust.

If your customer has a complaint, don’t dismiss it lightly and assure them that you will do everything possible to address their complaint. Also, thank them for bringing their complaint to your attention so that you can fix it. If a customer is upset and loud, take them to a private office, offer them a beverage, and ask what you can do to address their complaint. If their complaint involves an employee, try to involve the employee in resolving the complaint and be sure the employee offers a genuine apology.

Good Manners in the Workplace:

Good manners are also important in the workplace, and you should encourage a friendly, cheerful, and positive attitude. Recognize and reward good work and thank employees for their good work. Always be available if an employee has a question or needs guidance and make them feel welcome in your office.

Every employee wants to know that they are appreciated, and they want to have input regarding the work they do. Ask them for their opinions and listen to what they say. Encourage employees to express their point of view and offer suggestions, and create an environment that is comfortable and enjoyable. Follow up on employees’ suggestions or requests to make them feel appreciated and valuable.

You should never make any disparaging or sarcastic remarks about an employee, a customer, a vendor, or the company. Be sure your employees know that no one in your company should makes negative or disparaging comments. Put an end to gossip. The way you and your employees talk creates an atmosphere and an attitude. Be sure the workplace atmosphere and attitude are positive, supportive, and fair.

Treat all employees equally and don’t show any favoritism. Encourage everyone to do the same with the goal that your employees will be solid and fair. Be proactive in helping employees resolve conflicts when they arise and be an effective mediator. Set up a meeting where everyone can express their opinions, find middle ground, and sort out their differences. This is your responsibility as a leader, and your employees will respect you for your dedication to resolving conflicts.

Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. Indigo Business Solutions is a registered trade name.

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About the author:

Jo Ann Joy is the CEO and owner of Indigo Business Solutions, a legal and business consulting firm that is a “one stop shop" for businesses. We provide legal and business services and all professional services to businesses, and they will not be “referred out" to other professionals.

Jo Ann has a law degree, an MBA, and an Economics degree. She is a strategic business attorney who works closely with businesses to improve their performance and their chance of success. Her background includes commercial, corporate, contracts, real estate, accounting, financial planning, mortgages, marketing, product development, banking, and business planning and strategies. She ran a successful business for 10 years and writes and gives presentations on many different legal, tax, and business subjects.

Please visit our website at for more information on business, legal, and tax topics and for free copies of articles and EBooks.


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