Manners matter – Being polite is essential for business thumbnail image Published on 16th October 2011 by Gemma Harding

From a young age, each of us is taught that manners and politeness are a key essential for life. What is essential to life is also essential in business. It does not matter what level of the business your staff work in, if they communicate with a customer or client, they must always be polite.

Clients will not tolerate rudeness. Seven out of ten customers say they have stopped doing business with a company because they had a bad experience with customer service, and rudeness was a prevalent grievance raised.

The different forms of politeness

Politeness is communicated in various forms. And rule number one, is to answer the phone. Customers and clients despise telephones not being answered during operational hours. If your company is open for business, then your phones should be manned at every moment. Otherwise, the customer will feel that it was a waste of time trying and find it rude that no one answered. If this happens multiple times, you will lose customers.

How to address a customer?

When answering the phone, there is the question of how you address your customer or client. You have the options of addressing them as “Mr/Mrs Smith” or by their first name. It is the personal choice of the customer to decide on how your customer service representative addresses them.

For some customers, it may come across as rude if your customer service team automatically begins to call them by their first name. It does create a sense of the personal and not all customers want that from businesses. The best option is to ask at the beginning of the call how they wish to be addressed. It is all about keeping the customer in their comfort zone by behaving politely and respectfully.

Dealing with complaints

Dealing with complaints is never an easy task. Your customer may be angry or upset or confused and may need dealing with carefully. Firstly, always apologise for any inconvenience they may have experienced and follow the measures to fix it. Remain calm, even if the customer is extremely angry and act in a friendly way. It will help the customer to calm down themselves and be more forgiving towards the company if you can solve their issue in a calm and friendly manner.

Why is it Necessary for a Receptionist to be Polite?

A receptionist’s politeness is crucial as it sets the tone for the business’s image, creating a welcoming atmosphere for visitors and clients.

Politeness helps in building trust and rapport, ensuring clients feel valued and respected. It also facilitates effective communication, reducing misunderstandings and enhancing customer satisfaction. 

In stressful situations, a polite demeanour can defuse tension and maintain a professional environment. Additionally, politeness reflects the company’s culture and standards, influencing client retention and referrals. 

If you are struggling with the volume of calls your business is receiving, then consider customer service and overflow outsourcing. Our expert team will ensure we understand your business aims, services and practices so that we can deliver the best service to your customers. This will allow you to focus on the important aspect of running your business without needing to constantly answer the phone.