The Energizer

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Good Customer Service Closely Tied To Good Business Etiquette

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Thursday, March 13, 2008
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In one day, I experienced the following:

-    a store clerk who looked like she was bored stupid and begrudgingly took my money for an item.

-    a waiter who got our order wrong, never apologized, and never thanked us when we left.

-    a customer service rep who told me how many barrel hoops I’d have to go through to get an answer, never explained why, and never once said, “would you please…”

All of these are examples of bad manners. Plain and simple. And obviously a forgotten skill. It is certainly true that company leadership and corporate culture affect not only the bottom line but the customer experience as well but there are other factors involved.  Companies can create a memorable customer experience without much expense by teaching employees the rules of etiquette.

Unfortunately, it seems that schools and families have abdicated the teaching of any of these rules so it is up to the company to teach employees themselves. Following are a few basics to help you get started.  Rather than make these rules, make them tips and make them fun.  Send out a few every month in the employee newsletter and catch employees using what they learned and praise them..

1. Remind employees to always smile and look customers in the eye when speaking to them.

2. Employees who deal with customers over the phone should answer on the first or second ring, ask permission before putting a caller on hold and make sure that the customer is not left holding for more than a few seconds.

3.  Even when a customer is red, hot mad an employee should always keep their cool, be polite, agree that the situation is frustrating and do everything they can to find a solution.

4.  Remind employees that they should never carry on a  personal conversation on the phone or in person with another employee while customers are waiting to be served.

5. Please and thank you are small words with huge impact. Try it!

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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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