Etiquettes form the foundation of a harmonious communication and interaction among individuals in just about any aspect of life. Etiquettes are cardinal rules and policies that establish an observable level of respect and courtesy from one individual to another.
In many organizations and situations, etiquettes may be universal or general, rules that are set by social norms and expected to be demonstrated by everyone in any dealing. In certain instances, some rules of etiquette are customized to suit the nature of the situation.
Although etiquettes have to be implemented for a smooth interaction, a well-mannered individual molded with the right values must have the common sense in knowing what is right and wrong in situations.
In the aspect of customer interaction, a business must apply important rules of etiquette when dealing with customers. These protocols are embedded in customer service in the different ways of customer interaction: phone, email, and face-to-face or physical communication.
- Answer the call promptly. Pick up the phone within 2-3 rings.
- Speak to the customer with a pleasant voice tone. Always wear a smile when conversing with them.
- Deliver a positive and warm greeting.
- Follow the proper hold procedure. The standard hold time is 2-3 minutes and the ideal number of hold instances should be limited to two.
- Avoid yawning, sneezing, or coughing over the phone. When there is a need to do so, make sure to cover the mouthpiece.
- Do not incur lengthy or frequent instances of dead air especially when searching for information. Instead, use the time to ask questions or initiate small talk as a way of building rapport.
- Always express courtesy through the use of words such as “Please’ and “Thank you” as well as through a nice tone of voice.
- Show professionalism through the proper choice of words and a professional tone.
- Avoid the use of company jargons and other technical slangs that customers do not understand.
- Never hang up on a customer.
- End the call pleasantly, and as much as possible, with a smile.
- Always indicate a useful subject line of the general email content.
- Keep the email message brief and direct to the point.
- Do not type in all big letters. It may be perceived as yelling at the recipient.
- Follow the rules of correct grammar, proper capitalization, punctuation, correct spelling, and sentence construction.
- Avoid the use of “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” since the recipient may read the email any time of the day.
- An email signature must include pertinent information such as sender’s name, company name, designation, and 2-3 contact details.
- The right tone for emailing customers should not be too formal and not too familiar.
- Always proofread the email before sending it to build a professional credibility.
- When replying to a customer’s email, do so within 24-48 hours.
- Always acknowledge the customer’s presence through a friendly greeting or a warm and firm handshake.
- Customize the interaction with the customer by addressing this person by name.
- Demonstrate a friendly and courteous attitude.
- Be mindful of facial expressions and the use of gestures or body language. It speaks a lot of one’s personality.
- Show active listening to the customer by asking questions and responding to their statements.
- Always wear a smile during conversations.
- Boisterous laughter is not allowed as well as laughing at the customer.
In a general sense, company representatives must be aware of the proper manners in working with customers. The general customer interaction etiquettes indicated above may be summed up in the following:
a. Showing friendliness
A friendly approach in the interaction with customers guarantees a smooth business transaction.
b. Demonstrating honesty and integrity
Customers deserve to receive only truthful information and reasonable explanations. It is also best to under-promise and over-deliver so as not to fail customer expectations.
c. Displaying professionalism
Customers feel positively overwhelmed when they interact with professional company representatives. Professionalism in tone and attitude is a must-have in every employee.
With the proper and consistent manifestation of etiquettes in every customer interaction, the business can definitely go a long, long way. It is always best to leave customers with an overwhelming and lasting experience in their interaction with the business.