Let’s start here: You are brilliant. You have valuable contributions to make in your field of expertise. Therefore, make every effort to share your expertise. You want the people who use (and need) your expertise to use your services. Then use them again. And again and again. You want them to invite you back. You want them to re-order your products. You want them to come back for more of what you have to offer. You want them to refer you to their friends. The best way to ensure repeat business is to align your business etiquette with your business brilliance. That brings us here: Is bad business behavior overpowering your brilliance?
There are only three ways businesses earn repeat customers. You must have great products and/or great prices and great business etiquette. Surprisingly, people will sometimes tolerate mediocrity in comparable pricing and product when the tradeoff is excellence in business etiquette. Likewise, people will abandon a business with great products and great prices when the business etiquette is poor. While price and product are often dictated, at least in part, by economic conditions your business etiquette is completely within your control. Customers and clients value excellent treatment and you don’t want to lose (or fail to win) clients because of poor business behavior. Treating your customers with the highest level of courtesy and respect while giving significant attention to small details will increase your bottom line.
Here are three ways to polish your business etiquette:
Honor your clients by addressing them properly: Nicknames and terms of endearment are cute for family, friends and fans but have no place in your business transactions. Your clients are not paying you to call them honey’’, sweetie’’, ’’babe or other pet names. Clients should be addressed by their name, Mr./Ms., or sir/maam. Make no assumptions. Only address a client by their first name at their request. “It’s great to meet you Ms. Jones” “Please, call me Michelle?”
Provide timely correspondence: Set and adhere to respectable response times to all correspondence: telephone, email, social media, in-person compliments and complaints. An acceptable response time is 24-48 hours. Your responses should demonstrate that you value the business relationship. Restate your understanding of their issue. Relay the importance of their satisfaction as a customer. Offer a solution and an easy way to follow-up. Without respect of fault, issue, or resolution always close with a thank you.
Dress the part: Your clients are valuable therefore you must treat every transaction as an important meeting. Dress like you’re being interview even though you already have their business (because every interaction is a chance to state your case as to why you should get hired again) and require your staff to do the same. The standard need not be tailor-made or designer suits but it should adequately reflect your professionalism and the culture of your business.
Good business etiquette can greatly increase your professional success. Make the decision today to give your attention to the small thing that makes a big impact. Go to www.proverbialetq.com today, your partner for business etiquette.
Vetta Cash is the founder and CEO of Vetta Cash Educational Consulting. Her firm helps women identify and pursue educational opportunities that produce a greater quality of life. Her clients are women who want more. For more information visit her virtual office at www.vettacash.com
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