Business Etiquette

Business Etiquette is about how to conduct your business with other businesses and clients - by showing respect and consideration for them at all times Bookmark and Share

Your customers rely on your expertise and knowledge. So, be helpful and above all act with honesty and integrity

Show courtesy and good manners - always

Practice business etiquette at every opportunity; on the phone; face to face; with your clients and your suppliers and don’t forget your employees. Without them you are nothing – not even a big fish in a small pond

Don’t keep clients waiting while you wind up another task. Go out personally to ask for a brief deferment, apologise and invite them to use the facilities; tea, coffee, magazines or whatever else is on offer while they wait

Introduce people by name and with dignity. Make a brief statement of how they fit into the business

Never be caught without business cards. Hand them over with pride and confidence and don't forget to smile

If you use an answering machine or voice mail for incoming calls keep the outgoing message as clear and concise as possible with a minimum of options

Leave the lengthy menu options to government departments and large organisations. They seem to specialise in rudeness. Good business etiquette is the last thing on their minds

If you play music while 'on hold' make sure the music is soothing, gentle and non-invasive. Jangly music frays the nerves and makes a difficult situation worse

Repetitive verbal messages further antagonises an irate customer

Nobody should be kept waiting on the phone for more than say three (3) minutes without giving them the option of leaving a message to be called back within a reasonable time

If you have a website:

Make it as simple and straight-forward as possible

No deceitful tricks and gimmicks or you will turn your visitors away in droves. It's bad business etiquette and dishonest

Don't overload your pages with information and small writing otherwise you will lose half your visitors - the seniors, the ones with lots of money to spend

Keep it informative and helpful

It should be a pleasure not a pain to visit

If you need help to create an excellent website, go to the bottom of this page where it says 'Powered by: Site Build It!' and click on it

You will get more than your money's worth of help and direction, not to mention an excellent website Bookmark and Share

Need more tips on how to grow your business? You will find help from some of the sponsors listed at the top or right side of this page. Check them out

If you provide online help make sure your 'help staff' are helpful and competent

Be sure that they do not take out their frustrations on your clients and alienate them from you

Always provide a separate email address for complaints to be reviewed by someone responsible and in a senior position. You may come in for some nasty shocks from this source (smile)

To not provide an email address at all or an easy means of communication is the ultimate insult to your paying customers

If you employ a receptionist to answer calls make sure that he/she is competent and will do so professionally and shows courtesy to all callers.

Occasionally, ask your clients for feedback about this important first point of contact

Give them adequate computer training. To brush up on their computer skills and improve staff efficiency add this magnificent 500 page manual of Step-by-Step Computer Lessons to your reference library. It's FREE and your employees would love you for it Check it out

Always dress smartly, preferably in a suit for business meetings

Keep calm. Do not lose your cool

Don’t shout or pound on the table – take a few deeps breaths instead

Speak softly and clearly whilst making good eye contact

Business etiquette is to have respect for other people’s rights and feelings

The old adage that the customer is always right still holds good

Apologise if you are clearly in the wrong. If in doubt, apologise anyway. It’s no big deal and brings closure to a fruitless situation

Never answer a complaint or grievance with, "Unfortunately ...." (followed by an excuse)

Develop a reputation for fixing problems fast

Say instead, "This is your lucky day, for I am going to sort it out right away." And then make sure you do

Accept an apology graciously and with compassion

If there is conflict, do not get personal in your remarks

To add further sophistication to your business:

Practice E-mail etiquette

Practice Employer Etiquette

Practice Cell phone etiquette

Practice Business Card Etiquette

Practice Office Etiquette

Practice Telephone Etiquette

Practice our Tips on Telephone Etiquette

Refer to our Tips on Toilet Etiquette

Resolve to use our Easy Computer Lessons

It is extremely rude to arrive late for a meeting. It is ruder still to not attend at all. Having a good excuse does not exonerate you

Do not dominate the meeting. All communication must take place through the chairperson if one is appointed

Do not interrupt another speaker

If you must interrupt, pick your moment and apologise first

Pay close attention to the proceedings. Speak only in turn

Do not leave the meeting until it is closed by mutual agreement

Give written quotes for services with estimates for contingent items

Abide by your quote and don’t load up for your own mistakes or greed

Business Etiquette for Supermarkets, Banks, Shops (and Government Agencies) - please show consideration:

1. Make the shopping experience an enjoyable one for your clients. It will pay dividends

2. Do not insult your customers/citizens by allowing long queues to form at the checkouts/counters by closing down too many of them at a time. That's treating them with contempt

3. Have sufficient uniformed, knowledgeable, well trained staff visible to answer your customers’ questions or to give directions

The practice of employing young people, albeit at low wages, is laudable. To properly train them in customer service is venerable

4. Keep your premises clean and well stocked. Unstocked shelves really irritate your customers

5. Have ALL your prices/signs clearly marked in LARGE print for the aged or people with poor eyesight

6. Provide seats for the elderly to rest for a spell during their shopping trips

7. Do not block the aisles during peak shopping hours with products on display or awaiting restocking of shelves

8. Acknowledge the presence of customers that are waiting to be served. Do not ignore them completely as if they are not there, it's rude

Smile and say, "I'll be with you in a moment". That may keep them from wandering off out of your shop

We have seen a young person operate two cash registers at a time to keep the queue short. To say that we were impressed would be an understatement. We need more people like her!

If you have encountered any of the above breaches of business etiquette please send an e-mail of this page to the proprietor of the shop and to your friends to do the same via this Bookmark and Share

Do not hesitate to express your dissatisfaction with the way they have treated you

Business Etiquette for Tradespeople

The biggest gripe that customers have with tradespeople is that they are rarely on time

If you are running late, ring as soon as you can to apologise and offer a new time

It is an insult to 'lock your client into a time slot' that you are not able to meet

Other ways to impress your customers and grow your business:

1. Dress appropriately for the job. A uniform always impresses

2. Watch your language. Profanity (swearing) offends more people than you think

3. Tidy up after the job. Sloppiness shows indifference

4. Be professional, at all times

5. Communicate with your customer about the job:

- Tell them what you will be doing

- Do it

- Tell them what you have done

If you have found this information helpful, please feel free to forward an email to your friends and business associates via this Bookmark and Share

You are welcome to link your web site to our page "Business Etiquette" if it helps to improve customer relations and generate more business (smile)

Together we can create a better shopping experience for our customers, for without them we will have no business

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If you have strong feelings about something in the business world, have your say on our interactive forum Business Etiquette for possible inclusion on our Rage Page

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