News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Business

September 23, 2012

BUSINESS CENTS: Common courtesy can drive business

TERRE HAUTE — Good manners were instilled in the majority of us while growing up. My question is: What happened to them? So often I enter an establishment and am greeted with a half-hearted effort by the manager or employee. Has our society become complacent with manners and general common courtesy? Have the businesses ever considered the impact that it potentially has on reputation and market share in the community?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that individuals spend 8.7 hours daily at work on average. This is more time then we spend with family, friends or even sleeping in a day. Good manners create not only a positive work atmosphere, but a positive energy and atmosphere for customers. Every day we communicate with colleagues and customers, and how we regard them will drive satisfaction for both the customer and the employee.

As you embrace the thought of how to keep common courtesy in the workplace, consider the following:

• Smile and say “hello.” This is a very simple task and literally takes less than two seconds. By saying hello, you have just invited the customer in for some shopping or put your colleagues at ease.

• Introductions, greetings and shaking hands. How you introduce yourself and shake hands with someone is critical. A strong and firm handshake (not painful and overbearing) indicates that you are of good character and a professional person. In addition, it illustrates to the recipient that you are interested in their product/service. While greeting someone, you may pay them a kind and sincere compliment or engage in a small conversation to assist in building the professional relationship further.

• Observation. Be sure to pay attention to body language and mannerisms. For example, if you have repeat customers that enjoy a particular item, cater to them. For example, if they love coffee, remembering how they like their coffee next time will show that you really cared about that because you took the time to recall that small detail.

• Pay attention to time. Everyone has a busy life and so be thoughtful of their time and try not to consume too much of it.

• Refill. Have you ever been frustrated when you go to print something and there is no paper or go to dry your hands and there are no paper towels? When you use the last bit of something, fill it up or replace it if possible.

By implementing small, common courtesy gestures, you’ll gain goodwill and market share in the community.

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