Courtesy is simply being polite. Often ignored by many today, even by customer service and business executives, courtesy has fallen far below the pyramid. Entrepreneurs have become visually impaired to the role played by just having good manners, which helps in accomplishing a greater deal than one can imagine. Regarded as one of the 7C’s of communication in business, courtesy humbly works the magic which many unfortunately have not realized.
In business, courtesy is regarded as etiquette; rules that govern good behavior. They are personal traits that are displayed in interpersonal relationships or communication with people. I know someone who actually thinks being courteous is being impulsive. However, I often found this obnoxious till I corrected that opinion. I’m sure most people misunderstand this as well but it is possible to have courtesy and still be blunt and professional. Courtesy is built in your communication and interaction with others. Since generally businesses are aimed towards servicing a customer, and customer satisfaction is always the motto, courtesy in the first place should be held in high esteem.
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I personally consider courtesy as PR because I see it as a tool for reputation building. It is reflective on what you say or do. Once you are able to establish yourself in a favourable and likeable light, people will always align with your brand. It’s said that attitude is everything! This indeed is very true. Courtesy helps you act right. As a business oriented person you need to understand that courtesy communicates with the psychology of your contact. How well you do it keeps a lasting impression on them. It keeps them happy and glued.
It comes from recognizing human value, pure love and genuine respect for another. It implies that you acknowledge the feelings of the other person, and when this happens it tends to be reciprocated back. Why do you think most customers/contacts/clients keep coming back asides from just getting good quality service? It is because they prefer companies/businesses that treat them right. In business courtesy is therefore your lucky go charm. It makes all the difference.
So how do you learn to be courteous?
- Learn to say THANK YOU.
- Often add PLEASE as much you can.
- Be quick to say I’M SORRY.
- Show APPRECIATION always.
- ACKNOWLEDGE, ADMIRE and PASS COMPLIMENTS when needed.
- A simple HANDSHAKE or HUG could go a long way too.
- A SMILE, KIND WORDS and GESTURES are also important.
It builds goodwill and fosters good relations
Just like PR, courtesy helps you build a favourable image. When there is a good reputation painted of you it becomes very easy for your business, brand or organization to stand.
It brings about understanding
Courtesy gives you the patience to understand and pay attention to the tiniest details about a customer and his needs. It makes you sensitive to these needs and aids better delivery of service.
It gives room for value and credibility
Courtesy allows you deal with customers varied across behaviour and culture. Once this is established, once you are able to create this sense of value, trust me it gives room for reliability. This way you’ve gained their trust, it allows for the smooth running of your business.
It creates an atmosphere of respect
So long you are polite; you get the same response back. The feeling is always mutual. I have heard this a lot of times, that ‘my attitude is based on how you treat me’ which is applicable as well to business. When you treat people with love and respect, they treat you with that same energy as well.
It brings about customer loyalty
No customer or client will leave when they are treated nicely. It keeps them glued. Try it! They always keep coming back.
Builds trust and confidence
Since they believe you know what you are doing. Your clients and customers feel comfortable with you and that’s all you need as a business person.
It goes beyond transactional
I know by now, that you are aware that your loyal customers are your ambassadors. They sell you right. They find it easy to speak well of you and your business, anywhere and anytime, all just because of your ability to be courteous, to be polite.
Expands your network
A happy customer keeps you on refer. They keep referring you to other contacts for this same satisfaction, and networking as you know is a huge part of business success.
The essence of all the paybacks which courtesy keeps getting you is one thing, which is sure and that is profit at the end, case closed.
Courtesy is all imbedded in the simple things you do. It is not forced but it comes effortlessly. When you begin to master it, they work wonders. In difficult and challenging times, it helps you scale through. It saves you the criticism. It gives you an edge over competition. It sets you apart and places you on a high standard.
I always say courtesy should be a way of life not even in the hope of what you intend to get out of it. It should be a habit, an everyday exhibition. I’ve often heard the statement, that it is good to be good. Well yes it is. It makes the world a better place.