Business Services,  Coach's Corner,  Solving Small Business

Courtesy – a tool to grow your business

Many people are asking, whatever happened to common courtesy?

Courtesy is something that appears to be doing a disappearing act in our culture.

Recently, a group of advertising and marketing executives was asked how courteous they thought business professionals were today, as compared to ten years ago. Of those interviewed, 40% said they felt people are generally less courteous than they were ten years ago, and only 16% felt people were more courteous.

Did you know? You can actually use courtesy to grow your business.

While it seems courtesy is often not a top priority for busy, sometimes harried professionals it is still something most people desire, and being a courteous business may set you apart from those who aren’t. You can actually use courtesy as a way to grow your business. Since those companies who provide courteous service are rare, those who do are remembered, and referred to others.

What is Courtesy?

Courtesy has been defined as “showing good manners – being polite”. When was the last time you experienced someone showing you good manners or being polite? Courtesy often goes out the window because of how rushed we are. We can’t wait the extra five minutes to allow someone to go ahead of us in a line because we’re late for something. We don’t let another person go through the door first because we want to get ahead of them. We neglect to thank a store clerk for their help because we’re rushing off to make our purchases.

Courtesy has indeed become, uncommon. How courteous are you? How courteous is your staff? Are you known as the company that shows good manners and politeness at all times?

Courtesy Checklist

  • Do you always say please and thank you at restaurants, when you shop, when someone has helped you in some way?
  • Do you notice when people are approaching a building at the same time as you and hold the door open for them?
  • Are you generous with compliments and express them when others have done a good job?
  • Do you return phone calls and emails in a timely manner?
  • Do you allow the person with one grocery item to go ahead of you at the check-out?
  • Do you allow other vehicles to move into the lane in front of you without honking your horn?
  • Do you regularly express gratitude to those around you, especially when someone has done something nice for you?
  • Are you available to others without making them feel like they’re imposing?
  • Do you pay your bills on time, or let your creditors know if you cannot?
  • Are you cautious about how you speak about others?
  • Do you make sure never to put down your competitors or speak ill of them?
  • Do your customers know that you value them?
  • Have you trained your staff to respond with courtesy and politeness in all situations?
  • Do you regularly ask others for input, and genuinely consider what they have offered?
  • Do you make sure never to keep people waiting for longer than a few minutes to meet with you?
  • Do you make every effort to curb your tongue when you feel like flying off the handle?

You get the picture. They may seem like small things – but it’s the small gestures that make a big impression.

Do a courtesy check for yourself and your staff, and use polite, courteous service as a tool to impress your customers and prospects, and draw them through your doors. After all, who wouldn’t want to do business with a company as nice as yours?

— from the coach’s desk

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