It may not be the Belle Epoque, but manners still matter!

What do Emily Post, James Bond, and Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey have in common? They all have exceptional manners. In today’s age of instant everything, it’s easy to forget about social graces and the power behind politeness. Whether good etiquette comes from a virtual receptionist service or a CEO, leaving a positive impression on others is vital in business.

These days, customers simply have too many options to waste their money on companies that don’t treat them with respect. More than 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, while nearly two-thirds cite friendly employees as a top reason for sticking with a brand. Add to that the fact that four out of five consumers will stop doing business with you after a bad customer experience, and it becomes clear that manners do affect the bottom line.

Why Manners Matter

Your manners reflect not only how you view others, but how you also see yourself. From gaining new clients to keeping the ones you have, manners command respect and promote trustworthiness. For example, a client is more likely to trust in your expertise and capabilities if your virtual receptionist is polite and engaging.

More importantly, good manners convey that you notice and care about others. Little things like remembering names, sending thank you notes, making eye contact and putting away your cell phone are all actions that send a big message: “You matter to me.”

Customer Connections

Customers form their first impressions of you within seconds of initial contact, which means the first few moments represent a crucial opportunity. Regardless of whether you work with clients face-to-face or correspond with others electronically, there are a host of go-to phrases that can help you politely connect with others:

Thank you for…

My pleasure!

I’m happy to…

May I…

How may I help you?

A few simple, sincere words that take the focus off of yourself and place it on others is what makes the world’s best companies stand out.

Photo via Gary Bembridge