The business world is rapidly changing and becoming less personal every day. One of the things being left behind in this rapidly changing world is Business Etiquette. Many formerly common practices in business are becoming rarities at best. Ever-changing technology and the emphasis on speed and turn-around times of business have begun to shape a world where etiquette is nothing but a forgotten art. Here are some of the etiquette principles that have been forgotten in the ever-evolving landscape of business:
1) Thank You Notes
This is one of the simplest acts of etiquette, and yet is one of those things that has become a rarity. It takes only a few minutes to write a thank you note after an interview or meeting with new or potential clients, so why not take the extra five minutes to make a lasting impression? If your company were to build a reputation for being personal enough to write a thank you note, think of what that could do for your brand image.
2) Client Meeting Etiquette
A company’s interactions with clients are a major part of its brand image and crucial in client/customer retention. It seems like a simple concept, but not texting during a client meeting shows that you are focused on them and only them. If the client you are meeting with doesn’t have your attention even when they’re right in front of you, how are they to believe you will pay attention to them when they aren’t around? Simply putting the focus on the client and not your phone, computer, or even your company during meetings can be a simple gesture that adds a personal feel to your company’s brand.
3) Customer Focus
Your business should be working with its clients, not working for them. Many businesses have lost the mindset of being customer focused. Businesses that are engaging and personal with their clients will have happy clients. It is important for a business to understand and meet the client’s actual needs, not what it thinks the client’s needs are. The only way to know what those needs are is to be personally engaging with your clients and communicating with them regularly. Having regular personal interactions (email, phone calls, visits) will create a better understanding of the client’s needs and take the focus off of your business and onto your customers.
There is a theme in these three etiquette points. Business, in many cases, has become too impersonal. Sit down with a team at your business and analyze how your company is doing with business etiquette. Is it forgotten? If so, what are the changes that need to be made? Making your business more personal by engaging its customers will help you better meet your client’s needs, which will keep them happier.
Don’t let business etiquette become a forgotten art.
– Paul Kent, Assistant Community Manager