Common business courtesy

This is actually a very simple subject, but one that will make a huge difference to the success of your business. First of all, let us identify some of the common problems:

The problems

  • You send a text and get no response or acknowledgement;
  • You ring and leave a message, they don’t get back to you;
  • You email, but don’t get any response;
  • You arrange a meeting, and people turn up late;
  • You arrange a meeting and attendees are un-prepared;
  • The list goes on…..

Why does it matter?

For me, the main reason it matters is that it is just plain rude. I accept that people do not have the time to deal with my query immediately. However, if I am a potential customer then I expect the company to care about whether they sell to me. I do not want to deal with someone who cannot be bothered to get back to me. If I am looking to buy, I will very quickly move on to an alternative if I get no response.

A business leader I used to work for many years ago always insisted that if the phone rang then it must be answered within 3 rings. This applied even if it was someone else’s phone and they were away from their desk. His logic was “that person wants to give you a £1m order. If you don’t answer the phone they will give it to someone else”.

The Solution

It is very simple, here are some suggestions:

  • You receive a text, answer within 5 minutes “Hi, thanks for that, I’ll get back to you ASAP”
  • Check your phone voice messages often – and RING THEM BACK
  • You receive an email, within a couple of hours or so, reply “Thanks for that, I will get back to you”
  • DO NOT turn up late for meetings
  • PREPARE before the meeting

These are just simple, common courtesies, but they will give the right message to your customers and colleagues. You actually do care. They matter.