Communication is what binds individuals together. It’s how we build relationships, forge connections, and validate—or challenge—our ideas. In business, the power of communication cannot be overemphasized, particularly when building relationships with customers. Etiquette in customer service and communication is defined by unwritten rules that govern how we should treat customers. Use this guide to facilitate respect and understanding when serving customers.

Choosing the right channel

Different channels of communication commonly used in businesses today, including emails, video conferencing, chat apps, and phone calls, are all suited for different conveniences. Choosing the right channel of communication and mastering it accordingly ensures that you stay attuned to a client’s needs and avoid communication inefficiencies. The type of channel you choose determines the kind of business etiquette to follow for efficient exchange of information to occur. The structure of an email will differ greatly from that of a video conference conversation, for example.

Be friendly

Friendliness in customer service is a great attribute that cultivates a positive relationship. Whether chatting via text, email, phone call, or in-person meeting, maintaining a friendly tone increases the chances of building familiarity and common ground in the conversation. This can make a world of difference when it comes to determining the outcome for both parties.

Be organized

When handling customers in a conversation of any nature, a professional must show organization and display an understanding of the subject matter at hand. Staying organized during the entire conversation by taking notes and responding confidently creates a positive impression on the client. Follow-up emails after voice and video conversations are helpful as well, as they summarize the key points of the discussion and put them in written form.

Be responsive

When communicating through any channel, responsiveness with your partner is crucial. The client will perhaps not have the patience to wait for hours for you to respond to an email or a text message. Responding to emails by following the 7 email etiquette strategies ensures that you get down to the bottom of the matter as quickly as possible. Replying on time also portrays to the client that you are well-focused and professional. While you don’t have to respond immediately to every email that comes into your inbox, getting to them as soon as possible streamlines the conversation and keeps everything fresh in your mind.