What is business etiquette and why is it important?

Have you ever vowed never to buy from a particular store after their staff gave off passive-aggressive vibes? Or probably, you have felt slighted by the manner you were addressed by a colleague at work. These instances are examples of how poor business etiquette affects businesses and people. What, though, is business etiquette?

Etiquette as defined by the Business Dictionary is ‘expected behaviours and expectations for individual actions within society, group, or class’. Within the workplace, it involves treating customers, coworkers, employees/employers with respect and courtesy to create a pleasant work environment for everyone.

Many articles have elaborated numerous etiquette rules, but here are the four most important:

  1. Treat people with respect and give them attention, no matter their position in an organization.
  2. Keep an open and honest flow of communication, ensuring feedback mechanisms are in place
  3. Ensure non-verbal forms of communication are impeccable
  4. Do all you can to ensure that you never leave a customer dissatisfied

Why is business etiquette important? First, business etiquette is a sign of professionalism. Who wants to work with an incompetent oaf? Good business etiquette draws customers to you as well as the best employees, both of which are necessary for success in business.
Good business etiquette helps you develop cordial relationships with your customers and members of your team. When everyone has good etiquette, there is less friction and conflict at work. Not only will your customers enjoy doing business with you, they’ll also be more likely to refer you to people in their network.