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Politeness is a key element of good customer service. It is more of an art than a science, but a positive attitude and general desire to be helpful will go a long way to make you successful at this. In order to help you, we have prepared a list of SIX THINGS TO AVOID in order to sound more "polite" to customers.

1. A way of speaking that's too "abrupt". We all want to get to the point, but a short, abrupt response when talking to a customer can be seen as rude.
EXAMPLE: When you want to know the person's name: UNSATISFACTORY: "What's your name?" BETTER: "Could I get your name please?"

2. A way of speaking that makes a customer feel like they are wrong. Even if you think the customer is wrong, there are certain polite (and diplomatic) ways to deal with this.
EXAMPLE: Guest: "The air conditioner in my room isn't working." UNSATISFACTORY: "That's impossible. It was working yesterday." BETTER: "I'll get someone to check that for you." (The person who checks can then show the guest how to operate the air conditioner if it is functioning properly)

3. A way of speaking that makes a customer feel stupid. Not every customer is a beacon of intelligence, and not everyone is super-perceptive, but it's not polite to point these things out when interacting professionally with someone.
EXAMPLE: Guest: "Is that the breakfast area?" UNSATISFACTORY: "Yes, it says so right there on the sign." BETTER: "Yes, right through that door." (There is no need to point out that the customer missed seeing the sign. That would be impolite.)

4. Not giving the customer enough information; not being helpful. This can be related to POINT #1 (being too abrupt).
EXAMPLE: Guest: "Is this a good wine?" UNSATISFACTORY: "Yes, it is." BETTER: "Yes, it's considered a very good wine. A lot of our customers order it."

5. Being too "honest", giving too much (unnecessary) information. A certain level of distance and professionalism is required in customer service interactions.
EXAMPLE: Guest: "Is is safe to walk around this neighborhood?" UNSATISFACTORY: "Generally it is, but there have been a couple of robberies recently. You should be OK in the daytime, though." BETTER: "Generally it is safe, but you should exercise caution like you would anywhere and not walk alone at night."

6. Making a joke that might not be appropriate for the customer. When using humor, it's best not to joke about anything personal, because you never know what may offend someone.
EXAMPLE: Guest: "You spelled my name wrong." UNSATISFACTORY: "Oh, yes, well I was pretty close." BETTER: "Oh, I'm sorry, can you spell it for me again?"

(This list is (c) 2023 by Please don't reproduce without permission.)

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