17495018_MIf only manners were so simple for all to understand and use! While we hope manners will be taught starting at a young age, we also realize manners aren’t an automatic part of everyone’s life, as we often see and understand within customer service.

What’s acceptable for manners often differs by family as well as regions and cultures. However, some basic manners are still important to understand. Let’s look at some ways manners can be encouraged in all ages, but especially in children who can develop these skills as they learn how to further interact with others.

Eye Contact. It’s considered polite to make eye contact when in conversation with others. This can often make people of all ages feel awkward. Before an interaction requiring eye contact, gently remind children to look – not stare at – the other person in the eyes when talking, instead of staring at the ground, at an object or even into space. While you may not need to make eye contact over phone or video calls, it’s still important to keep in mind to avoid multitasking and missing conversational prompts.

Not interrupting. It’s considered polite to not interrupt others when talking. Instead, encourage children to watch for pauses in conversations as well as to be aware of situations if they wish to change the conversation or interject their thoughts. This one takes some time and self-awareness that more is happening outside of the thoughts in their heads.

Please and thank you. It’s considered polite to use the words please, thank you (or thanks) and you’re welcome. This one may take some encouragement to reframe questions to include a please. It may also include prompting a thank you. Don’t forget thank yous go beyond verbal, especially in gift giving over the miles. A simple thank you note, text or call after receiving a gift not only politely expresses thanks but also lets the gift giver know the item was received.

Throughout each of these manner topics, be sure to include positive reinforcement of successful interactions, even if the success is small, as well as gentle feedback to correct anything that could be done better. Remember we are all learning how to be better in our interactions, regardless of our age.

We’d love to talk with you more about the current lapses in manners you may be experiencing with your customer service employees and how we can help as we ensure every contact with your customers is a positive experience. Let’s talk today at 888-476-0570 or contact@verso.global.

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