SAP has published a “Business trends” blog post that offers business etiquette advice so utterly obvious that a million thrice-recycled LinkedIn posts explaining how not to fail at life now seem clever by comparison.
“Sometimes it seems as though modern businesses hardly care about their customers,” commenced SAP consultant Logan Berger, writing on the software giant's community website. “Customers want to be treated like a king, and yet call center consultants are often rude, abrupt and with a could-care-less attitude.”
Berger said he thinks that’s not enough in the modern world and that when chatting with clients, staff should “convey credibility, enthusiasm and honesty.”
At this point The Register imagines many readers may be sitting down to take in the searing quality of the insights on offer, so we’ll share the reason Berger thinks an effort at enthusiasm is appropriate: “being able to communicate effectively with customers promotes goodwill and encourages repeat business.”
It gets better. Berger told his attentive audience that “Sending a business email is fast, free and reachable in all corners of the globe really. The advantages of email marketing make it an important addition to a business’s Internet marketing program.”
Email can do that? We have been living under a rock for a while, it seems.
Berger even offered what can only be termed an email masterclass, as follows:
Make sure that you communicate the purpose of your email with a clear, short subject line. Before you send any email messages, read it over and check for spelling- and grammar mistakes and make sure that there is no chance for any confusion.
Logan? Sorry to nit-pick, but you might want to run that grammar checker again as I think your hyphenation could use a quick revisit.
Berger went on to consider the power of language by noting that “It is important, particularly these days, to choose your words carefully before you speak. The words that a business uses on their customers can have a big influence on a listener’s experience. It can determine whether they opt to continue doing business with a particular company.”
He added: “We are working in multi-cultural offices, and customers can get a bad impression of a business that continues to use words and phrases best put to rest. They may seem innocent to you but they can cause offense.”
Which is why here at The Register would never use the word "wanker" to describe a boffin, bean-counter or Unix graybeard.
Berger also recommended buying cellphone signal boosters because “One thing you don’t want, and that is for your business and its phone set-up to have a negative impact on the company’s name because of the poor quality of its cell phone signal.”
Which is hard to deny, but also odd given that Berger opened with a mention of call centers and they hardly ever rely on mobile phones.
Oops! There we go exhibiting the kind of SHOUTY #$%^&*!! surliness that Berger so wisely cautions against.
We’d surely be far better off recognising that SAP consultants use this kind of wisdom and the company's products to help business manage matters of extraordinary subtlety and complexity. ®