Customer Service Training Tips: 6 Ways to Show Respect to Other People

You don’t have to feel respect for another person in order for you to act with dignity and respect. You also don’t have to agree with another person or even like them to treat them in a respectful manner. Feeling respect for someone is internal for you. The other person has done or said things that make you feel respect for them. Customer service training teaches you that treating someone with respect is external for you. It’s about your behavior choices. Sometimes, it’s about not allowing yourself to be dragged down to the level of someone acting in a disrespectful or undignified manner.

6 Ways You Can Show Respect to Others

Here are six ways to show respect to other people, especially when you feel they don’t deserve respect:

  1. Be punctual. Be on time. Plan your schedule to arrive at your destination five minutes early. Remember the football coach who said, “If you’re not five minutes early, you’re late.”
  2. Use your manners. Say please, thank you, and you’re welcome. Even the most disagreeable people notice when others use their manners. They might even respond in kind.
  3. Don’t insult others. If you don’t like something they did or disagree with something they said, stick to the specific behaviors or words you find objectionable. Avoid name-calling. Especially avoid sarcasm, as tempting as it can be at times.
  4. Apologize when you make a mistake. Make it a sincere apology. Say something like, “I’m sorry that I said that. It was hurtful and unnecessary.” A sincere apology is specific and non-conditional.
  5. Use active listening skills to understand the other person’s point of view. Active listening means you’re engaged with the other person. You ask questions for clarification. Again, it’s not necessary to agree with them, just try to understand where they’re coming from.
  6. Speak the truth. Follow the Gricean Maxim of Quality. Speak only the truth and never say that for which you lack adequate evidence. Just be honest.

Someone once commented, “It’s high time racists and flat-earthers get the respect they deserve.” That’s not the point. Hurtful, mean-spirited, or just downright crazy ideas don’t deserve respect. People who spread misinformation must be challenged on the facts. That doesn’t mean, however, that you or I should lower ourselves to their level. If anything, by acting in a dignified and respectful manner around such people, perhaps they’ll see a role model and change their behavior. Maybe not, but at least you’ve maintained your personal dignity and self-respect.

Respect in Customer Service Training

Respect is a key part of customer service training. Acting in a dignified and respectful manner can help de-escalate emotionally charged situations, it can help calm angry customers, and it can help build relationship bridges between you and your coworkers.

The Cost of Incivility at Work

Check out this TED talk which attaches hard data to incivility at work in terms of productivity, retention, and motivation.

Next Level IT Customer Service Training

Enroll your team now in Compassionate Geek IT online customer service training so they can work together, get things done, and take care of customers.

2 thoughts on “Customer Service Training Tips: 6 Ways to Show Respect to Other People”

  1. This article was very helpful when it comes to customer service.I particularly appreciate the emphasis on respect as a behavior choice, not just a feeling.

    I’m curious, in your experience, which of these six methods has proven most effective in de-escalating emotionally charged situations in customer service?

    Thanks for sharing these insights!

    1. There’s not one particular method in the list that stands out as a priority. You must use all of them, all of the time. The most important technique for de-escalating emotionally charged situations, however, is to remain calm. Pause. Take a breath. Count to ten. That, by the way, applies in all human interactions, including customer service. Thanks for your comment.

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