An old boss of mine, in fact, my first boss outside of my Dad back on the farm, used to say “don’t say something to a customer that you couldn’t add the word ‘Grandma’ to the end of”. You wouldn’t say “you’ve got the wrong person, you’re gonna have to speak to another department, Grandma”, you’d say, “I’m sorry, but I’d be happy to transfer you to our kitchenware department for them to take care of you, Grandma”.
Sometimes, it’s not what we say, but how we say it. One way may earn you a few brownie points, the other may get your mouth washed out with soap. One may land a customer for life, the other may have Grandma tweeting about the terse customer service until she heads out for the early-bird buffet.
We’re always telling our children to think before they speak. This should apply even more so in our personal and business lives. People want to spend their dollars with people they like, people who treat them well. Think before you say something, manners matter.