Week one – Audit your courtesy

12 to 18 September

How courteous are we? We can’t know if there is anything we need to improve if we don’t know how we’re doing at the moment.

To help assess current performance download our courtesy audit, open with Adobe Acrobat and complete the 10 questions. The answers will calculate your courtesy score out of 100.

Download courtesy audit

In order to get an accurate picture it’s best to answer as openly as possible. Remember no one else will see your results so don’t worry.

(If you would like to help us assess the success of the courtesy initiative over the next 12 weeks, you can choose to email us your results direct from the form. These will be aggregated with other results anonymously and will help us measure what effect the programme has. Any general statistics published will not be linked to any contributors.)

What do the scores mean?

0 -20: Courtesy does not appear to figure highly in your business and you are likely to be missing new or losing existing customers as a result. You probably have most to gain by joining in the courteous town initiative and using the free tools to improve courtesy. From improving employee attendance and time-keeping to getting repeat business from customers, there are many benefits you could enjoy. Please register and see how focusing on courtesy can help your business.

21- 40: Your business is courteous to a degree but courtesy does not seem ingrained. Putting a greater emphasis on courteous behaviour will likely deliver big improvements in a range of areas. It could improve customer satisfaction and reduce complaints.

41-60: Your business appears quite courteous, but there are times when perhaps work pressures push it to one side. If you can address these areas, you could make both your customers and your employees even happier. This could feed through into more business, more committed employees, all leading to higher performance and profitability.

61-80: Your business understands the value of courtesy but it is not completely ingrained. Your employees and customer are probably mostly happy but there are some areas where improvements could be made. The effort needed to improve is not that great, but the benefits to your business could be considerable.

81-100: Your business is one of the most courteous, so well done. You clearly value courtesy and understand its value. Yet no one’s perfect and there are always areas for improvement. One of the biggest challenges is to maintain courtesy even in the most trying circumstances. If everyone in your business can do this, your business will be a beacon leading the way for others.

Please retain your scores as we’ll measure courtesy again at the end of the 12 weeks to measure improvements and effects you notice.

Whatever your score and however much you need to improve (as we all do), you are welcome on this courteous town initiative.

What next?

The aim of the audit is to identify areas for us to improve. Look at the questions where you scored low (Q1-8 & 10 ‘rarely’ answers; Q9 ‘always’ answer). Think who these areas affect? Is it employees? Is it customers? If you’re a sole trader, it could be you.

People are generally not discourteous deliberately. Work pressures, tiredness, unrealistic deadlines can all make us grumpy or nervous. Without knowing it, sometimes we can communicate this to other people in a way that can make us seem rude when that’s not our intention. Being aware of these drivers can help us to deal with them more effectively. After all, who wants to upset good customers?

There might be other areas where courtesy affects your business performance: poor staff attendance, bad time-keeping, lack of commitment among employees, high numbers of complaints. All these reduce efficiency and take up time. Eliminating these problems would give your business better use of time. Could courtesy have a beneficial effect here?

Over the following week, try to note how you and your employees deal with everyone face-to-face, on the phone, by email, anywhere. Do you hear ‘please’ and ‘thanks’ a lot. When you do hear them, does it seem to make a difference to anyone?

Next week, we’ll focus on a more specific topic.

Good luck and thank you!


  • Philip J Milton

    09/09/2011 at 00:12 Reply

    Hi Rob – the form didn’t seem to email across but pleased to say we scored 82!

    Well done on the initiative.

    Best wishes


    • robertz

      09/09/2011 at 16:07 Reply

      Thanks, Philip. And well done! Did you press the send button?

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