Ethical Behavior in Customer Service

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Customer service is the business function where companies interact with consumers in the business environment. This function is typically a two-way street: Consumers may request information or companies can solicit feedback regarding products. Ethics plays an important role in customer service.


Business ethics is the responsibility companies have to act responsibly in production, marketing, sales and accounting. Companies often include honesty, integrity and transparency among the most important ethical traits. Interacting with customers offers companies the opportunity to advance these principles in the business environment.


Acting ethically in regards to customer service includes answering all customer questions honestly, carefully handling any safety or product-related issues, and honestly promoting the company’s values to consumers. Lying about business products or practices can lead to a negative relationship with consumers.

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Because ethics can mean different things to different people, companies often create a standard code of ethics for employees to follow. Business owners and managers use this code to promote the actions deemed most important with customer relations. Ethical customer service can also become a competitive advantage companies use to gain more market share than their competitors.

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