Do all your employees write clear and proper emails to clients? Do they represent your company at its best?
It’s a generational thing.
People don’t write letters any more, not even cards (Christmas cards are often pre-printed with messages, and often the signatures are pre-printed too).We don't write letters or cards anymore - emails are our main form of communication with clients. Learn 9 tips for better emails: Click To Tweet
In the old days, we had to write letters, and when we traveled we wrote postcards using every inch of white space to convey our thoughts.
When my wife (from the Netherlands) was applying for Dutch citizenship for our two adopted children, she had them sit down and write personal letters to the judge making their case for citizenship (it worked!).
But that type of writing is now an exception.
It’s no surprise that employees today don’t have the writing skills that we were forced to learn years ago, which is why the following story caught my eye.
Marcie Vedrani, co-owner of Planted Earth Landscaping, MD, shared with me that she has recently invested in teaching her top 15-20 employees to write better emails and stories.
As she told me, “e-mail is a permanent record” and too often we send emails that are overly colorful and can lead to misunderstandings with clients.
She was motivated to train her employees because she opted to have them all participate on the company blog, and she then realized she could also train them on improved written client communication as well.
She hired the author, Jack Gilden, to workshop with her company. Here are his tips combined with some of my favorites.
Ten Tips for Better Emails:
1. Avoid humor and sarcasm, it can lead to a misunderstanding.
2. If you are upset or reacting to someone upset, write out what you want to say and let it sit, or send it to some one to review.
3. Emails should be direct, brief, and precise––and should also be friendly and appropriate in tone.
4. Begin with something nice, but very minimal.
5. Finish with something nice.
6. If there is a problem and you are offering a solution, then acknowledge the problem, and convey the solution.
7. Use a call to action at the end, let the recipient know exactly what you want them to do.
8. Before you hit send, read your emails slowly and out-loud; this will help you uncover typos, confused sentences and misrepresentation.
9. Use a clear subject line that relates to the main topic.
10. Start a new email thread when you have a new topic, don’t just reply to an old email.
It is ironic that some of your lowest paid employees have the highest impact on your clients and reputation.
So, put your money where your money is…and invest in your employees’ communication skills, written and verbal, so your clients receive the best experience possible.
The deeper challenge is to communicate internally with this same care: humility, clarity, thankfulness. What if your internal culture reflected and modeled exactly how you want everyone to communicate externally?
And to make a lasting impression yourself, use thank-you cards and send written notes. These will be remembered long after an email is deleted.
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