Get Your Email House in Order – How to Make a Positive Impact with Email
During a recent on-site development session from Sandler Training, the customer service team of Avatel Technologies received a refresher course in telephone and email communications. The purpose of the gathering was to help ensure our communication skills are building the relationships we value and not damaging them.
With an ever increasing frequency, technology is replacing old, slower ways of doing business. The one constant we drilled down into was the fact that as unique individuals, customers want to be treated with courtesy and respect – whether by email, telephone or in person.
We’ve all experienced the innocuous email that somehow, through our own filters, became a hurtful or insensitive message. The best way to prevent such an offensive communication is to remember to use the telephone. By speaking on the phone, people can more easily “read” tonality and nuances and deal with them immediately.
Email is, however, used as a written record of a verbal conversation and is useful for most of us in our daily activities within our workplace cubicles. Because emails should reflect the professionalism of the company, the following are suggested tools to help us avoid disconnects between ourselves and the customer.
- Convey the important points first: put dates, deadlines and deliverables in the first one to three lines of the message.
- Answer emails in a timely manner. If you’re going to be away for an extended period of time, activate your “out of office” message.
- Make your email personal. Include a morning or afternoon greeting followed by the recipient’s first name. Remember, there is no better sound in the human language than a person’s first name.
- Ensure the spell check application is turned on and review the email before sending it.
- PDAs have granted us certain sloppy flexibility, which means you’ll impress readers even more when you write precisely.
- Take care when using abbreviations and emoticons. They can be a bit distracting and are not professional.
- Never forward chain letters, spam, jokes or emails with questionable sources.
- Consider utilizing a disclaimer beneath your signature block to protect your organization from any form of liability exposure.
Emailing is a great way to confirm what everyone understands and what’s happening next. By being clear, concise and timely in our email communications, we will better communicate our intentions and expectations.
Guest Blogger ~ Lonnie Ledford, Avatel Project Manager
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