By: Toby Chin
Fast communication is key. Especially in today's world, where everything is "instant gratification," making sure that your customers hear from you quickly is paramount. But, there is something that we at 212 Media Studios believe to be just as important as fast communication.
It has been said by many people I know, that the "Send" button is one of the most dangerous in America. Have you ever written something up real quick and hit the send button, only to realize that you forgot a vital piece of information (such as an attachment)? I know I'm guilty of that. It's not an issue when you are sending a picture from your last vacation to your friend. However, imagine that your customer has asked for information about a product. But, then you realize you forgot how much the product costs and where to buy it. That would probably be about the time bad words start forming and you smack your forehead with your hand.
Nothing beats solid, professional, thought out, well-written, grammatically correct, well formatted, communications.Especially in the area of email.Take these two emails for example:
"That cell phone is out of stock but will be coming back into stock in a few weeks. Sorry for the inconvenience. Have a nice day. Thanks, Joe."
I did some checking and the Samsung Universe 4000 is currently out of stock. We are expecting a shipment of the U4000's on December 12.
If you would like, I give you a call or send you an email as soon as they arrive. Just let me know if that's what you would like.
We do have the HTC BoomX in stock, which is a phone that has a very similar feature set and great ratings. You can find it on our website here [include a link!!] or you can call me back and we'll get you set up with that instead.
If everything else were identical between these two companies, which would you choose? I know that I would choose the latter.
Here's a free email checklist for you to make sure you don't commit some big email faux pas:
1. ANSWER QUESTIONS: If you're replying to an email, double and triple check that you have thoroughly answered all the questions that were asked of you.
2. PERTINENT INFORMATION: Stick to only pertinent information. Some people receive hundreds of emails a day. They don't want to read something that has too much information in it. Besides, they may get bored and move on before they get to the important stuff.
3. PROOFREAD: There's little that is less professional than misspelled, grammatically incorrect, poorly punctuated messages. Remember, this person is spending their hard-earned cash on you. Even if it's a relatively small item at $25, a person working above minimum wage would still have to work about 3 hours to be able to purchase your product (at $9/hour gross and after taxes). That is three hours of their life that they'll never get back and they are considering spending it on YOU and your product. Be professional.
4. FORMAT: Make your emails easy to read. Think back to writing class. Make sure you put complete sentences together. Then, make sure that your paragraphs have complete thoughts and are complete sections. DO NOT use a single paragraph to introduce yourself, answer questions, then sign off. It's hard to read and hard to find information later, when your correspondent is looking for it.
5. USE A SIGNATURE: Your signature should state: a) Who you are; b) What you do (your position); c) Who you represent (your company); and d) How to get in touch with you (it may be appropriate to include your Twitter handle, phone number, email address, mailing address, and fax number). If you're not sure how to set up a signature, use a text file and copy and paste your signature to the end of your emails. Not only does this help people get in touch with you, it also lets them know with whom they are communicating. Remember, you are a person, sending a message to another person. Even if you're usingConstant Contactsending an email to thousands of people, you are still a person and each of those email addresses represents a person.
If you follow these steps, you can expect your image to improve in your customer's mind. Your brand will remain impressive and strong, even with plain text emails.