Killing Your Business With Your Words?
It's all in the delivery these days.
How did your customer discover you? Was it in person, an ad, an article you wrote, a portfolio post? The words you use will determine if they begin the customer journey with you or someone else. Let’s start with some basic writing “go to know” stuff.
A customer experience can make or break your business; I think we all agree on that.
If you hire the wrong type of employee (someone who can’t seem to connect with your customers), or your employee on the other line of the customer service help desk is all but helpful, these are just a few reasons why you will not gain a loyal following. However, did you know that your business writing in an email, letters, and media can also prove to be a downfall in customer service?
Words are powerful and if they are not used correctly, or the inflection you intend to get across completely misses its mark, you may find your customers viewing your company as impersonal, uncaring, and inhuman. Who wants their business to be labeled as such?
There are many "dated" phrases that should be avoided when writing a business letter. We've used then over and over again without a second thought. These phrases can easily be replaced with a more straightforward and more direct approach to what it is you are trying to get across. To help you understand what you should avoid, here are 10 phrases that should not be included in your writings:
Let's start with “Sincerely yours”. Bottom line, you are not theirs. You can simply forgo these phrases and use “Sincerely.” Studies have actually found that “Thanks” has the single best email open rate of all sign-off phrases.
“Respectfully” This term is seen many times in denial letters and it almost seems rather somber. People who use this phrase mean well, but in today's business economy, say what you mean, straight...no chaser.
Just say it already! Please be advised...” This phrase should not be included in your business writings. Simply write what it is you are telling them.
“Kindly” should be changed to a simple “please”.
The term “I am forwarding” is very straight forward. When writing, replace this statement with the word "sending."
You want to keep your reader engaged in what it is you are writing. If you use the phrase “the above-referenced,” you have caused your reader to stop and focus elsewhere. Be specific in the body of the letter to what it is you are speaking about.
It is very common to see the following at the end of a letter: “Please do not hesitate to contact me" when wanting a follow-up. Simply use, "Please call me."
No one likes a reprimand in a letter when he or she have done nothing to deserve one. However, using "Please note" can seem like a slap on the hand. Omit it completely from your communications.
Unless you have sent a trinket along with your letter, the term “Enclosed please find" does not need to be included. Your reader is not "finding" anything. Therefore, using the term "I've enclosed” would be a better choice to include.
Another old phrase you may come across is “Under separate cover.” This could be better said, “I am sending it to you separately…”
If you see these phrases often within your company, it may be time to discuss with those who are writing the letters or emails on how to improve their writing skills. Having good writing skills will help in continued success for your company.
This is where we come in. With our customized business-building workshops and creative strategic plans, we help you stand out, turn your customers into loyal fans, and make more money. Use this form If you would like to schedule a time to speak with Carrie on how she can increase your bottom-line by redefining your visibility and up-leveling the value-added Customer Experience you provide.
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