We talk a lot about verbal and nonverbal communication, but there is also an email communication that needs to be addressed, especially in the tech support email writing.
Email writing is great, speedy, easy and concise. However I have been noticing in personal, business and technical email writing, as well as on internet forums, the way that people write emails is often very poor. Sometimes it is appalling. There is room to improve email writing everywhere.
Too many do not bother to check their email writing before sending out their email communication. The worst offenders are sales or business and tech support emails that are full of errors. More and more, we even see this sloppiness in the correspondence of tech support groups who are front end customer service representatives!
Ok, small occasional typos are understandable. We all make them. But unfortunately they are too common in the virtual platform of tech support and email writing. Big typos, one after another, along the whole string of e-conversations can be very unpleasant to say the least, and does not express a demonstration of customer appreciation nor any type of professionalism.
Imagine standing in a real time face-to-face discussion and the person you're conversing with stumbles at every other word, stringing together a couple of words at regular intervals, skipping pronouns and endings, and leaving off whole consonants and prepositions. Imagine if you had to put up with several of these communicators in your place of business within the inter-personal activities of management, customers and suppliers day after day. Imagine a salesperson dropping in on you this way to try and get you to buy from him or her.
How would that feel? What would it say about those people you’re communicating with? Well, this happens all the time in the virtual office under tech support and email writing! It covers all spectra of email writings and correspondence. It is especially hard to take in Customer Service.
In the last while, I began to record a whole number of these e-communications email writing while working with several technical support groups at various e-service establishments. Some of these are million-dollar outfits.
For example, with one on-going dialogue, after several email exchanges, the tech support person 'suddenly' realized that I 'was an affiliate' and therefore had been giving me the wrong information all along -- but I had told him clearly right at the beginning of our email writing that I *was* an affiliate.
So, what is the problem here? That told me immediately that the support person had not read my email properly right at the start. What does properly mean? Well, too many are speed-reading and miss the critical points, or don’t concentrate nor focus on the email communication, or don’t care at all.
On top of this, there were bad spelling and grammar items in all of our lengthy correspondence. OK, I understand that support people are busy and don’t have a lot of time. However aren’t we all? Isn’t this part of doing business? And is there any place in business where we are excused from being businesslike and professional – especially, again, in customer service?
It truly only takes a minute to read over the email before hitting the send button. But, wow, the clean-up that that minute will do! As some experts have said, poor spelling and grammar show a lack of attention and sends the wrong message about the company’s reputation. The badly formed sentences can even give a completely wrong message that can irritate, frustrate and even totally lose a customer.
In another instance I recorded two totally different and opposite answers in email writings, to the same question that came from two tech support people from the same tech support department. Again, why? Because they don’t “r-e-a-d” the emails. They skip and scan. This is no time for speed-reading.
And to write correctly, one has to also read emails correctly. I remember one tech support person who totally lost the issue at hand, after several emails, and apologized profusely to the customer for "misreading" her email when, in fact, he hadn't! Why? Again, because he had not taken the time to properly read the emails that had been written.
So let’s watch what we do when we set out to read and write our emails, spell-check and save a great amount of time and money by actually slowing down. An once of prevention is still worth a pound of cure. /dmh