Email is the primary means of communication for business and that means it is often the first impression. We all know that the first impression is a lasting impression. As an entrepreneur, I provide virtual administrative services for small business owners and know first-hand a stellar first impression is paramount. I work behind the scenes handling correspondence for a number of clients communicating with their customers by email so not only am I representing their brand, I am sustaining a reputation for myself as a small business owner.
Prior to launching my own business eleven years ago, I had been employed full time in administrative positions for almost 20 years working directly with key administrators of two specialty medical practices and serving as a member of the Executive Management Team working directly for the Area Director at a behavioral healthcare organization interacting with the range of consumers from the general public to elected officials. Exceptional customer service starts with outstanding communication. Bad email etiquette can be avoided.
My best advice:
Don’t use a vague subject line – be as clear and informative as possible to catch the reader’s eye
Don’t be casual in your greeting or content – be polite and respectful; non-argumentative with quality subject matter and no slang
Don’t use abbreviations – if you do, spell out the word beforehand and use parentheses to enclose the acronym
Don’t be too wordy – be concise, if your message can’t be conveyed in two to three sentences or one to two emails, by all means, pick up the phone
Don’t forget to include your contact information – utilize your e-signature to list all ways of reaching you
Don’t hit Send before you are ready – proofreading for errors, omissions, and comprehension is essential