Three ways to better communicate through emails!
In today’s world of texting and Twitter, it appears that basic common courtesy, use of proper grammar and even spelling has been thrown out the window. In fact, many times you would think that we have forgotten that there is a real person on the other side of this communication. Now for some, I know I will start getting push back on “it’s a new world” and “times have changed” and while I fully know (because it’s part of our business) that modes of communications have changed what hasn’t changed or shouldn’t change in the business world is our approach to others, whether they be a client or a vendor that we partner with.
Basic courtesy and respect should always be considered when forming any type of communications, especially written. Knowing the audience of our communications should also be taken into consideration. This means that we have an understanding that using poor grammar or sentences filled with typos is not acceptable and can send a message to the client as someone whose attention to detail and professionalism is not something that matters or is of great concern.
So what can be done to communicate better through the use of emails?
1) Know your audience/relationship- Always lead with a Good Morning or Good Afternoon or even a Hi followed by the person’s name. We all know the importance of using another’s name and communicating via email is no different. Avoid jumping into a direct response or using “Hey” as your introduction. Your audience could interpret this as a “HEY” or yelling at them versus the casual “Hey, what are you doing type?” of introduction you were meaning it to be.
2) Get to the point- Know what you want to say and say it. We all receive too much email as it is and going through a lengthy story using this medium is not helpful. If your response requires such a conversation use that black thing on your desk, called a telephone, and reach out to your customer or client in a more personal way.
3) Read through your email at least three times- This includes making sure you are sending the email to the right place. I myself have in my rush to push things out have ( I am sure) frustrated people because I clogged their email up with one more email they didn’t need. As you read through the email check for typos, sentence structure, and basic grammar. Check the email for tone. In verbal communications, we can use our voice to provide inflection to emphasize a point but that is left up to the reader when it comes to email. Read the communication as the one receiving it might receive it. It will make a difference.
Today’s communications may be more convenient for many of us but, much like social media, it is not the end all. Think through your communication efforts. There will be times that using email can be the fastest and most convenient method of communications but there will also be times where simply picking up the phone or setting an appointment face to face will be the best way to communicate.