Table of contents:
- Bad communication
- Lively language
- Outline / intelligibility
- Language and tonality
- Position clearly
- communicate values
Video: What Business Letters And Emails Reveal About Us
2023 Author: Hannah Pearcy | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 11:39
Every letter works - one way or the other. How the recipient perceives us depends on the basic tone that we convey between the lines. That is why business letters not only provide information about facts. At the same time, they reveal the position of the author.
Each letter conveys a basic mood between the lines. This reveals how the letter writer thinks about us or our cause. Just as the atmosphere of a room is shaped by the color tone, words determine the tonality in letters. That is why they say more about us and our company than we are aware of. Everyone has experienced for themselves that the answer to a banal e-mail request can spoil a customer. I will never forget the response from a well-known florist, who I emailed to ask if I could still redeem an old voucher. Instead of friendly information, the reply email discussed the legal basis for limitation periods from scratch. I was meticulously informed about new legislation, changes to the law of obligations and legal reforms. The deadlock closed with the note that consumer protection centers and the press had announced these changes.
The florist could have written it in one sentence: unlimited vouchers expire after three years. But instead of a fresh, green coat of paint, the dealer dipped his reply email in signal red. This caused all the alarm bells to ring and I noticed four aspects at the same time: First, this text was written by a lawyer. Second, customers don't matter in this company. Third, it is a sample letter. And fourth, this florist not only lost me forever, but probably many other customers as well. And nobody notices! This is the real drama of poor communication in letters and emails.
When reading, even when flying over, we get an idea of the author and “his” company. Our limbic system evaluates this experience without our intervention. We can see that we cannot simply switch off this depth psychological level as an opportunity. We hold the paint and brush in our own hands to paint and brand our brand image.
In addition to the structure, it is the intelligibility, a lively language and an authentic overall impression that determine the effect of our words.
Outline / intelligibility
A conclusive structure begins with the question of the goal: What exactly do I want to achieve with my letter? As trivial as this sounds, this question often remains nebulous. How many times do we just start writing without thinking about our intentions? A letter writes almost by itself when the goal is clear. A sensible structure is also the prerequisite for intelligibility. This is only possible if the recipient understood the letter when reading it for the first time. Usually it is carelessness or arrogance that make understanding difficult or even prevent it. In addition to the use of technical terms or internal terms, the biggest problem is to overdo the recipient. Most letter writers do not bother to pick up the recipient where he is. Without thinking about it, they assume that a customer must have the same level of knowledge about internal processes and products as they do.
Language and tonality
We approach living language by deleting all phrases that inflate the letter. These are the empty words, sentences or paragraphs. Even in syllables, the swelling language comes along. The "goal" could be reduced to "goal" without loss of meaning. The “task” loses no significance when we speak of “task”. The language critic Ernst A. Rauter sums up why every deleted phrase is a benefit for our texts: "Anything superfluous lowers attention." Adjectives are often unnecessary. We only need them if they differ (the green color, not the blue) or if we want to express a feeling (comfortable). Our language becomes more alive when we replace colorless paper German with powerful verbs. We add color to the text,if we describe our performance as clearly as possible. For example, design a wall with birch trees, write “birch trees” and not “trees” in your offer. Then the white of the birch trunk shines in your customer's mind.
However, it is often an inappropriate basic tone that affects the mood of the recipient. In correspondence, it is more difficult than in a personal conversation to strike the right note and remain authentic. The florist's brand impact would have been good if he had refrained from teaching and positioned himself clearly. Instead of expressing his own opinion on dealing with goodwill claims, he entrenched himself behind paragraphs. This has prevented a positive brand impact.
An authentic letter conveys the company's values without using the marketing language. For example, if you would like to emphasize your reliability, you could write: "As usual, we'll be at your door on Monday at 8 a.m. …" It looks fresher and more natural than the phrase "You can always rely on us". The crux of the matter: Whoever thrashes marketing phrases like prayer wheels (we as a quality provider …) has missed the chance for a real dialogue.
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