By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training

Our surveys are taken at my speaking engagements. I ask the audience what businesses and/or customers want to know. A while back we asked an audience of 350+ what bugged folks about emails they received. Without hesitation, the top 3 were:

* Poor spelling and grammar – Your, you’re; there, their, they’re; here, hear; to, too, two and the list goes on.

* Email that are too long; too wordy.

* Wrong subject lines that don’t match the body copy.

There were others that were frustrating, but these rose to the top. They are not bad; simply useless and unnecessary (i.e., not needed and ineffective). When these phrases are eliminated, emails usually read better; sound stronger.

Here we go:

* “Just a note to let you know…”or “Just wanted to say…” or “I’m just checking back to see where we are on…..”

JUST is a weak, wimpy word. Not necessary. In fact, it is lame and useless. Eliminate the word JUST in your sentences. Read those sentences without the word “just” and see how much stronger they become.

* “As I (or you) mentioned on the phone”or “Pursuant to our call (conversation, whatever).”

Double work, not needed, not necessary. Confirm the statement instead, with: “Glad you liked the proposal” or “Enjoyed our call” or “Here’s a handy recap of our call” or “Good call and excited we can make ‘X’ happen” or “By now you’ve received our proposal.” Email is a time to use your personality. Formal sayings, unless you’re a lawyer (sorry), aren’t normally needed.

* “Please let me know if you have any questions.”

You gotta be kidding me? Hard to believe folks still use this, but they do. Most folks will let you know if they have questions. This is not needed. “Trust me to follow up” is much better.

* “If there’s anything else I can do, please let me know.”

Seriously? That’s a real ‘get rid’ of line. It’s normally OUR responsibility to follow up. So, again, a better phrase would be: “Trust me to follow up to handle your questions.”

* Long rambling emails. Not a phrase, but an annoyance.

Salespeople tend to want to give the client all the information. But today we get emails on our iPhone, iPad, and some of us on our watches, and who knows where else. Not too much room for a long emails with rambling sentences.

* Keep your subject line accurate, relevant and interesting.

Topics change within the email? Keep up with the subject line. Make your emails COUNT. Change the body content? Change the subject line.

Remember, less is more. Long, rambling, wordy emails aren’t normally necessary. And watch your spelling and grammar. Use your personality. Personalize the email. Keep it interesting.


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Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers.

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