“BTW, I will be sending you the new files B/C you should really review before it goes out to vendor. LMK if you have any questions. – Jon”
For a technology obsessed society who has managed to make even walking a hazard by constantly burying their face in a phone, we sure are quick to have a conversation over text. We have lost all formalities by abbreviating every possible word and saying. And is it just me, or has anyone else noticed these tiny nuances now carrying over into our professional email exchanges?
The importance of comprehensive communication has been completely devalued by the accessibility of texting for quick one-off conversations. Don’t get me wrong: I can appreciate the ability to have brief moments for check-in’s with friends and family that does not require scheduling a time to chat and then pacing around my front yard so my children are not woken by my loud talking. But, when I see it carry over into email in the work place is where I start to twitch a bit.
At the end of the day, your clients are still your clients and should be treated as such – regardless of how “close” you feel your relationship may be. The key is to find the perfect balance of being personable, but also respectful of their time. We have all misinterpreted a text or email once before, so it is always important to take your tone into consideration. This is specially true when requesting something actionable from them.
My quick tips:
– Simple gestures like greeting them at the first email of the day, vs. diving in head first (i.e. Good Morning Sue, When you have a moment, please send ….) This type of formality can peel off as the day goes on and you continue to communicate.
– Momma always taught me to say please and thank you – that should not be lost on anyone and will help with tone, especially when requesting something of the client.
– For larger topics, pick up the phone. First dial 1 and then the number – new concept, I know!
– IF you need to write a long winded email, be sure to start with the goal or action you want from the client first before diving in. That way if they glaze over the rest, they know what you ultimately need from them.
– Always read it back to yourself at least twice before sending. You’ll be amazed at the simple typos now with auto correct. Dependent on the level of importance, I will read back out loud to myself to be sure tone is coming across properly; especially if the topic is sensitive.
While these ideas may seem basic, I find it surprising how many emails I see a week that if only handled with a little more care, could have had better responses/reactions. I am certainly not saying anyone needs to baby their client or hold their hand; we are all adults here. But it’s the little things that most often go a long way. And communication, in all forms, is the key to a great (client) relationship.
And if you do not agree with this, well then NVM. I’ll be SMH when I receive an email from you next and I will be sure to respond with a simple ROFL.