People just don’t take enough time when they reply to e-mail. I can’t tell you how often I receive e-mails that are full of errors: typos, spelling mistakes, poor grammar. What’s more, if I can spot the spelling mistakes, they must be really bad (I am a terrible speller!) In personal e-mails, where replies may be quickly dashed off, we can perhaps be forgiving. But for business-to-business communications, it is just unacceptable. An e-mail full of errors reflects badly on you and your company, and gives the impression that you are either careless or incompetent.
It is not uncommon for the reply to not fully or directly answer the questions in my original e-mail. I get the feeling that the respondent didn’t fully read my message, or just didn’t care to take the time to write a thoughtful reply. If you do this to a customer, it is deadly!
So the next time you hit the reply button, read the original message over carefully. Stop and think about your reply. Once you have composed it, read it over carefully. Make sure you have completely responded to any questions posed in the original. Run a spell check (or better, turn on automatic spell checking in your e-mail program to make sure that you don’t forget). If it is an important e-mail, have someone else in your office read it over before you hit send.
Believe me, the few extra minutes taken to thoughtfully respond, and to craft a grammatically correct error free message will pay off.
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