How to Email Efficiently and Effectively

Email is a widely used tool for business communication. However, because of its overpopulated use, it has caused some tension, confusion, and other negative consequences for many professionals within their careers.

So how do you avoid sending unwanted or unwarranted emails? What is the most effective and efficient way possible to write a professional email that can get the results you want?

In this article, I will go over a variety of strategies that can help ensure that your email is clear, effective and successful. At the end of the day, an average office worker will receive around 15 to 50+ emails each day from administrators, coworkers, and clients. With this amount of volume, you want to make sure your email gets noticed and acted upon so that you can continue with the day-to-day operations at your workplace.

To begin, you want to make sure you are not over communicating by email. As effective as emails are, you want to make sure that the particular person or people receiving this email are not thinking to delete the conversation from their history. To avoid this, make sure you are being simple and precise. Be sure to highlight all of the information without going too in-depth with the content. The worst thing you can do is sending an overcomplicated email that is just rushed through by your receiver. At times, you may even want to consider calling that person to simply explain the overall situation than to send a 500+-worded email.

Now to of course help get your email noticed by your receiver, you want to make sure you are making good use of the ‘subject lines.’ Think of this as a head-title or text feature that can grab the attention of your audience. Overly worded subject lines or one to two worded titles can be overlooked or rejected as spam. Instead, choose a few well-integrated words that can tell the recipient what the email is about. If you know that this is something important, make sure you note it in your subject line along with a date for said-task to be done. For example, if you have an email that simply says ‘meeting’ or ‘assignment’ this can be clicked on very quickly and breezed through. Instead, you want to specify what the meeting is about like ‘Contract Meeting with John Smith, submit at the end of the day.’ Having that type of title provides a holistic understanding of what your recipient should accomplish with your message.

With the actual email itself, you want to make sure you are following the traditional business letter format. As much as you want to stay professional, do not over complicate your emails with jargon words. While it may highlight your professionalism, you want to make sure your message is clear and concise. Any type of confusion could compromise the overall success of the email. In addition, you also want to tailor your writing to the person you are communicating with. For example, if you are sending an email to a client or an administrator, make sure you are framing your message in a professional manner. In comparison, if your email is a nontraditional email to a coworker or friend, be sure to stay personal. The main idea here is to internalize the topic and theme you want to correspond with in order to get your point across.

Now, there will be times where emailing can be taxing and downright stressful. Whatever is the case, make sure you are polite. People often think that emails can be less formal than traditional letters. But in the world of business, you want to reflect your own professionalism, values, and attention to detail. Stay formal and professional. Even towards the ending; make sure you close your message with ‘regards’ or ‘all the best’ depending on the situation.

Last but not least, make sure you proofread the entire message before you hit ‘send.’ Taking an extra five-minutes to make sure your email does not have spelling or grammar mistakes can be a huge game changer for how your peers and clients look at you.

How you can Professionally Improve your Customer Service Skills

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Whether you are working for a private business or a nonprofit organization, effective communication will always play an integral role in your overall success at your company. At the end of the day, it is no secret that many hiring managers and recruiters are looking for qualified candidates that are already equipped with strong verbal and nonverbal communication skills. The reason why is that during the day-to-day operations within the office, you will be required to constantly communicate across a wide range of departments. While many companies will invest a large amount of their time, money, and resources into strong and viable communication, it is imperative that you reflect and internalize your own personal strengths and weaknesses with this overall skill. This type of reflective mentality will allow you to identify your own personal and professional flaws that you can alter to be a more confident and effective worker at your office. Remember, rock stars are not born; they are made. All you need to do is take that first step and the rest will come to you.

Now, for this particular editorial, I would like to speak more loudly on improving the customer service communication than internal communication within the office. If you would like to learn more about how to effectively communicate as manager or supervisor, you can visit my previous blog here: Scott Storick, Managerial Communication.

When we talk about client communication and customer services, we are initially talking about confidence and control. For this to be translated appropriately, you have to of course gauge the overall perspective of the client. Remember, good communication is about putting yourself in the position of your clients. Don’t be afraid to ask those overarching questions like: Why do they want to talk? What are they interested in talking about? Is this going to be a delightful experience or an absolute nightmare? By evaluating the overall situation in a holistic manner, you will be able to better prepare your side with the necessary information and tools your client or customer will want to hear. The worst thing you want to do to yourself is find yourself blindsided with various questions about numbers and progress and not having a strong and sufficient answer to back up your claims.

Now during the course of conference calls and emails, you want to make sure you are providing a sufficient amount of information to the table. Much of my advice to clients is based on being informed, and for good reason. All of us gravitate toward that one person who always seems to have the answer. It is that idea of being one step ahead of the game that gives the person you are talking to the necessary reassurance and trust that you are working with them than with their money. One of the things I like to do is of course provide some engagement task with my own personal clients. This type of information not only challenges your clients to think, but also have them explore new intellectual territory. By establishing that type of conversation, you will be able to ultimately build that much need trust for your future relationship with that person.

Now during this process, as much as you want to take control of the situation, you also want to be attentive and observant to their needs. For many of these calls, your client will contact you because of a misunderstanding within the contract or a miscommunication with the number of products delivered. My advice is simple; just listen. Humanizing many of your calls can help diminish any negative emotions coming into these customer service meetings. It will also give you a chance to control the situation even if you do not have the answer. For many of these cases, customers and clients just want to vent their frustration. Once that is all said and done, you are able to provide them with the necessary information to move forward into a better place.

The last piece of advice is more to do with you than anything. Be confident in your own personal abilities. At the end of the day, you are the expert on the call. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t be calling you for your help. By internalizing that one small piece of information, you will be able to remove those barriers and improve your abilities with customer communication. Just think of it like this. How would you react if you were in their situation? In the grand scheme of things, you would probably react the same. All you need to do is calmly and respectfully control the discussion so that you can move it into a more informative and effective call.

How to Effectively Communicate as a Manager or Supervisor

communicating-effectivelyNo matter what field you are in, communication is the key to success. Communication, by definition, is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another. Although this is a simple definition, people tend to have a hard time talking with one another. But why is that? Why is it so difficult to communicate for a specific task? There are many factors that play a role why certain things can be lost in translation. For the work place, your mentality and success rely purely on the idea of what your goal is for the overall conversation. To improve at your business, whether you are working with another employee or a client, you have to improve on your communication.

Within the business sector, communication is incredibly vital for day-to-day operations.  To truly improve the efficiency and productivity with your employees, managers and supervisors need to be clear and precise when talking, delegating or presenting ideas to others. Below, you will find helpful tips and various guidelines in how to improve your communication skills in the business world. Following these helpful tips will allow you to leverage productivity and delegate your standards for a strong, positive, and cohesive work environment.

Be Detailed and Comprehensive When Talking

When directing your instructions to your employees, make sure that you break down every piece of information that you are looking for him or her to accomplish and execute. Do not be afraid in going in detail. The biggest mistake employees make is that they are unclear at the expectation or standard you are looking for a specific task. Providing this information will clarify any misunderstanding and provide a greater concept for future task at hand. Two things you want to watch out for, 1. Going off on a tangent and 2. Understand the perspective of your employee. For the first, the biggest mistake managers and supervisors make is that they tend to get lost in their own thoughts. When you are talking to your employee, be sure to stick with a goal in mind. For the latter, understanding the perspective of your employee is seen as a sign of respect. If you know that this is a particular task that said employee has done before, make sure you are quick and to the point. If this is their first time, be sure to explain in detail. Having this awareness will save you future headaches and better prepare productivity in the long run.

Know Your Goals Before Jumping into a Conversation

Whenever you are talking, whether that is one-on-one or publicly at a meeting, you want to make sure that there is a point or overall goal for your speech. This is especially important if you are looking to improve the productivity between co-workers and clients. Remember, setting and reaching your goals is the theme of every manager’s day. Anything else can otherwise compromise the productivity of your goal. One thing supervisors often find themselves in is that they tend to ramble on various different tangents. To prevent you from doing this, know and internalize your goal and purpose for the conversation. If the one-on-one is meant to work on weaknesses, make sure you are well aware of the weaknesses. If the presentation and meeting is about the financial quarter, make sure you focus on the financial quarter.

Email Etiquettes

When communicating online, especially through email, try and leverage the subject line to the best of your abilities. As stated above, be direct and to the point. Often times, employees tend to delete any unwanted or unknown emails. By utilizing the subject line with a quick and direct sentence, primarily about the topic, employees will be more inclined and engaged in opening said mail.

Furthermore, in the actual email, make sure you are clear and precise about the information. Too long of an email or too wordy of an email can often confuse and complicate your overall intentions. The best way to prevent this from happening is to space things out in various paragraphs.

Be Available and Accessible for Any Questions

Throughout the workday, you will find a variety of problems or misunderstandings from your employees that can be easily resolved from a two-minute conversation. Being easily available to your employees will often times play a huge factor in whether or not you are able to reach your daily goals. One big problem you need to look out for is that sometimes people feel intimidated or apprehensive to reach out to management because they are uncomfortable asking for help. To prevent this from happening, try reach out to your employees and ask them if they need any assistants in any various projects or overall operations. Doing so will allow you to establish that positive work environment that can greatly pick up morale and boost productivity.