In today’s overcrowded, ultra-competitive marketplace, offering the best product or service at a low price simply isn’t enough. You also need to communicate with your customers exceedingly well.
Whether you’re generating leads, nurturing them, acquiring new customers, engaging them, or trying to create outstanding experiences that bring in repeat business . . . effective customer communication is key to the success of your small business.
A lion’s share of customer-facing communication happens over email. It’s low-cost and high ROI. When done right, email increases engagement and conversions. It helps build strong customer relationships. There’s just one little problem: you’re human and make mistakes. But there’s no room for error in customer-facing communication.
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
This is a great aphorism from the 16th century (thanks, Alexander Pope), but six centuries later? Customers aren’t too forgiving nowadays. Do you think they’d engage with an email that says, “Your invited. Instagram Marketng 101”? Don’t get me wrong, I would. Think of all the gems you might find in a message that starts with “Your invited.” But your customers? Maybe (or definitely) not.
Seriously, though, it would be funny if such mistakes in customer-facing communication were rare. They aren’t. Typos, bad grammar, misdirected emails, inaccurate information, missing attachments . . . we all make these mistakes in communication at some point or another but repeat them too often and it affects how customers perceive your brand. It impacts your business. Period.
Fortunately, there are small checks and balances you can implement to minimize human error when sending business emails. Here are four simple and effective tips that will help you avoid common mistakes in customer communications.
Have you ever hit “send” accidentally halfway through composing an email? It happens, but it’s also an easily avoidable mistake.
Always fill in your recipient’s email address at the end—after you’ve composed and proofread your message. If you’re personalizing messages, this is also a good time to make sure you are addressing the right person.
No matter how much of a hurry you are in, never send an email without checking for spelling and grammar errors. Not doing so makes you look sloppy and unprofessional. Worse, your email may get marked as spam, which affects your domain reputation, and all your future communications will never see the light of the day.
Using the built-in spelling and grammar check in your email app is a no-brainer, but you should also spend a minute to proofread every message you send, even the short ones. Nothing beats human eyes (and brains) when it comes to writing accuracy. Also, get Grammarly’s free tool if you haven’t already. It will do the heavy lifting for you. It automatically highlights errors in your email so you can fix them in a few clicks. You’re welcome.
The only thing worse than a message with typos and bad grammar is one with inaccurate or irrelevant information that impacts the credibility of your business. The best way to avoid this mistake is to always do a quick sanity check on your message before hitting “send.”
Sending a meeting request? Get the date and time right. Linking to a web page or a data source? Double-check your links. Sending out a report? Don’t forget to attach it. Citing stats to bolster a project proposal? Make sure they’re accurate and precise. Shooting out a client invoice? Review your billing details twice. Newsletter to nurture leads? Share only relevant and useful content. Responding to a support request? Be sure to include the best time and channel to reach you.
As they say, the devil is in the details, so look out for the little misses. This is especially important when sending automated mailers to a list of customers. Check every detail before you hit “send.”
Messages are sent to the wrong recipient(s) all the time. With most small business owners and professionals using multiple email accounts, sometimes we might even end up sending the right message from the wrong mailbox. It’s not a big deal until we mix up invoices, inadvertently share confidential business information, or send a project proposal from email@example.com (they’ll never forget this).
The only way to avoid these mishaps? Get your FROM and TO right on every outgoing message. Take a few seconds to make sure the TO line includes all intended recipients. Not a saved contact? Double-check their email address for typos. While you’re at it, make sure you’re copying only folks who need to know. Finally, before you hit “send,” check your FROM line to make sure it’s the right business email account.
So that’s it? Does this mean no more mistakes in customer-facing communications? Hardly so.
Proofreading every email, running sanity checks, adding recipients at the end, and dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s can help you avoid common pitfalls in customer communications. It can help you make the right impression and communicate effectively, but even the best of us can have butterfingers. That means there’s always going to be a day when you hit “send” on an email before you mean to. If you’re already a Titan customer, that’s when you hit undo send.
If you aren’t a Titan customer? Well, not to be salesy or anything, but come and check us out!