Communicating with your clients is of paramount concern whether you are established or just starting up your business engine. The immediate question I'd like to ask: do you really have the time to perfect every sentence while making sure that you don't sound either too stiff or too casual? Probably not!
Here are two tools that'll make your life easier and save copious amounts of time.
Grammarly: Cross-platform auto-correcting bliss.
Instant messaging has given us the opportunity to quickly get to the point, but the hasty use of abbreviations is still taking a toll. There used to be a time when you had to press a button 4 times to get to the letter “s” on your mobile keypad - so naturally, people became crafty. Although many years have since passed and technology now allows us to get to letters faster, these abbreviations are still highly unprofessional when communicating with your clients.
Sure, some clients are a bit more comfortable than others, but too many business owners have become lazy in their professional communication. Frequent spelling mistakes and the omission of basic punctuation seems to have slipped the grip of modern-day professionalism. Yes, you can wear a Hawaiian shirt and be a millionaire (so eccentric), but at the very least don't send me a 'no caps' message, without any punctuation and misspell the word "mronign". We're not asking anyone to be a dictator of grammar. We're simply suggesting that, despite the fact that you don't have to care about life to make millions, you're still not 9 years old anymore. Yes, grow up you rich human, you!
Who are we kidding though? You're not going to change right away! So in the meantime, you can use Grammarly - the automatic spelling and grammar checker that'll have your clients convinced that you actually value them enough to take the time to care about the words you respond with. (This long sentence has been brought to you by the association for attention span. A made-up initiative that serves the purpose of reminding you that you should never underestimate the attention span of your clients.) We also need to mention that this tool works across platforms. So whether you’re on Gmail, Outlook, Facebook, Twitter or writing a note on your desktop sticky-notes app (yes, people still use those), you’ll be doing so with pinpoint accuracy.
“I just wish there was an easier way for me to quickly send out emails!”
Canned Responses: The answer to the standard email blues.
"Hello, thank you for taking the time to contact us! We'll be in touch shortly and look forward to the successful endeavour that our partnership will bring in the days to come."
Automated responses, such as the example provided here, can be dangerous if not applicable to any type of query. We much prefer canned responses. Canned responses are template messages that have been set up in order to easily respond to prevailing client queries. These template messages can also be used towards sending out standard documentation such as updates or payment advice. All they require is your manual selection of the appropriate response, inserting a few personal sentences, clicking send and voila!
Setting up default template responses can at times feel cold and removed, but much of our work has been spawned out of the era of industrialisation towards the goal of automation. We live in a time where the decision to completely neglect automation has become the first among many signs that you'll be left behind, soon enough (sad-face). Don't fret if you feel at a loss however, we've got an easy entry into the world of automation for you - canned responses!
This might be old news to many, but to those who have never dabbled in the world of 'making-life-easier'; here are a few things to remember when typing up a template response:1. Never use template messages to entertain lazy habits. Clients can differentiate between a professional automated response and an inadequate response to their query.
Client: Hi Phillip, how have you been since you opened up shop in Seychelles? Phillip: Welcome to Lucky & Co. Have you seen our FAQ page? Please feel free to post any additional questions on our Facebook wall to see what our fans have to say. Client: Phillip?
2. Always leave space for personalisation in your canned response and write more than one sentence yourself. Your clients should be valuable to your company and, even though emails take up a lot of your time, they deserve your personal input.
3. Limit the number of canned responses in your mailing system. Keep your templates basic and ensure that they are reserved for the most generic communication.
4. Please, don't make them boring. This is an awesome opportunity to sport your copywriting craft and celebrate your brand. Be it professional or fresh - your brand should be carefully considered and consistent throughout your communication.
“I shall be released!”
There you go. Two tools that make life easier and treats your administrative duties with the detailed respect it deserves. Check out our other posts for more ideas on how to either build or maintain a better business. We know you don't have time to implement more systems, train your teams or to maximise the efficient use of your management apps - luckily we do! Contact us today for your quote and experience the joy of being released from administrative hell.
Kind Regards Johan Bronkhorst Co-Founder and Director at JA