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Chapter 9 Routine Letters and Goodwill Messages Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Copyright © 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9 Routine Letters and Goodwill Messages Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Copyright © 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9 Routine Letters and Goodwill Messages Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Copyright © 2006

2 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 2 Write Business Letters… When corresponding with an outsider When a permanent record is necessary When formality is important When a message is sensitive and requires an organized, well-considered presentation

3 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 3 Writing Process: Phase 1 Determine your purpose. Visualize the audience. Anticipate the reaction to your message.

4 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 4 Writing Process: Phase 2 Collect information. Organize into a list or an outline. Compose the first draft.

5 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 5 Writing Process: Phase 3 Revise for clarity and conciseness. Proofread for correctness and format. Evaluate by putting yourself in the reader’s shoes.

6 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 6 The Direct Pattern Frontload in the opening. Explain in the body. Be specific and courteous in the closing.

7 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 7 Frontloading in the Opening Begin with the main idea. Tell immediately why you are writing.

8 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 8 Explaining in the Body Present details that explain the request or response. Group similar ideas together. Consider using graphic highlighting techniques.

9 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 9 Being Specific and Courteous in the Closing For requests, specifically indicate the action you want taken and provide an end date (deadline), if appropriate. For other direct letters, provide a courteous concluding thought.

10 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 10 Set side margins for 1 to 1½ inches. Place the date 2 inches from the top or 1 blank line below the letterhead. Leave 2 to 7 blank lines between the date and inside address. Single-space within paragraphs and double-space between. Don’t justify right margin. Formatting Business Letters

11 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 11 Decide whether to use full block (all lines starting at the left margin) or modified block (date and closing lines starting at the center) letter style. Allow 3 blank lines between the complimentary close and the writer’s name. Formatting Business Letters

12 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 12 Formatting Business Letters WEB: 5090 Katella Avenue PHONE: (310) Anaheim, CA FAX: (310) May 18, 2006 Ms. LaTonja Williams Health Care Specialists 2608 Fairview Road Costa Mesa, CA Dear Ms. Williams: SUBJECT: FORMATTING BUSINESS LETTERS WEB: 5090 Katella Avenue PHONE: (310) Anaheim, CA FAX: (310) May 18, 2006 Ms. LaTonja Williams Health Care Specialists 2608 Fairview Road Costa Mesa, CA Dear Ms. Williams: SUBJECT: FORMATTING BUSINESS LETTERS Cypress Associates, Inc. Letterhead Dateline Inside Address Salutation Subject Line 2 inches from top of page 2 to 7 blank lines 1 blank line

13 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 13 At your request, this letter illustrates and explains business letter formatting in a nutshell. The most important points to remember are these: 1. Set margins between 1 and 1½ inches; most word processing programs automatically set margins at 1 inch. 2. Start the date 2 inches from the top edge of the paper or 1 blank line below the letterhead, whichever position is lower. 3. Allow about 5 lines after the date—more lines for shorter letters and fewer lines for longer ones. The two most popular letter styles are block and modified block. Block style, with all lines beginning at the left, causes At your request, this letter illustrates and explains business letter formatting in a nutshell. The most important points to remember are these: 1. Set margins between 1 and 1½ inches; most word processing programs automatically set margins at 1 inch. 2. Start the date 2 inches from the top edge of the paper or 1 blank line below the letterhead, whichever position is lower. 3. Allow about 5 lines after the date—more lines for shorter letters and fewer lines for longer ones. The two most popular letter styles are block and modified block. Block style, with all lines beginning at the left, causes Formatting Business Letters

14 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 14 the least trouble. In modified block style letters, the date and closing lines start at the center. For both styles the complimentary close is followed by 3 blank lines before the writer’s signature. Reference initials and enclosure notations, if used, appear in the lower left corner, as shown below. So that you can see additional styles, I’m sending our office style guide. I certainly hope this material is helpful to you and your assistants, Ms. Williams. Sincerely, Sharon Montoya SM:mef the least trouble. In modified block style letters, the date and closing lines start at the center. For both styles the complimentary close is followed by 3 blank lines before the writer’s signature. Reference initials and enclosure notations, if used, appear in the lower left corner, as shown below. So that you can see additional styles, I’m sending our office style guide. I certainly hope this material is helpful to you and your assistants, Ms. Williams. Sincerely, Sharon Montoya SM:mef Complimentary Closing Printed Name Reference Initials 3 blank lines 1 blank line Formatting Business Letters

15 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 15 Requesting Information and Action

16 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 16 Opening Ask a question or issue a polite command (Will you please answer the following questions... ?). Avoid long explanations that precede the main idea.

17 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 17 Body Explain your purpose and provide details. Express questions in parallel form. Number them if appropriate. To elicit the most information, use open-ended questions (What training programs do you recommend?) rather than yes-or-no questions (Are training programs available?). Suggest reader benefits, if possible.

18 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 18 Closing State specifically, but courteously, the action you wish to be taken. Set an end date, if one is significant, and explain why. Avoid cliché endings (Thank you for your cooperation). Show appreciation but use a fresh expression. Make it easy for the receiver to respond.

19 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 19 Routine Request “Before” Version

20 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 20 Dear Sir: Because we are one of the largest banking systems in the country, we receive hundreds of résumés from job candidates every day. We need help in sorting and ranking candidates by categories, such as job classification, education, work history, skill, and experience. Recently, I was reading WORKFORCE magazine, and the March issue has a story about your new software program called Resumix. It sounds fascinating and may be the answer to our problem. We would like more information about this program, which is supposed to read and sort résumés. Dear Sir: Because we are one of the largest banking systems in the country, we receive hundreds of résumés from job candidates every day. We need help in sorting and ranking candidates by categories, such as job classification, education, work history, skill, and experience. Recently, I was reading WORKFORCE magazine, and the March issue has a story about your new software program called Resumix. It sounds fascinating and may be the answer to our problem. We would like more information about this program, which is supposed to read and sort résumés. Routine Request: “Before” Version

21 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 21 In addition to learning if the program can sort candidates into the categories mentioned earlier, I’m wondering if the program can read all the different typefonts and formats that candidates use on their résumés. Another important consideration for us is training and troubleshooting. If we need help with the program, would you supply it? Thank you for your cooperation. Sincerely, In addition to learning if the program can sort candidates into the categories mentioned earlier, I’m wondering if the program can read all the different typefonts and formats that candidates use on their résumés. Another important consideration for us is training and troubleshooting. If we need help with the program, would you supply it? Thank you for your cooperation. Sincerely, Routine Request: “Before” Version

22 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 22 Routine Request “After” Version

23 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 23 Dear Product Manager: Please send me information about your Resumix software program, which I read about in the March issue of WORKFORCE magazine. We receive hundreds of résumés daily, and, frankly, we need assistance in processing them. Answers to the following questions would help us determine if Resumix could solve our problem. 1. In terms of fonts and formats, what kinds of résumés can your software read? 2. Can the program help us sort and rank candidates by Dear Product Manager: Please send me information about your Resumix software program, which I read about in the March issue of WORKFORCE magazine. We receive hundreds of résumés daily, and, frankly, we need assistance in processing them. Answers to the following questions would help us determine if Resumix could solve our problem. 1. In terms of fonts and formats, what kinds of résumés can your software read? 2. Can the program help us sort and rank candidates by Routine Request: “After” Version

24 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 24 categories such as job classification, education, work history, skill, and experience? 3. How does your company provide training and troubleshooting service for your software? I would appreciate your response by April 1 so that we can study the program before the rush of job applications in June. Sincerely, categories such as job classification, education, work history, skill, and experience? 3. How does your company provide training and troubleshooting service for your software? I would appreciate your response by April 1 so that we can study the program before the rush of job applications in June. Sincerely, Routine Request: “After” Version

25 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 25 Order Letters

26 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 26 Opening Use order language to identify the message (Please send by UPS the following items from your spring catalog). Name the information source (the May 2 advertisement in the Daily News).

27 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 27 Body List items vertically. Provide quantity, order number, complete description, unit price, and total price. Prevent mistakes by providing as much information as possible.

28 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 28 Closing Tell how you plan to pay for the merchandise. Tell when you would like to receive the goods, and supply any special instructions. Express appreciation.

29 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 29 Direct Claim Letters

30 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 30 Opening Describe what you want done immediately. When the remedy is obvious, state it briefly (Please send 12 copies of Model Memos to replace the copies of Business Proposals sent in error). When the remedy is less obvious, explain your goal (Please clarify your policy regarding reservations and late arrivals).

31 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 31 Body Clarify the problem and justify your request. Provide details objectively and concisely. Don’t ramble. Be organized and coherent. Avoid becoming angry or trying to fix blame. Include names of individuals and dates of previous actions.

32 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 32 Closing End courteously with a tone that promotes goodwill. Request specific action, including end date, if appropriate. Note: Act promptly in making claims, and keep a copy of your message.

33 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 33 Direct Reply Letters

34 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 34 Subject Line Consider including a subject line to identify the topic and any previous correspondence. Use abbreviated style, omitting articles (a, an, the).

35 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 35 Opening Deliver the information the reader wants. When announcing good news, do so promptly.

36 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 36 Body Explain the subject logically. Use lists, tables, headings, boldface, italics, or other graphics devices to improve readability. In letters to customers, promote your products and your organization.

37 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 37 Closing Offer a concluding thought, perhaps referring to the information or action requested. Avoid cliché endings (if you have any questions, do not hesitate to call). Be cordial.

38 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 38 Granting Claims

39 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 39 Opening When approving a customer’s claim, announce the good news immediately. Avoid sounding grudging or reluctant.

40 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 40 Body Strive to win back the customer’s confidence; consider explaining what went wrong (if you know). Concentrate on how diligently your organization works to avoid disappointing customers. Be careful about admitting responsibility; check with your boss or legal counsel first.

41 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 41 Body Avoid negative language (trouble, neglect, fault). Don’t blame customers – even if they are at fault. Don’t blame individuals or departments in your organization. Don’t make unrealistic promises.

42 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 42 Closing Show appreciation that the customer wrote. Extend thanks for past business. Refer to your desire to be of service.

43 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 43 Claim Response “Before” Version

44 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 44 Dear Mrs. Winston: Thank you for your letter of May 18 in which you complain that you are receiving two issues of Home Office each month. We have checked into the matter and ascertained that the misunderstanding resulted when you placed an order under the name of Mrs. Wendy Winston. You claim that this new subscription was made as part of your daughter’s magazine fund-raising program at her school. If this is true, please note that a computer cannot distinguish between your current subscription for Mrs. H.C. Winston and a new one for another name. Dear Mrs. Winston: Thank you for your letter of May 18 in which you complain that you are receiving two issues of Home Office each month. We have checked into the matter and ascertained that the misunderstanding resulted when you placed an order under the name of Mrs. Wendy Winston. You claim that this new subscription was made as part of your daughter’s magazine fund-raising program at her school. If this is true, please note that a computer cannot distinguish between your current subscription for Mrs. H.C. Winston and a new one for another name. Claim Response: “Before” Version

45 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 45 But we think we’ve straightened the problem out. We’re extending your subscription for 14 months. That’s a bonus of two issues to make up for the double ones you’ve received. However, we can’t prevent you from receiving one or two more double issues. Sincerely, But we think we’ve straightened the problem out. We’re extending your subscription for 14 months. That’s a bonus of two issues to make up for the double ones you’ve received. However, we can’t prevent you from receiving one or two more double issues. Sincerely, Claim Response: “Before” Version

46 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 46 Claim Response “After” Version

47 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 47 Dear Mrs. Winston: You’re right, Mrs. Winston. Instead of starting a new subscription, we should have extended your current subscription to Home Office. Beginning in January, you will receive issues for 14 additional months–a bonus of two free months. You may receive one or two more double issues, but you’re not being charged for them. Please share them with your friends or neighbors. Although you ordered 12 months of Home Office, we’re giving you 14 months–just to let you know how important your satisfaction is to us. Cordially, Dear Mrs. Winston: You’re right, Mrs. Winston. Instead of starting a new subscription, we should have extended your current subscription to Home Office. Beginning in January, you will receive issues for 14 additional months–a bonus of two free months. You may receive one or two more double issues, but you’re not being charged for them. Please share them with your friends or neighbors. Although you ordered 12 months of Home Office, we’re giving you 14 months–just to let you know how important your satisfaction is to us. Cordially, Claim Response: “After” Version

48 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 48 Letters of Recommendation

49 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 49 Opening Name the candidate and position sought. State that your remarks are confidential. Describe your relationship with the candidate.

50 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 50 Body Describe the applicant’s performance and potential. Strive to include statements about communication skills, organizational skills, people skills, ability to work with a team, etc. Include definite, task-related descriptions (She completed two 50- page proposals instead of She works hard).

51 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 51 Body Include negative statements only if they are objective and supported by facts.

52 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 52 Conclusion If supportive, summarize candidate’s best points. Offer ranking of candidate (Of all the accountants I have supervised, she ranks in the top 10 percent). Offer to supply additional information if needed.

53 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 53 The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages

54 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 54 The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages In expressing thanks, recognition, or sympathy: Be selfless. Emphasize the receiver, not the sender. Be specific. Focus on specifics rather than generalities. Be sincere. Show your honest feelings by using unpretentious language.

55 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 55 The Five Ss of Goodwill Messages Be spontaneous. Make the message sound natural, fresh, and direct. Avoid canned phrases. Keep the message short. Although goodwill messages may be as long as needed, they generally are fairly short.

56 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 56 Answering Congratulatory Messages In answering congratulatory messages: Send a brief note expressing your appreciation. Tell how good the message made you feel. Accept praise gracefully. Don’t make belittling statements (I’m not really all that good!).

57 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e Ch. 9, Slide 57 End


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