Scenario: You are a salesperson, customer service agent, or small business owner. You have received an email from a customer who is very unhappy with a recent interaction with someone from your organization and is threatening to take their business to your competitor.
First, share a few details with your peers about what occurred. Then, draft an email response that will validate their concern, maintain company integrity, and retain their business.
Use the tips below to craft an effective response:
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- Before you respond, put yourself in the customer’s place to fully understand their complaint or concern
- Use a clear, descriptive Subject line
- Use a Salutation suitable for business communication
- Say “Thank you” for their feedback at the start of the email
- Apologize (even if you don’t agree or if it was the customer’s fault)
- Explain what happened truthfully and politely
- Tell the customer what you will do to help
- Keep your message succinct, brief, and on topic
- Use a Closing suitable for business communication
Finally, keep in mind that this task involves important leadership values that constitute Executive Presence: respect for others, the ability to diffuse anger and focus on positive outcomes, showing empathy for another, and the willingness to be candid about an error or poor performance. These values lead to the ability to build trust — the foundation of leadership.
Share with us your strategy for this email and explain how your email will retain them as a customer, applying course materials and/or other resources to further the discussion.
In your responses to peers, discuss what works well in their email message and why, applying course materials and/or other resources to further the discussion. Suggest changes that will make their response more effective as a business communication.