Excerpt from Barbara’s book: The Creative Communicator-399 Ways to Make Your Business Communications Meaningful & Inspiring; (McGraw-Hill)
Electronic mail seems to be the “technology of the day” as evidenced by the many creative ideas in this section. However, because it is such advanced technology, it becomes extremely important to add the Human touch to our messages in any way we can. It only takes awareness and sometimes a little extra time.
I recently was doing a pilot session of our foundational customer service training program with a group of senior level executives, and in that program we talk a lot about the human level and the importance of empathy and other listening skills with your customers, both internal and external. At lunch on the second day, many of them went back to their offices to answer messages and calls. When one of them returned, he was grinning like a little kid, and he told this story:
” When I began to answer my E-mail message, I, as usual, got right to the point of the business. Then, all of a sudden, everything you had been saying clicked, and I went back and rewrote my messages, always responding to the human needs of the internal customer first. Boy, did it feel good!”
He then proceeded to share a couple of his “before” and “after” answers. I could not have set up a more dramatic learning experience for that whole group!
Some suggestions for ways to “humanize” your E-mail system as well as to communicate a commitment to organizational beliefs and values are: If your organization has gone through any Service Quality training, have a “Skill du jour” (or week or month) that comes up on their screens when they turn on their computer. This serves as a constant reminder of what the organization is committed to. Another idea is to have a “Quote of the day” (or week or month) which comes up on their screens. These can be chosen for their relevance to company values. Don’t forget to use quotations or thoughts from your senior managers as well as from employees. This becomes a wonderful vehicle for frustrated writers to have their thoughts in print–as long as they’re short! You might also use the first access on the screens for reminders about service trainings or other events important to the organization. Remember, everyone must turn on their machines in order to get their mail, so for a few seconds, you have a captive audience, and if you are creative, people get “hooked” on those daily messages. In fact, they are disappointed when they are not there.
Barbara Glanz Biography
A member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and one of fewer than 700 Certified Speaking Professionals worldwide, Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve morale, retention and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the first speaker on record to have spoken on all 7 continents and in all 50 states. Known as "the business speaker who speaks to your heart as well as to your head," Barbara is the author of twelve books including The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®, CARE Packages for the Workplace, and 180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm™. Voted "best keynote presenter you have heard or used" by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Barbara uses her Master’s degree in Adult Learning to design programs that cause behavior change. She lives and breathes her personal motto: “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™” and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and www.barbaraglanz.com.