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Employer Advice – Could an Email Blunder kill your reputation?

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Imagine this. Your employee accidentally forwards a top-secret internal email to your customer. And its contents? A plan to hike the prices of your products or services. Now the evidence is whizzing its way to your customer’s mailbox. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it. You go into damage control mode. You call and apologize. And hope your offer of a price freeze will be enough to satisfy your customer. They agree to delete your email and to keep your plans quiet. You had a lucky escape. It’s an expensive mistake that you can’t let happen again. Here’s how to stop your staff sending careless emails that could harm your business.

Jokes don’t work over email

It’s easy to take a joke the wrong way in person, and it’s even easier to offend someone via email. So encourage your staff to be conversational without overstepping into casual. You want your customers to keep coming back, after all.

Spelling and grammar matter

It turns out your high school English teacher was right. You do need to know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. Well, you do if you want your customers to know you’re a team of professionals. Teach staff to keep it simple and write emails in plain English. There’s no need to use ten words if five can get the point across quicker. Make sure staff use spellcheck and give their grammar the once-over, too.

Don’t respond too fast or too slowly

A calm response is better than a quick one. Even if your employee reads an email from a customer complaining about them. Remind staff that a quick-fire response could lead to a negative online review, or worse, you could lose a customer for good. You shouldn’t leave a customer waiting for a reply, either. If staff need more time to reply, tell them to send the customer a holding email so they know when they’ll get an answer. For more advice on managing work emails read our previous article on making calls and emails after work hours. If you still have questions about managing your employees, our HR experts at Peninsula can offer helpful guidance and support. Contact us through our 24/7 employer advice line to get answers to your questions.