So many of us are now doing business online. Technology has become tightly integrated into our business activities and tools, with email now one of your primary relationship building tools.
The Human on the Other Side of the Screen
Showing courtesy, taking time to be thoughtful and ensuring clarity in your communications helps to build confidence in doing business with you. And contributes to relationship building. If you have an “all bout me” mentality in your use of e-mail, opportunity will elude you.
Invaluable are the e-mails that reflect concern for the other side. When you need assistance and someone is there to respond to your request with a prompt and thoughtful reply those are the individuals and companies you want to continue to do business with. These are the folks that we naturally want to nurture that relationship.
When I had a hard drive failure, it solidified some of my client relationships and damaged others. I had to send out a notice about the failure apologizing for any requests that may have been lost requesting they be sent again.
The responses I received were very telling. Many sent notes of sympathy and wished me luck. Unfortunately from others not a word about my situation other than “What about my stuff?!”.
If you’ve ever had hard drive problems you know what is is like. You are scrambling. Trying to backup and save all the data you can keeps you pretty occupied.
Certainly I didn’t plan on this happening nor would I wish it upon anyone. My intent was to keep folks posted so that they would not be concerned at my possible delay in response and to confirm that their requests would be processed.
The Worst Scenario
Then, when realizing I would have no choice but to reformat my hard drive and reinstall Windows, I sent out a courtesy notice explaining that over the next 48 hours I may be out of pocket but would get to requests promptly as soon as I was back up and running. I thanked everyone again for their patience and understanding.
Here again, kind-hearted clients sent notes of encouragement. Then, this e-mail came in:
thanks for sharing your joys.
Wow… That’s all the e-mail said. No greeting, no sign-off, just the above comment. What do you think that says about a person who replies like that? It was very disappointing — all I could do was shake my head.
You’ll run into all kinds of people online. Don’t underestimate for a moment how your e-mails and how you react to other’s situations, dilemmas or misfortune will reflect upon you. When all is said and done, I am blessed to have a group of great folks who I work with and will always go the extra mile for those who do the same for me.
Type unto others as you would have them type unto you.