How we handle email errors, whether they be in judgment or oversights once we discover they have been made, is what separates the professionals from the rest. With your business email in particular, the biggest mistake made is simply not paying attention to what you are doing.
When it comes to business email, an informal approach may be what causes some to not give their email the attention that it deserves and requires to be used properly. While I can understand that point of view with personal emails between family and friends, there is nothing informal about business email communications.
Business is Not Informal
Casual actions such as hitting Reply to All to CYA, embarrass others or play politics is certainly not prudent. To add business contacts to your email blasts that didn’t ask you to, or even forwarding to all your business contacts with their email addresses exposed in the To: field (rather than using the BCc: field as you should), is another business mistake I see casual business emailers make all the time.
The above are errors or mistakes in judgment. Primarily because we are being too informal. And these actions can cause disgruntled business contacts. Do we humbly apologize and learn from the experience?
For some, no.
It’s my right to…
All too often Senders think they have a right to do what they want. You know — the free speech thing. Online there are no rules, yada, yada, yada — wrong!
Part of using technology and email properly for commercial gain is taking the time to think about how your actions can impact the other side. As well as how you can garner the best perception possible.
- If you send comments inadvertently to the wrong person that are overly informal or improper, you need to apologize. And, not by email. Have some intestinal fortitude and apologize in person or if that is not possible, pick up our phone.
- If a contact asks to be removed from your list that they didn’t ask to be on in the first place, promptly, kindly and professionally honor their request. Include an apology for any inconvenience. Only this approach may salvage the relationship.
- When sending to everyone you know in the To: field thereby exposing your contacts to strangers; all you can do is grovel. There is no excuse for this breach of privacy and you need to let your contacts know you have now seen the light and will never do such a thing again.
Don’t be like so many and point fingers or create excuses when we mess up. It is just that attitude that cause many to fail (at their job, in their business, even in their personal life).
Stand Tall and Accountable
Instead stand out from the crowd and show some humility by reflecting personal accountability for your actions. If you make a mistake, don’t compound the issue by offering up excuses as to why you weren’t paying attention. That’s a red flag that other issues in your business are probably also not being minded to.
Learning from the experience and offering a prompt apology is a true sign character. And character is one of the main reasons others will choose to do business with you!