How we handle e-mail 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 e-mail in particular, the biggest mistake made is simply not paying attention to what you are doing.
When it comes to e-mail, and informal approach, may be what causes some to not give their e-mail the attention that it deserves and requires to be used properly. While I can understand that point of view with personal e-mails between family and friends, there is nothing informal about business e-mail communications.
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 e-mail blasts that didn’t ask you to, or even forwarding to all your business contacts with their e-mail addresses exposed in the To: field rather than using the BCc: field as you should, is another business mistake I see casual business e-mailers make all the time.
The above are errors or mistakes in judgment. And these actions can cause disgruntled business contacts to point this out to you. But do we humbly apologize and learn from the experience? For some, no.
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 e-mail properly for commercial gain is taking the time to think about how your actions can affect the other side. As well as how you can garner the best perception possible. That is where my tag line comes from:
The Smarter You Are; The More You Have to Learn!
- If you send comments inadvertently to the wrong person that are improper, rude or plain old unacceptable, you need to apologize. And, not by e-mail. Have some intestinal fortitude and apologize in person or if that is not possible, pick up the telephone!
- 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 and apologize 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).
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 or do not understand the technology in which you are participating. 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!