Have you ever received a second-rate or even rude email? Sometimes in business receiving an email that is less than exciting from a customer/client, coworker or partner can be par for the course. Whether it's rude or just an email that doesn't make any sense, rest assured it's bound to happen.
We can't stop these emails from coming but we can stop ourselves from responding in a way that breaks down the communication and or the relationship even further. We're human, we have emotions, and sometimes want to fly off the handle... BREATHE. Save yourself some trouble and respond professionally.
Take these steps before answering these type of emails:
1. AGAIN…... BREATHE!
Stop and think this through. Is this worth the energy? How will it affect your professional image/relationship with the sender? Does it need to be answered right away? Take your time with this.
2.REREAD AND ENSURE YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT WHAT YOU INTERPRETED
Is the email intended as a joke or sarcasm that the sender didn't realize was offensive? Is it possible that you and the sender have cultural differences and styles of speaking that would cause you to read the email through your lens rather than the lens of the sender? Does the situation include others which could be causing a tone to be present in the email that is not actually intended for you? Define the sender's intent.
3.IGNORE THE EMAIL
Use the energy you would put into responding back to the sender in a negative way instead into taking what the sender is saying and ensuring the information you are providing to potential customers, colleagues or partners is as good as it possibly could be. It may be an angry customer who didn't read your Terms of Service or it may be that your Terms of Service are out of date, confusing, contradictory or hard to find. Take this opportunity as an opportunity to better your product and presentation to help guard against receiving these types of emails and to add to your FAQs.
EXAMPLES OF HOW TO RESPOND PROFESSIONALLY TO AN OFF COLOR EMAIL
EXAMPLE 1- THE SARCASTIC SENDER
Hi John, I hope you have some spare time to get those brochures done.
Response: Hi Barb. I hope you’re having a great day. I just received the brochures and will get those to you by tomorrow. Please let me know if you need them sooner and I will put a rush on them.
EXAMPLE 2- THE CONFUSING EMAIL
Hi Alex, I need this form created. I'd like to send it out at the beginning of Oct. Here is what I need it to say.
*** draft the form and send the completed task to the client ***
Response from client after receiving the completed task:
Alex, This is not what I wanted. I need to send it out tonight.
Hi Barb. My apologies for the misunderstanding. If you could be a little more specific on the direction you want to go in the form, I will fix it right away and send it back to you for approval. It was my understanding that you wanted it sent out at the beginning of October, but if you want it to go out tonight, we will get it out tonight.
EXAMPLE 3- THE NEEDY SENDER
Hi Sarah, Are you available at this time?
Text in the next hour: I need this done.
Another email: Are you available now?
Three phone calls later...
Hi Karla. My apologies for not getting this sooner as I was in meetings all morning. I am available if you still would like to have a call?
● Keep your emails short and straight to the point.
● Always include a greeting and closing.
● Check your grammar and spelling.
● Make sure your response is productive.
In short, if email is one task you don't “need” to do.
Don’t burn your bridges, OUTSOURCE!
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