Verbal communication is very important within an office setting, but written communication is just as important.
When you hear the word ‘communication’ you might think that it’s all about words that come out of your mouth, but the words that flow from your brain and onto a piece of paper, or onto the screen ready to be sent as an email, have to be just as carefully formed and delivered.
Whilst you’re sitting at your office desks generating emails and letters to send out to clients and customers, you need to be extremely careful that whatever you send out ticks a few boxes. Let’s check out five boxes you certainly need to tick when it comes to high quality written communication.
- Accuracy is spot on - You need to ensure that the letter, email or whatever form of written communication is 100% accurate. If you give any facts, opinions, or you state anything it has to be well researched and true. If you give false information you’re running the risk of complications later down the line and this could land your business in hot water, depending upon the severity of the inaccuracy.
- Spelling, grammar and punctuation - There is nothing more annoying than receiving a letter or an email and then noticing several spelling mistakes jumping out at you. Equally, as you’re reading it, it just doesn’t flow and you notice that the grammar and punctuation makes it hard to understand clearly. Not only does all of this make you look extremely unprofessional, it can also reflect back on the company and the goods and services you provide. Proofread everything before sending, just to be sure, and use an online checker if you need to. is correct
- The point is conveyed clearly - Before you begin writing, you need to identify the main point of the communication and ensure that you convey it clearly and concisely. Don’t flower up your written communication to the point where the reader can’t quite figure out what the entire point was, and don’t add extra word count just to bulk things out either. Keep it as short as it needs to be and ensure that there is no ambiguity to the point you’re trying to communicate.
- The tone is professional and not patronising - Check the tone of the writing voice isn’t sarcastic or patronising and that it comes over as professional yet friendly. Avoid using any type of slang language (that goes without saying) and make sure that it’s completely understandable, without unnecessarily formal or in-depth terms that the reader may not understand. Also, avoid acronyms as these can be confusing for the reader and it looks lazy that you didn’t write it out in full.
- The format is professional and correct - Whilst we don’t tend to send letters as much as we used to, the format of any written communication you send out, be it a letter, email or something else, needs to be correct and appropriate. Anything you send is a reflection on the business you’re working for so you need to ensure that formats reflect your business and the message you want to send out.
Communication isn’t just about discussions you have around the modern boardroom tables or the instructions you give to people from your reception desk as they walk into the building, it’s about any type of contact you have with your customers, even if that is via email or a letter. Written communication comes with a very high risk attached to it, because the meaning you intend to give may be taken completely differently by the reader. For that reason, having strict guidelines in terms of business format is vital, and being careful about the tone of voice too.
Don’t forget the basics either - spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes are a huge no-no, and it only takes a minute or so to double-check something before sending it out.