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Optimize Your Business Writing Scenario: You are a salesperson, customer service agent, or small business owner.

Optimize Your Business Writing


Scenario: You are a salesperson, customer service agent, or small business owner. You have received an email from a customer who is very unhappy with a recent interaction with someone from your organization and is threatening to take their business to your competitor.

Draft an email response that will validate their concern, maintain company integrity, and retain their business.


Use the tips below to craft an effective response:

  1. Before you respond, put yourself in the customer's place to fully understand their complaint or concern
  2. Use a clear, descriptive Subject line
  3. Use a Salutation suitable for business communication
  4. Say "Thank you" for their feedback at the start of the email
  5. Apologize (even if you don't agree or if it was the customer's fault)
  6. Explain what happened truthfully and politely
  7. Tell the customer what you will do to help
  8. Keep your message succinct, brief, and on topic
  9. Use a Closing suitable for business communication


Finally, keep in mind that this task involves important leadership values that constitute Executive Presence: respect for others, the ability to diffuse anger and focus on positive outcomes, showing empathy for another, and the willingness to be candid about an error or poor performance. These values lead to the ability to build trust -- the foundation of leadership.

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