Letters Promoting Good Will
One of the most important functions of the business letter is to create good will. At festival times and on such occasions as the award of an honor, a promotion, a wedding or a death, businessmen all over the world take the opportunity to send their good wishes, their congratulations or their sympathy. Such letters are appreciated’ by customers and are certainly good for business.
CREATING GOOD WILL
It is in the daily conduct of your correspondence that you will find the best opportunities for creating good will. Remember that your customers are interested in what you say and do only in so far as their interests are affected, as by price reductions and improvements in service. Write, then, with this in mind and look at things from their point of view. Take, for example, these sentences from the opening paragraphs of two letters:
- Dear Sir, We are sorry you misunderstood us;
- Dear Sir, We are sorry we did not make ourselves clear.
a). The first suggests that the customer himself is to blame and this is something he may resent.
b). The second suggests, the writer himself accepts the blame and if, to this, he adds a note of genuine regret, his attitude will be appreciated. It is this sort of attitude that helps to create good will and increase business.
BUSINESS GOOD-WILL LETTERS
The following are examples of ways in which good will can be built into the everyday business letter. The tone of the letters is courteous and friendly, and the added touches of personal interest are certain to make a good impression.
It is a sign of personal interest when the writer adds the salutation and complimentary closure in his own handwriting.
Sample of LETTERS PROMOTING GOOD WILL
A. Letter with a short personal greeting
Dear Mr Ellis
I am sorry not to have replied sooner to your letter of 25th October about the book English and Commercial Correspondence, but my export director is away and the Lebanon and Syria for the past two months I have had to deal with his work as well as my own. My correspondence has fallen behind as a result.
The question whether this book should be published in limp3 cloth or as a paperback is one I leave to my editorial director, who will no doubt be writing to you within the next day.
Kind regards and best wishes. I trust you are keeping well.
An even more personal note may be introduced in the form
of a more lengthy final paragraph.
B. Letter with an extended personal greeting
Dear Mr Jenner
I have now had an opportunity to read the book you sent me for review. It presents a concise and very clear account of the new import regulations, with good examples of how they are likely to be applied.
I certainly think you should include the book in your recommended list for students preparing for your examinations.
I remember that you will be spending your approaching summer holiday in the south of France and wish you good weather and a thoroughly enjoyable time.
To answer a letter on the day it is received creates a most favorable impression. If an early reply is not possible. write and acknowledge the letter at once. An acknowledgment in the form of a “Receiving attention” postcard is sometimes used, but a short, typed letter explaining the delay is much more satisfactory and creates a much better impression.