Is Your Email Creating a Positively Outrageous Experience?
“I want to do a business with a company that treats emailing me as a privilege,
not a transaction.”
~ Andrea Mignolo
The one complaint-the one problem-that nearly every customer puts at (or close to) the top of their list of challenges is communication. George Bernard Shaw, the famous Irish playwright, set us straight on this when he said: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
What we intend to communicate is not always received in the same way as the broadcast. Michael and I see that all the time as speakers. We can say the same sentence, and one person interprets one way and someone else in a completely different way.
But it is even more critical in the written word – especially in a rapidly read email.
When we vocally communicate, we have so much more available emotionally and experientially. In addition to our words, we have the inflection of our voice, pitch, and emphasis on a phrase. When it’s a video call or in-person, the recipient sees our facial and body expressions. The emotional elements and intent are easier to perceive.
These factors increase the probability that the intent of your communication is received more accurately.
In the written word, such as your email, those emotional elements are usually missing, changing the experience altogether! Without emotional aspects, pathos, your recipient is often filling in your intent. It passes through their filter of how they feel that day; how they think about the situation or your topic; what they had for lunch; what’s going on in the world today!
And potentially, how they feel about you! The challenge you face in an email is that they will usually fill in your intent – with an emotion that may not be positive or accurate.
I’m reasonably sure we all have a story of an email we send somebody, and it escalates way out of proportion because of the misperceived intent of your communication.
Here are three tips for you to elevate Positively Outrageous Service in your emails:
- Connect with them personally – whoever you’re communicating with is not a robot but a real person, with real emotions, who may be facing – you don’t know what. The children are sick. Her husband got laid off. Their vacation got canceled.
- Use their name, preferably their first name. Our names are a treasure given to us at birth.
- Make a personal reference in the first sentence: Mary, how was your vacation? Are the kids better? We’re confident you would do that if you were face-to-face in the same room with them, wouldn’t you?
- Write your email. Take a breath. And read your email out loud.
- You will be amazed how it sounds when you read it out loud to yourself – Numerous times I catch grammatical errors or a word that doesn’t convey the right emotion, and therefore intent gets easily derailed.
- You may be missing emotional words. Remember, Aristotle portrayed persuasion on three pillars. Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.
- #1 is Ethos – the character and ethics of the person delivering the message – that’s you.
- #2: Pathos – the emotional appeal that sways the recipient.
- #3 is Logos – the logical component of your message. We tend to put them in reverse order. But as humans, we decide with our heart and back it up with reason!
- Close with something powerful and memorable – a commitment to follow up by a specific time. Add something unexpected, a random quote that resonates with the recipient. Perhaps something fun. A tech company during COVID inserted an amusing video each week to bring a little joy and happiness. Go beyond the expectation. One of our B2B clients, Siemens, had a team member add a powerful statement at the end of her emails: “If there’s anything else I can do for you, please let me know.” She’s expressing love and care, loving on others internally and externally. Remember, love is a powerful emotion — it creates an experience – that is Positively Outrageous Service.
So that’s your challenge this week to POS your emails: Personalize it. Proof it. Power it up with POS!
Next episode, we’ll give you some more tips to POS your emails!
We look forward to you becoming Positively Outrageous in your emails!