April 24, 2015

Saying Thank You in Business E-mails

How do I say “thank you”?/What other words or phrases can I use to say “thank you”?  
How often should I say “thank you”?  
For what reasons do I say “thank you”?  

While foreigners in the US or working remotely with Americans know saying, "Thank you" is important to Americans, many are confused how to say thank you. Americans appreciate a “thanks”, and are not shy about saying it. While saying “thanks” directly is not always an “Indian” behavior and not seen as rude if it is missing, to an American a lack of “please” and “thank you” is considered rude, inconsiderate, not good customer service, and will not build good relationships. Below, I share a few tips on saying thank you in your written and verbal communication with Americans you can learn to apply today!

There are not many direct synonyms for “thank you”. Depending on the context, the following kinds of ‘thank you’ responses can be used:
  • “The details provided above are very helpful. Thank you.”
  • “I appreciate the time you have put into detailing these requirements. Thank you.”
  • “The outcomes of the app testing done by your team helps us to understand better what to do next to give you the best results. It’s much appreciated.”
  • Sounds good. We will share the outcomes of the test application within three business days.”
  • “The information provided will help us to design the best graphics for your website. We will create and send images for your final review within a week.”
  • Thank you. That’s a really [good question/insight/feedback]. I think [the answer to/this information] this will help us to decide in which direct to take this project.”
In the above responses, it is noted that the words “thank you” or “I appreciate” is not used in every sentence. The key is to be specific about what they have provided to you and how it will result in the outcome they are looking for. This is a good way to say “thank you” without saying thank you. This kind of “thanks message” is dependent on the e-mail thread you are replying to. Also take note that in the above examples, where “thank you” is in red font, it’s not necessary to say “thank you,” as the message ahead of this is thanks enough. An added thanks here is as we say in the US, is “icing on the cake.”

The use of the term “sounds good” summarizes that you have read and appreciated what they have communicated with you. It can be followed up with how you plan on following up on the information they have given you.

How often should I say “thank you”?
I think saying “thank you” more than once or twice in the same message may be an overkill depending on what is being communicated. If you want to say “thank you” in response to two or more things, summarize the things together, then say “thank you” or vise versa.

Examples:

  • Now we have a clear understanding of your use of this software as well as the problems the customer has faced with it. Based on this feedback, we can make the necessary adjustments to make yours and your customer’s experience better. Thank you.
  • Thank you for sharing with me about some of the problems the clients, customers and employees face with the website. Now, we know how to pinpoint the problem and have the site running flawlessly. We shall get back to you within 10 business days with all of the solutions you require.
  • Now that we know what needs to be tweaked to make this software more user friendly, we will work on the updates. It will take us 6-10 business days. We will keep you in the loop regarding updates, testing and if we need additional information from your team. Thank you.

Take note: It is best practice to let your clients or customers know when they will look forward to your response or the resolution of the problem. If a specific time frame is noted in the e-mail it alerts the American side that you are taking their requests seriously. It is best practice to follow up a day ahead of the expected deadline for updates, especially if there are problems and the deadline may become problematic.

Avoid saying “we will get back to you at the earliest” or similar phrases that do not list a number/time frame. Vague time frames are confusing to Americans, and will not show accountability or initiative to them from your side. Use of specific time frames with numbers and following up accordingly will be the best practice.

For what reasons do I say “thank you”?

Saying “thank you” is a must if the client has:
  • Given answers to critical questions
  • Offered crucial information to help solve a problem
  • Shared any information about end user/business uses of application/software/product
  • Shared confidential information
  • For a job well done - be specific about what is being appreciated
  • Apologized about something
  • Given you more business
  • Referred you to another customer
  • When a project milestone has been achieved in a timely and skillful way
To sum up, "thank you" is a must in e-mails. It NOT being there holds longer term consequences than it being there, though not everyone pays attention to it! Thank you can also be used to close an e-mail as in "Thank you, Regards, (your name)". Always take the time to add pleasantries into e-mails, they can never hurt if done correctly, but can harm if not applied at all.

Now that we understand when and how to say thank you, here are tips on RESPONDING TO THANK YOU.

Related Links:
Attitude of Gratitude  
8 Mistakes to Avoid in E-mail Writing  
Creating shorter and crisper sentences, no but's about it!  

Networkedblogs link: http://networkedblogs.com/N41Tu

No comments:

Post a Comment