Email has become a business communication standard. No doubt email saves time and money but care has to be taken when communicating via email. As with any aspect of business, there is proper etiquette associated with the use of email. After a bit of online research and reflection on personal experience, I have compiled a list of industry standards when using email.
When sending an email:
- Never use email to communicate sensitive issues such as price, terms, worker responsibilities or customer service issues; pick up the phone and call • Always be cordial; include a proper greeting and closing
- Always include a subject; this helps to clarify what the message is about and assists the recipient in prioritizing the emails received
- Use proper spelling and punctuation; your writing is a reflection of you and could be a first impression • Be clear, concise and to the point. A wordy email wastes time and might not get read
- Do not joke! ; witty remarks or jokes can be inappropriate, offensive or misinterpreted
- Never complain, air a grievance or gossip in an email
- Always double check the “To” field to make sure the message is going to the correct recipient
- When responding to an email: Respond in a reasonable time
- If you are answering several questions embed your answers in the sender’s questions
- Delete older messages or compose a new message to prevent your email from becoming too large and to make your email look clean and professional
- When being awarded a contract never respond via email; call
- Never respond to an offensive message via email; pick up the phone to clarify the issue
Following these simple rules will help you use email more effectively.
Many businesses throughout the world experience internet speeds that are much faster than what we have become accustomed to in the United States. Now true high speed internet access is becoming cost effective for all businesses and as a result I’m seeing more and more companies deploying it. The primary reason organizations implement high speed internet is to solve a perceived lack of bandwidth. I use the word perceived because quite often a slow internet connection may only be a symptom and not the problem. The problem may simply be caused by a firewall improperly setup or employee usage patterns.
First a little background on data traffic. If traditional data traffic (TCP/IP) encounters network setup issues or bottlenecks data is always retransmitted. Depending upon the severity of the problem you may notice a “slow internet connection”. Many companies turn to their data partner to solve these issues. Instead, I encourage you to consider looking to your Telephony VAR. The reason is that VoIP (UDP/IP) is extremely sensitive to setup issues and bottlenecks and users of VoIP are far less tolerant of poor voice quality. These circumstances have made your Telephony VAR an expert in making a network work optimally.
I’m reminded of a customer that moved from 1.5 Mbps internet connection to a 20 Mbps internet connection. Not so surprisingly, the customer experienced no internet performance increase whatsoever. The problem turned out to be an improperly setup firewall.
Also, many organizations have not established an internet usage policy, and if they have setup guidelines they have no method of enforcing it. Much of the entertainment applications that employees access over the web are designed to occupy all available bandwidth. In short, this means that having 1.5Mbps or 20Mbps makes little difference; the entertainment application will use whatever is available causing your business application performance to suffer. Network appliances are available that control access to the internet by application, ensuring that your business applications always get the highest priority.
Take advantage of the constantly decreasing costs and increasing bandwidth; but if your company is not experiencing performance gains feel free to give me a call.