How NOT to write a Business Letter

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An elaboration of an earlier Facebook Status post.

 

It’s moments such as these that I am very fortunate and pleased that I have had the opportunity to go to college to get my education from Daymar College. Specifically, the class of Business Communications in which I’ve learned how to form proper business letters and understand how to tactfully express professional matters. If one expects to run a business or manage one, grammar is a definite vital element. Also, the use of spell check is normally installed on one’s word processor. I suggest that this tool be utilized to the fullest whether you write a business letter, email, or blog.

I approach this subject over a letter that was hanging on my doorknob when I returned to my apartment after my Internship Seminar from the aforementioned college. I would point out that, I agree, that my pets should be on a leash and I have no problem with adhering to the request. Never mind the fact that I have lived in these apartments for seven years. The pet in question, Ratt, has since walked side by side with me and I even asked if that was acceptable. The managers expressed how good natured Ratt was and they had no complaints on him. We’ve purchased a light up collar for him so when he goes out at night, then the neighbors and drivers can see him. Again, this has never been a problem until now. I am sure you can see my confusion.

My other dog, Snoopy, is always on a leash because she is rather rambunctious. I want to make that perfectly clear.

However, the manner in which the letter was written was riddled with grammatical errors and was, honestly, rather uncouth. I have a camaraderie with another resident who is also a pet owner. He received the same notice. He had personally spoken with the manager earlier today on the matter and she offered him three options. He could either keep his pet on a leash, get rid of his pet, or simply move. I am rather dismayed by the attitude presented concerning this matter. A loyal customer is, or it should be, a very treasured relationship to have in the business world. In light of how the economy is at the moment, I would think that a manager would wish to keep a good rapport with a solid, paying customer.  As she did get her point across, the matter could have been handled entirely different. It is all in the way one uses vocabulary and letter structure.

If I were to write a letter to a resident or customer, which my husband and I ultimately are, it would have sounded a bit differently. As I stated, I’ve lived here for seven years. My husband has lived here much longer than that. He relocated to this city in 2000 and has been a resident of the apartments for over a decade.

The letter that you see is the one in which I shall be critiquing, or actually, the letter that I will rewrite. I am leaving out the apartment complex in question as well as our last names, and the manager’s name, for obvious reasons.

 

 

 

 

 

Manager’s Name

Apartment Complex

Street Address

City, State 11111

 

January 28, 2013

 

Gary and Susan

Address

City, State 11111

 

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jones:

It has been brought to my attention that several pets have been seen in the vicinity of the apartments without being on a leash. I would like to take this opportunity to kindly remind tenants of our policy. It is in our guidelines for all pets to be on a leash. If your pet happens to use the facilities on another’s yard, I would ask that you, as the owner, kindly dispose of the matter.

If you have any questions in regards to this subject, please do not hesitate to contact me. My office hours are from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday.

Sincerely,

 

Name

Manager of the Apartments

555-5555

 

Both letters present the same problem and contain a solution. The original is accusatory. When a customer or anyone reads a letter such as that, they automatically become defensive. In fact, I will go as far as to say that my first reaction was, honestly, wanting to move from these apartments. I probably will after I speak with my husband on this tonight.

Remember, if you are a business owner or a manager, communication and the manner in which you approach a subject is crucial. There are tactful ways to deliver unpleasant news and a few changes in the terms that you apply can go a long way.

I wish you all luck and hope that this small tutorial has assisted you in what NOT to do when writing a business letter. Thanks for your time.

Freedom of Speech is pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Much love and God bless,

~Susan

P.S. Now, I need to write a poem or something to channel my creativity. I can’t be this serious for too long or I’ll go crazy.

P.S.S. Please, learn how to use your and you’re properly. I think my eye twitched about fifty times as I read that.

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