In 2012, I founded FWL and I am very protective of ‘the brand’. Every single communication, from email to letter, research report to family tree, telephone call to blog … .everything has to be ‘just so’. Me? I am not perfect. No-one is. However at FWL, we have processes in place to try to make everything as perfect as humanly possible. I am sure that some of the team curse me sometimes for my anal retentiveness, but our reputation with our clients is crucial and I am not prepared to compromise on that.
Today, I have been out and about for most of the day, leaving the team to get on without me. I arrived back home late and picked up my post. Nothing of earth-shattering note, although one particular letter stood out from the crowd…. and not for a good reason. I won’t publicly name and shame the company (but if you are connected to FWL on Facebook, you can see the letter itself!). However, here is a snipped portion:
“Admended Direct Debit
I am writing with referrence to your Contact Lens Direct Debit.
Due to an administration error your direct debit payments have not been debited from your account at the correct amount of £XX.XX, We do not proppose to recope the arrears.”
You cannot be serious!!!? This…. from a respected local opticians? Are you having a laugh? It would seem not, as the grammar and spelling errors continue along with random double spacing between words. ARGH!! If something like that went out from FWL, I would die of shame!
Over the years of working as a secretary and with secretaries, I have learnt that people write differently. Some people were trained to double space between a full stop (period) and a capital letter. To me, that is hideous but each to their own. I use commas differently to other people (I don’t use the ‘Oxford comma’) but that doesn’t make me wrong or others wrong who use them!
As a business – whether local, national or international – your reputation relies upon quality communication in every way, otherwise the customer will question the quality of the service provided. My optician has a strong letter heading in their direction (after a second proof read tomorrow morning to ensure my spelling and punctuation are perfect….)….
If you haven’t already, please please please build in a double-checking process into your business before making yourself look like a complete noodle!