Since the commercialization of the internet in the late ‘90s, email has been the go-to channel for business communication in most organizations. Although the emergence of modern channels like social media, texting, and instant messaging may have impacted its usage, business emails are far from becoming obsolete, especially when used for client communication.
However, to take advantage of this global currency of business communication, users need to maintain proper courtesy and etiquette. Today, businesses and users exchange nearly 316 billion emails every day with 65% of them opened on small mobile devices. This means that your email body needs to be complete and concise. More importantly, it means that there’s no room for irrelevant information or phrases.
Therefore, if you’re looking for ways to improve your email communication skills, you can start by checking out the 10 business email phrases to stop (& start) using with clients we’ll be sharing in this post.
10 Business Email Phrases You Should (& Shouldn’t) Use When Writing to Clients
1. “Sorry to bother you” – Stop!
As innocent, polite, and considerate as this sounds, opening a business email with an apology can impact your credibility. Undoubtedly, these emails often have the required professional handle but what they lack is authority – something that is predicated on perceived legitimacy. Therefore, instead of apologizing, you should get straight to the point. This saves time on both ends and you can quickly get what you need from them, whether it’s permission, more time, or more information. Thanks to our fast-paced economy and lives, recipients will appreciate your candor.
2. “I hope all is well” – Start!
When writing a business email, you should begin with a friendly, more personal dialogue instead of always jumping into the problem, especially if you’re connecting with existing customers or those who have been inactive for a while. This shows that you’re not all about business and value the interaction with customers. Dealing with modern customers requires emotional intelligence, especially empathy. Customers want to be valued and feel that you’re genuinely concerned for their well-being, and not just writing to troubleshoot a problem.
3. “Please be advised” – Stop!
This is another outdated business email phrase that sounds extremely professional but can make your message unnecessarily redundant. Remember, client communication is slightly different from internal communication. Customers have a much shorter attention span, so your message needs to be direct and concise. If you’re sending an email, the recipients already know that you’re about to inform them something, especially when you include the email subject. Therefore, telling them what you’re going to do could be perceived as an insult to their intelligence, especially if your target audience is highly educated and sophisticated.
4. “I would appreciate your help” – Start!
This phrase won’t work for everyone but can’t be effective for those that typically rely on their customers’ input to carry out their tasks or improve their services. For instance, product-based businesses can send surveys via email and ask for their feedback for future upgrades and improvements. If your use case is similar, you need to be specific about your needs and summarize how the recipient can help you accomplish your goal. More importantly, your goals must align with the customers’ as this could incentivize or motivate them into doing what you ask. Finally, wrap up your email by thanking the client for their help in the matter.
5. “I think” – Stop!
The last thing you want from your email is to make recipients perceive that you’re sure of yourself, putting your business’ credibility in doubt. For years, people have used it to minimize the potential impact of future rejection without realizing how badly this affects their confidence. Instead, you should opt for “I or we believe” as it sounds more reassuring than its counterpart.
6. “I understand that ‘A’ has caused ‘B’…” – Start!
In many cases, businesses, especially retailers and third-party services, have to apologize to clients for something that wasn’t directly their fault. For instance, a customer could have received a faulty product or must have gotten terrible advice from a customer service representative. Regardless, it would be up to you to fix this roadblock and fix the issue before it escalates. This phrase shows that you understand the what, where, when, why, and how of the situation and that you’re providing a solution to remove the friction to redevelop lost trust and brand perception.
7. “To whom it may concern” – Stop!
There are only a handful of scenarios where “To whom it may concern” is appropriate. If you know the client’s name, use it to address them directly instead of hiding behind this generic introduction. Using this phrase in the wrong situation could be perceived as a lack of confidence on the sender’s part or as part of a cold email strategy.
8. “Looking forward to hearing from you” – Start!
This is an excellent business email phrase you can use to close your emails. At its core, it’s a simple CTA that suggests to the recipient that the sender expects a reply to the email. Instead of wrapping up with dead-end phrases like “thanks again” or “feel free to reach out,” you can use this instead to keep the dialogue open for additional information or feedback.
9. “As I mentioned before” – Stop!
This phrase often comes in different forms, such as “As stated in the previous email” or “As previously informed.” However, regardless of how you put it, it not only kills morale but can annoy the recipient. Yes, follow-ups are important, but a recipient receives over a hundred emails per day on average, so you don’t have to remind them that you’ve had this conversation before. If a client repeatedly makes mistakes or misses out on some important information, perhaps you should employ another channel to complement your emails, such as a simple phone call or text.
10. “I’d be happy to” – Start!
This phrase shows that you’re excited to help your customers, which can leave a good, long-lasting impression. After all, a can-do attitude is one of the most essential soft skills in the customer service industry since it helps create a better experience for clients. With that said, this phrase displays your eagerness to help answer their questions or resolve their queries.
Wrap it up
Soooo, there it is, for what it’s worth – 10 business email phrases to stop (& start) using with clients. By adding or eliminating some of these phrases from your email repertoire, you can improve client communication by ensuring readers grasp your intended meaning and/or respond accordingly. Even with the emergence of other channels, emails are here to stay for years. Therefore, you need to understand the difference between relevant phrases and pure gibberish to foster effective communication and better relationships with clients.