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MBA C431

BITS Pilani
Pilani | Dubai | Goa | Hyderabad

Lecture 8
JAYASHREE MAHESH

BITS Pilani
Pilani | Dubai | Goa | Hyderabad

PART 1
ROUTINE MESSAGES

Objectives
Compose a routine request
Compose a routine reply
Compose a routine claim letter
Compose a routine adjustment letter
Compose a goodwill message

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Routine Requests

Main request and justification


Explanation and details
Friendly closing

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Checklist For Routine Requests


Present major idea in first/second sentence followed by
reasons
Provide any needed explanation/details
Each question to be clear and cover only one topic
Ask as few questions as possible
If several questions necessary, number and arrange them
logically
If appropriate incorporate reader benefits and promise
confidentiality
Close on a friendly notes expressing appreciation, justifying
deadlines
Make your ending personal and original
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Sample Routine Request


Dear Mr. Peterson:
Subject: Request for Information About Banquet Facilities
Would you please provide information regarding your
banquet facilities.
We are considering holding our annual awards luncheon
for 265 of our personnel at your hotel on March 25. Our
decision will be based on answers to the following
questions:
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Contd.
1) Is your facility available from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on that date?
Although our meal runs from noon until 2 p.m., we need the
additional time for setup and takedown.
2) Do you offer free use of audiovisual equipment? We would
need an overhead projector and screen and a color projector
system that would enable us to project computer images. We
would supply the portable computer.
3) Do you have a variety of hot lunches that can be served
tableside for charges between $15 to $18, including tax and
gratuities?
Thank you for providing this information in time for us to make
our site selection by January 15.

Sincerely,
09/27/16
BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Routine Replies

Best news or main idea


Explanation and details
Positive, original closing

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Checklist For Routine Replies


Answer promptly and graciously
Grant the request or give the necessary information in
the first sentence or two
Address all questions asked or implied
Include additional information that would be helpful
Include subtle sales promotion if possible
Consider developing a form letter for frequent requests
Refer to any items enclosed with the letter
Close on a positive friendly note
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Sample Routine Reply


Dear Mr. Olson:
Subject: We Can Host Your Awards Luncheon
We would enjoy hosting your awards luncheon for 265
guests on March 25. Our 29th floor LEnfant Room,
which seats 300 and has a lovely view of the
Cleveland skyline, is available until 4 p.m. that day.

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Contd.
To
provide
round-the-clock
expert
service
for our business and convention guests,
we have contracted with an outside firm to
provide all audiovisual services for a reasonable fee.
You may make arrangements directly with GuestServ by
calling the company at 555-1086.
For the health-conscious guest, we offer soup-and-salad
lunches for between $12 and $18, including beverage,
tax, and gratuity. We also offer a hot buffet line with your
choice of two main dishes for between $16 and $20. Hot
meals served tableside begin at $21.75 for our popular
braised chicken breast.
09/27/16

BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Contd.
No matter what your choice, you will find that our
facilities, food, and service live up to the Clevelands
finest label recently awarded to us by Cleveland
Monthly magazine. Please call me at 555-3288 to let
me know how the Berkshire might serve your
organization.
Sincerely,

09/27/16
BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Routine Claim Letters


Identify the problem.
Provide necessary
courteous language.

details,

using

objective,

Ask confidently for action.

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Checklist For Routine Claim Letters


Write claim letter as soon as problem has been identified
Try to determine name of appropriate individual or write to
customer relations department
Overall tone must be of courtesy and confidence not
anger and sarcasm
Begin letter directly identify problem immediately
Provide as much detail as necessary
Use impersonal language, tell specifically what went wrong
and how you were inconvenienced
Tell the type of adjustment expected repair, refund or
apology
End on a confident note
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Sample Routine Claim Letter


Dear Ms. Pearson:
Subject: Request for Valet-Parking Refund
Would you please issue Franklin Associates a refund
check for $426 to fix an incorrect charge for valet
parking at a luncheon we held at the Berkshire on
March 25.
We paid your Invoice 3042 for $8,012 with our Check
No. 941386 (dated April 8, 20). Upon reviewing your
invoice further, however, I noted a $426 charge for valet
parking for 213 vehicles at $2 each.
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Contd.
Page 3 of the contract we signed on January 18 states
that complimentary valet parking will be provided for all
catered events with a total food and beverage charge of at
least $7,500.
I have enclosed copies of your invoice, our check, and the
contract with the valet-parking clause highlighted. Thanks
for taking care of this matter and for a truly memorable
meal. Everyone is still talking about your delicious milehigh pie.
Sincerely,
09/27/16
BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Routine Adjustment Letters


Respond promptly, giving the good news up
front.
Briefly explain what went wrong and how you
fixed the problem.
Reestablish the customers confidence.
Close on a confident, forward-looking note.
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Checklist For Routine Adjustment


Letter
Respond promptly customer is already upset
Begin the letter by telling directly what adjustment is being
made
Adopt a courteous tone, neutral/positive language
Apologize if the customer has been severely inconvenienced
Explain the reasons for the problems and steps taken to avoid
recurrence of the problem
Provide information that will reestablish the customers
confidence
If the customer is at fault, explain it to him in a tactful and
impersonal language
Close on a positive note
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Sample Routine Adjustment Letter


Dear Mr. Olson:
Subject: Your Refund Check for $451.56
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to correct our bill.
The enclosed check for $451.56 represents a refund of
the valet parking bill of $426 plus $25.56 tax.

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Contd.
As you will remember, the day before your luncheon, you gave
us a head count of 268 guests, which resulted in an estimated
bill of $7,420below the $7,500 minimum for free valet parking.
Although we were happy to accommodate the eight extra
guests who showed up without reservations the next day, we
inadvertently failed to note that they brought your total bill above
the minimum required for free parking.
I appreciate your calling this matter to our attention, Mr. Olson,
and look forward to serving you and your colleagues another
slice of our famous mile-high pie in the near future.
Sincerely,
09/27/16
BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Goodwill Messages
Types
Congratulatory Messages
Thank you notes
Sympathy / condolence messages

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Checklist For Goodwill Messages


Be prompt.
Be direct.
Be sincere.
Be specific.
Be brief.

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Sample Goodwill Message

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Messages With Legal Implications


Letter of recommendation
Rejecting a job applicant
Writing a personal evaluation
If knowing false information provided guilty of
libel
Should not violate any laws

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Letter of Recommendation
Be fair
Give background details about nature and length of
relationship with the applicant
Label it confidential and state that you were asked to
provide this information
Discuss only job related traits and behaviors be objective
If any specific questions asked, answer all of them
Present negative information in such a way that the reader
will perceive it with the same degree of importance that you
do
Close by giving an overall summary
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Rejecting A Job Applicant


Keep letter short
Provide a supportive buffer some positive
comments
about
the
candidates
resume/interview
Indicate why another candidate was chosen
Close on off the topic note thanking the reader
for applying or extending best wishes

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Sample Rejection Letter


Dear Mr. X
Your resume shows very clearly why you are interested in becoming
a management trainee with our company.
Because these trainee positions are quite challenging, our HR
department has researched the qualifications needed to succeed in
them. The findings show that the two most important qualifications
are a bachelors degree in administration and two years supervisory
experience
Many companies seek other qualifications in management trainees,
so I urge you to continue your job search. You will certainly find an
opening in which your skills and aspirations match the job
requirements exactly.
Best of luck.
BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Writing A Personal Evaluation


Be fair to yourself, the employee and the organization
Discuss only job related behavior or traits
Document any praise or criticism with specific examples
Avoid exaggeration positive/negative
Emphasize the improvement aspect of the evaluation
(specific steps to be taken for improvement)
Close with overall summary of evaluation on a friendly,
forward looking note
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

BITS Pilani
Pilani | Dubai | Goa | Hyderabad

PART 2
PERSUASIVE MESSAGES

Objectives
Decide when to use the direct or indirect plan
Compose a persuasive message prompting an
idea
Compose a persuasive message requesting a
favor
Compose a persuasive claim
Compose a persuasive sales letter

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Persuasion
Process of motivating someone to
take a specific action
support a particular idea

The essence of persuasion is to overcome initial


resistance

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Planning the Persuasive Letter


Purpose
decide what you want the reader to do as a
result of your message

Audience Analysis
Knowledge and attitude of the reader
Effect on the reader
Writer credibility
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Direct Vs. Indirect Plan


Direct Plan
Present the major idea first
Prefer the direct plan when writing to your superiors
The audience is predisposed to listen objectively to
your request
The proposal has no major obstacles
The proposal is long and complex
When the reader prefers direct approach
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Direct Vs. Indirect Plan


Indirect Plan
Gain the readers attention first
When writing to your subordinates
When strong persuasion is needed
When the reader is reluctant
When reader prefers indirect plan

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Organizing A Persuasive Request


Attention
Interest
Desire
Action

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Common Types of Persuasive Requests


Selling an idea
Requesting a favor
Writing a persuasive claim

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Selling an Idea
Begin by introducing the recommendation , along with
a brief rationale
Provide a smooth transition to necessary background
information
Cite statistics and external testimony for credibility
Repeat the recommendation after presenting most of
the rationale
Neutralize any obvious obstacle
Close on a positive, confident note, motivating prompt
action
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Requesting a Favor
Begin by making a complimentary remark about
the reader
Intimate the request
Provide sufficient background information
Minimize obstacles
Close with a restatement of reader benefit

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Writing a Persuasive Claim


Use indirect plan if the reader not known
personally
Begin on a warm and relevant note
Provide a smooth transition
background information

and

provide

Tell the exact problem in neutral, courteous tone


Provide rationale for granting the claim
Ask confidently for a specific action
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Checklist for Writing Sales Letters


Prepare
Gain the readers attention
Create interest and build desire
Motivate action

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

The Persuasive Map


Introduction
Main Reason 1

Main Reason 2

Facts /
Examples

Facts /
Examples

Main Reason 3

Facts /
Examples

Conclusion
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Prepare
Learn as much as possible about
Product
Competition
Audience

Select a central selling theme the products


most distinguishing feature

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Gain the Readers Attention


Make opening brief, interesting and original
Avoid obvious, misleading and irrelevant statements
Use the following openings rhetorical question,
thought provoking statement, unusual fact, current
event, anecdote, direct, challenge
Introduce the central selling theme in the opening
If letter in response to enquiry, begin by expressing
appreciation for the enquiry
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Create Interest and Build Desire


Make the introduction of the product after the attention
getter
Interpret the features of the product show how
reader would benefit from the features
Use action packed, positive and objective language
Provide convincing evidence to support claim facts
and statistics, expert opinion, examples, independent
product reviews, endorsements
Continue to stress the central selling theme
Subordinate price unless it is the central selling theme
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Motivate Action
Make the desired action clear and easy to take
Ask for the specified action confidently
Encourage prompt action
End your letter with the reminder of the reader
benefit

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Collection Letters
Purpose is to collect past due accounts
Retain customers goodwill
Four stage series of message to be used:
Reminder Stage
Inquiry Stage
Appeal Stage
Ultimatum Stage
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

BITS Pilani
Pilani | Dubai | Goa | Hyderabad

PART 3
BAD NEWS MESSAGES

Objectives
Decide when to use the direct or indirect plan
Compose a message that rejects an idea
Compose a message that refuses a favor
Compose a message that refuses a claim
Compose an announcement that conveys bad
news

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Purpose
Convey the bad news
Retain the readers goodwill
Message to be communicated
Politely
Clearly
Firmly

Written message appropriate when


Wording ,sequence , pace of idea is important
Permanent record is needed

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Direct Plan
Used for simpler situations with little explanation
and background information
Writing bad news to superior
The bad news is small insignificant matter
Reader not involved emotionally
Reader prefers directness
Reader expects a no response
Writer wants to emphasize the bad news
Reader writer relationship is extreme
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Indirect Plan
Used when giving news to
Subordinates
Customers
Readers who prefer indirect approach
Readers you dont know

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Effective Opening Buffers


A buffer lessens the impact of the bad news
A buffer should be
Neutral neither convey the bad news immediately nor
imply that the request will be granted
Relevant should provide a smooth transition to discussion
of reasons
Supportive should establish compatibility between the
reader and the writer
Interesting interesting enough to motivate the reader to
continue reading
Short should not make the readers wait too long for the
major point
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Types of Buffers
Agreement
Appreciation
Compliment
Facts
General principle
Good news
Understanding
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Justifying the Decision


If possible, stress reasons that benefit someone
other than yourself
State the reasons in positive language
Avoid relying on company policy give reasons
behind the policy
State reasons concisely do not over explain
Present the strongest reasons first avoid
discussing weak reasons
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Giving the Bad News


If using indirect approach, subordinate the bad
news in the middle of the para,
including
additional discussion of reasons
Present the bad news as a logical outcome of the
reasons discussed
State bad news in positive and impersonal
language
Do not apologize
Make the refusal definite
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Close on a Positive Note


Make closing friendly, original, off the topic of the
bad news and positive
Consider expressing best wishes, offering a
counter proposal, suggesting sources of help,
building in resale or subtle sales promotion
Avoid anticipating problems, apologizing, inviting
needless communication, referring to the bad
news, repeating a clich, revealing doubt or
sounding selfish
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Types of Bad News Replies


Rejecting an idea - use neutral subject line, start
with a buffer, reason, present rejection using
positive impersonal language. Close on a forward
looking note
Refusing a favor when refusing routine requests,
give refusal in first para (direct plan)
Refusing a claim use impersonal, neutral
language to explain the basis of refusal ( indirect
plan). Offer small compromise if possible
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Bad News Announcement

They are not in response to any request.May be


Internal employees
External customers, news media, stockholders

Types
Bad news about normal operations price
change
Bad news about the organization product
recalls, unexpected operating deficits, legal
problems
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Activity
Writing a Routine Adjustment Letter

09/27/16
BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Outline for Sandy Rosss Adjustment Letter


Opening Statement should:
announce that the clients request will be granted
possibly thank the reader for an opportunity to
resolve the situation
apologize briefly in a neutral, business like manner
emphasize positive aspects and look forward to
future transactions
avoid overtly blaming or doubting the reader
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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Contd:
Statement of Explanation should:
explain the facts in neutral, impersonal and
tactful language
describe what Urban Systems will do to prevent
re-occurrences
reestablish Packards confidence in both the
product and Urban Systems

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Contd.
Closing statement should never:
refer again to the problem
apologize again
suggest the possibility of future problems
imply that the reader might still be upset

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956

Contd.
Closing statement should:
have a positive forward looking note
appreciate the readers interest in Ultra Light
Strips and / or Urban Systems
subtly promote a different product or service
once the readers confidence has be restored

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BITS Pilani, Deemed to be University under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956