A claim letter is written by the buyer to the seller, seeking some type of action to correct a problem with the sellerís product or service. A claim letter differs from a simple complaint letter in that it requests some type of adjustment (such as repairing or replacing the product). Write your claim letter promptly. Be courteous and avoid emotional language.
A letter of complaint or claim should always be courteous, dignified, and fair. It should state exactly the cause for complaint and should outline clearly the reasonable adjustment expected. If you want to write a letter of complaint, do not delay and do not apologize; delay not only weakens your case, but can complicate the matter as the people you are dealing with might forget the details. Apologizing for the need to complain also weakens your case. If you complain, make sure you get your facts right. The complainant who imputes blame or becomes sarcastic or abusive only emphasizes his own lack ofrefinement and makes less probable the adjustment he seeks. If the writer gives the impression that he knows that he is dealing with those who are absolutely honest and eager to make any reasonable adjustment, he will seldom fail to get satisfaction. If he has had previous satisfactory dealings with the company, it is well to mention it to substantiate his expressed confidence. It would be an unworthy company indeed that would not respond favorably to such a complaint.
An adjustment letter is written to inform a customer of the action taken in response to the customerís claim letter. If the action taken is what the customer asked for or expected, a routine adjustment letter using the direct organizational plan would be written. The writing of the letter of adjustment calls for diplomacy. If you have to answer an unjustified complaint, be polite and restrained, and remember that we can all make mistakes. Those who write letters of complaint often do so while they are angry or in a disagreeable mood, but those who answer them should do so in such a way as to allay all ill feeling. Even when the complainant is most unreasonable and abusive, a reply showing courtesy and fairness is usually most effective. When replying to letters of complaint it is necessary to acknowledge that you have received the complaint, and thank your customer for informing you. Sometimes you cannot deal with a complaint immediately, as the matter needs to be looked into. Do not leave your customer waiting, but tell him what you are doing straight away. If the complaint is justified, explain how the mistake occurred but do not blame your staff. Put matters right as soon as possible and tell your customer that you are doing so. If you think that the complaint is unjustified, you can be firm but polite in your answer.
Good news first.
Positive, forward-looking closing.
A goodwill message is one that is sent strictly out of a sense of kindness and friendliness. To ensure that your goodwill messages achieve their desired effect, follow these five guidelines:
∑ Be prompt.
∑ Be direct.
∑ Be sincere.
∑ Be specific.
∑ Be brief.
The letter of introduction is used to introduce two of the friends or acquaintances of the writer. It may be given for either business or social reasons, but it should never be given except in all seriousness. One should never give a letter of introduction for business purposes unless one is absolutely sure of the ability and integrity of the person introduced. It would be much better to refuse to give the letter than to give less than full approval of the person or to run the risk of introducing one not thoroughly competent and reliable. The message should be simple and as brief as is consistent with completeness and courtesy. The letter, delivered in person by the one introduced, should be enclosed in an unsealed envelope, bearing in proper position the name and full address of the one for whom it is intended and in the lower left-hand corner the words introducing the person.
Congratulatory messages or notes should be sent for major business achievements. To write a letter of congratulation is one of the best ways to promote good will. The occasion may be a promotion, a new appointment, the award of an honor, the establishment of a new business, success in an examination, or even a marriage or a birthday. Whatever the occasion, your letter is sure to be well received. It may be either short and formal or conversational and informal, depending on the circumstances and the relationships between you and your reader. A short, straightforward letter is usually all that is necessary. Between persons in business, letters of congratulation sent to mark the award of a public honor need as a rule be only short and formal. Courtesy requires that letters of congratulation should be acknowledged. Like letters of condolence, letters of congratulation should never be written on someone elseís behalf.
Thank-you notes or appreciations, especially handwritten, are often valued more than a monetary reward.
Sympathy notes or expressions of condolence to a person who has experienced pain, grief, or misfortune are especially difficult to write but are also especially appreciated.