Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Bad Business Letter


Below is a business correspondence letter requesting for payment, which I found while surfing the internet.

Dear Mr. XXX

Outstanding Invoice

Our records show that you have an outstanding balance dating back to January, 2008. Your January invoice was for $445.00 and we have yet to receive this payment.

Please find a copy of the invoice enclosed.If this amount has already been paid, please disregard this notice. Otherwise, please forward us the amount owed in full by March 1st, 2008.

As our contract indicates, we begin charging 5% interest for any outstanding balances after 30 days.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We hope to continue doing business with you in the future.

Yours sincerely,
Maria McPheeMaria McPhee
Accountant

Enclosure: Invoice #223

Some comments and critiques about the letter above:

1. Overall, the letter is CONCISE but lack a complete subject line:
The sender should indicate what the invoice is all about by making it clear at the subject head line. This is to capture the customer’s attention and prevent him/her from overlooking the payment.

2. Generally, the language used is CORRECT, COHERENT and COHESIVE:
However, more improvements can be made by adding transitional devices after/before sentences. For example, words like 'In addition' can be added before the phrase 'Please find a copy of the invoice enclosed.' to make the sentences flow better and give it a clearer meaning.

3. CONCRETENESS:
The sender had provided concrete information by stating the exact amount and the date of the outstanding balance. In addition, he also included the due date of the current one as well as the interest charge for the next.


4. COMPLETENESS:
An outstanding balance of $445.00 is only mentioned without any details of the invoice. Hence, this is not complete as it is required for the sender to include sufficient information regarding the invoice in the letter as well.

5. CLARITY:
Overall, the key message of the letter can be comprehended. The sender emphasised her point by bolding the important figures. Lengthy sentences and paragraphs are also avoided.

6. COURTESY:
The letter sounded quite harsh and to make it more polite, a friendly tone should be applied by using words/ phrases like 'hope', kindly', 'could/would be' etc.

For instance,"please forward us the amount owed in full by March 1st, 2008" could be rephrased as "we hope that you can kindly forward us the complete amount owed by March 1st, 2008."

In conclusion, courtesy has an utmost importance when it comes to writing a business correspondence letter. By doing so, a healthy business relationship can be established between the company and their customers. Do you agree? (:

1 Comments:

Blogger J.Chappelear said...

What a great thought.
I really appreciate your perspective.
John Chappelear
http://johnchappelear.com

November 20, 2011 at 9:46 AM  

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