Principles of Business Correspondence
I. Elements of Business Correspondence
Business correspondence should be professional and direct. While the main purpose of the letter is to to get a point across or your request known, you need to try to do this while still cultivating and maintaining a good relationship with the recipient.
Most professional correspondence should have a letterhead, date, address and salutation.
Additionally, the main elements of your business letter should be as follows:
Opening: This is the reason for writing the letter. It should be direct and apparent, It is in this paragraph where you are delivering important news or requesting something.
Body: The body of the ...view middle of the document...
When these questions are addressed the scope of confusion in the mind of the audience becomes minimal. These questions also help the writer/speaker deal with other business activities of letter writing.
For example: If a customer enquires about a particular product is the responsibility of the person-in-charge to give detailed information in a short span of time along with some additional information that the customer is not aware of. This process helps in building good business relation.
Conciseness: Conciseness refers to ‘conveying complete message with the help of minimum words possible’. It is a pre-requisite of business correspondence as it is said in the field of business that ‘time saved is money saved’. Hence, a concise letter saves time and expense of both the parties.
How to achieve conciseness is a big question! Consider the following:
No wordy expressions: instead of ‘at this time’ one can use ‘now’.
Only relevant details: Instead of providing a complete list of products along with their features and the product use manual only a comprehensive list of products with their salient features can be provided when a customer asks for the list of products.
Avoiding repetition: A repeated word can make the whole information boring. Sometimes repetition is necessary in case to lay focus on particular information but this should not be practiced without more than one reason. Again this should also not be practiced more often
Consideration: It refers to the receiver’s intention/interest. While transmitting information one must keep the interest of the target audience in mind. This is important because we communicate to make the audience understand our information. If they do not understand our information it is the failure of the whole communication.
For example: if the Business Communication teacher uses figurative metaphorical language the students might find it difficult to understand.
Concreteness: It refers to the characteristics of the information. In order to inform a specific audience about specific information, one must not use general sense. A specific message must be convey in a specific way with specific information rather than in a generic way with general message. Choosing a general way for specific information may lead to the problems of misunderstanding. When we talk to our clients we must use facts and figures in the place of generic and irrelevant information.
Clarity: The purpose of Clarity is achieving Accuracy. For the audience to understand the information easily, the information must be very clear. In effective business correspondence, familiar and easy words and short and effective sentences and paragraph construction help the audience in understanding the information. Use of jargons and complex sentences leads to misunderstandings. If there is a choice between jargons and familiar words or a simple sentence and a complex sentence one must choose familiar words and simple words.
Courtesy: The knowledge of the audience...