Dear I don’t really care

Dear I don’t really care

Tone is everything in communication and in business letters and emails it is important to nail the introduction.

How sad to hear the story recently of the National Disability Insurance Scheme addressing one of its clients in a letter it sent them as “Ms Intellectual Disability”. Organisations have to be careful. There is a fine line between too bland, “Dear Customer”, and too gushing, “Dear Valued Client”.

Our annoyance levels probably ebb and flow depending on the institution. A bank, for example, addressing us as “Dear Valued Customer” I suspect raises more umbrage than most, especially if we have had substantial dealings. If we are so highly valued surely we deserve a name? In any correspondence it’s worthwhile taking the time to get it right. “Hi Darrell” from someone I don’t know is likely to cause more consternation than the more direct “Darrell”.

Both are better than that received recently by a colleague: “Dear insert name”.

Darrell Croker is senior coach at Write For Impact.