Subject: Request: Competitive Threat Analysis Insights and Advice
At last week’s off-site meeting. Charles asked me to coordinate our companywide competitive threat analysis project. In order to devise a comprehensive strategic response that is sensitive to local market variations, we need your individual insights and advice.
To minimize the effort for you and to ensure consistent data collection across all regions. I’ve attached a template that identifies all the key question we’d like to have answered. I realize this will require several hours of work on your part, but the result will be a truly nationwide look at our competitive situation. From this information, we can create a plan for the next fiscal year that makes the best use of finite resources while adapting to your local district needs.
To allow sufficient time to compile your inputs before the November 13 board meeting, please email your responses to me by November 8. Thanks for your help and timely attention to this important project.
Helene H. Clausen
Director, Strategic Initiative
Early Education Solutions, Inc.
14445 Lawson Blvd., Suite 455
Denver, CO 80201
Created an informative subject for the email.
Gets right to the point of the message
Acknowledges that responding to the request will require some work, but the result will benefit
Explains the benefit of responding to the request
Provides a clear and meaningful deadline, then closes in a courteous manner
We have been at our present location for only three months, and we don’t understand why our December utility bills is $815.00 and our January bill is $817.50. Businesses on both sides of us, in offices just like ours, are paying only an average of $543.50 and $545.67 for the same months. We all have similar computer and office equipment, so something must be wrong.
Small businesses helpless against big utility companies. How can we prove that you read the meter wrong or that the November bill from before we even moved in here got added to our December bill? We want someone to check this meter right away. We can’t afford to pay these bills.
This is the first time we’ve completed to you about anything, and I hope that we deserve a better deal.
Opens with emotions and details
Uses a defensive tone and blames the meter reader
Closes with irrelevant information and a weak defense
Dear Customer Service Representative:
A comparison of our utility bills with those of our neighboring businesses suggests that the utility meter in our store may not be accurate. Please send a technician to check it.
The European Connection has been at our current location since December 1, almost three months. Our month bill is nearly double those neighboring businesses in this building, yet we all have similar storefronts and equipment. We paid $815.00 in December and $817.00 in January. In contrast, the highest bills that neighboring businesses paid were $543.50 and $545.67 for those two months.
If your representative would visit our store, he or she could do an analysis of how much energy we are using. We understand that you regularly provide this helpful service to customers. We would appreciate hearing from you this week. You can reach me by calling (805) 979-7727 during your business hours. I look forward toward hearing from you.
Opens by clearly and calmly stating the problem
Provides details in the body so that the reader can understand why Covington thinks a problem exists
Presents details clearly, concisely, and completely
Requests specific action in the closing and provides contact information to make responding easy
Here is the brochure “Entertainment Unlimited” that you requested. This booklet the vast array of entertainment options available to you with an Ocean Satellite Device (OSD).
On Page 12 you’ll find a list of the 338 channels that the OSD brings into your home. You’ll have access to movie, sports, and music channels; 24-hour news channels; local channels; and all the major television networks. OSD gives you a clearer picture and more precise sound than those old-fashioned dishes that up most of your yard—and OSD uses only a small dish that mounts uses only a small dish that mounts easily on your roof.
More music, more cartoons, more experts, more news, and more sports are available to you with OSD than with any other cable or satellite connection in this region. It’s all there, right at your fingertips.
Just call us at 1-800-786-4331, and an OSD representative will come to your home to answer your questions. You’ll love the programming and the low monthly cost. Call us today!
Starts with a clear statement of the main point, which is responding to a consumer inquiry
Creates a positive impression of the product offered
Encourages readers to move toward a purchase by continuing to highlight t product benefits
Points toward the sale confidently
RESPONDING TO A CLAIM WHEN YOUR COMPANY IS AT FAULT
Your email message concerning your recent Klondike order has been forwarded to our director of order fulfillment. Your complete satisfaction is our goal, and a customer service representative will contact you within 48 hours to assist with the issues raised in your letter.
In the meantime, please accept the enclosed $5 gift certificate as a token of our appreciation for your business. Whether you’re skiing or driving a snowmobile, Klondike Gear offers you the best protection from wind, snow, and cold—and Klondike has been taking care of customers’ outdoor needs for over 27 years.
Thank you for taking time to write us. Your input helps us better serve you and all our customers.
Acknowledges receipt of the customer’s message
Explains what will happen next and when, without making and when, without making promises the writer can’t keep
Takes steps to repair the relationships and ensure continued business
Close with a statement of the company’s concern for all its customers
RESPONDING TO A CLAIM WHEN THE BUYER IS AT FAULT
Dear Mr. Cox:
Thank you for contacting us about your in-line skates. Even though your six-month warranty has expired, Skates Alive! Is mailing you a complete wheel assembly replacement free of charge. The enclosed instructions will explain how to remove the damaged wheel line and install the new one.
The “Fastrax” (model NL 562) you purchased is our best-selling and most reliable skate. However, wheel jams may occur when fine particles of sand block the smooth rotating action of the wheels. These skates perform best when used on roadways and tracks that are relatively free of sand. We suggest that you remove and clean the wheel assemblies once a month and have them checked by your dealer every six months.
Because of your Florida location, you may want to consider our more advanced “Glisto” (model NL 988) when you decide to purchase new skates. Although more expensive than the Fastrax, the Glisto design helps shed sand and dirt quite efficiently and should provide years of carefree skating.
Enjoy the attached PDF copy of “Rock & Roll,” our free skating newsletter.
We love hearing from our skaters, so keep in touch. All of us at Skaters Alive! Wish you good times and miles of healthy skating.
Customer Service Representative
Acknowledge reader communication, keeps opening positive by avoiding words such as problem, and conveys the good news right away
Explains the problem without blaming the customer by avoiding the pronoun you and by suggesting ways to avoid future problems
Subtly promotes a more appropriate product for the customer
Gives the reader a glimpse into the corporate culture and encourages continued correspondence
Closes on a positive note that conveys an attitude of excellent customer service