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Email

An informative subject line

Use ultra-specific verbiage within the email’s subject line to spark interest and encourage the recipient to prioritize the email.

  • This will help confirm that the message is not spam or junk mail.

A personal salutation

Depending on the nature of the business relationship, address the recipient by their first name and/or their last name with an honorific.

  • An honorific may always be included, but is most appropriate in situations of initial contact (Dr., Mr., Mrs., or Ms.).

A sensible structure

Format your email in successive paragraphs to achieve an organized, professional structure and smooth the flow of information.

  • First paragraph:
    • If you are replying to an email from the recipient, thank them for their email
    • Introduce yourself if necessary
    • Provide a brief overview of the purpose of the email
  • Main body:
    • Give thorough yet concise instruction or information
    • Be aware of the recipient’s level of understanding and tailor the content accordingly

The appropriate tone

  • Keep the phrase “It’s not what you say, but how you say it” in mind when composing emails to customers.
    • If delivering not-so-great news, consider first explaining what unfortunately cannot be done, but what can be done instead.
    • Offering an alternative in place of a “No” will better reflect your organization’s high regard for customer satisfaction.

A professional closing

  • Choose a closing depending on the type of business relationship held with the recipient.
    • Some examples are “Sincerely”, “Regards”, or simply, “Thank you” if you have requested something in the email that warrants a response.
  • Follow your closing line with your first and last name, your title, and any appropriate contact information.

Things to avoid:

  •  ALL CAPS
  • Inconsistent font style or text color
  • Excessive exclamation points
  • Negative or inappropriate language
  • Internal jargon
  • Anything you would not want to become public

What other email etiquette tips can you share?

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Please join me for a virtual tour of HON Customer Solutions! I will take you through four prevalent activities that are practiced here in HON CS.

Support

As we strive to deliver an effortless customer experience as an organization, providing valuable support to our customers in Customer Solutions is our number one focus. Our department encompasses Business Relations Specialists (Regionalized teams), Government Solutions Specialists (Government Solutions Team), Commercial and Government Order Entry, Product Solutions Specialists, Commercial and Government Project Coordinators, Tailored Solutions, Dealer Services Group, and Integrated Design Solutions. Members of all divisions work near to other members of their team to maximize communicative efficiency.

Pictured: Business Relations Specialists answering customer phone calls and emails

Pictured: Business Relations Specialists answering customer phone calls and emails

Pictured: Integrated Design Solutions answering customer phone calls and emails

Pictured: Integrated Design Solutions team busy working on design projects and specs and answering customer phone calls

Learn

We value training and continuous learning in Customer Solutions as part of a Rapid Continuous Improvement mentality. Our training room serves not only as a classroom for new members, but for all department members during frequent training sessions on important business updates.

Pictured: Training class in Customer Solutions training room

Pictured: Training class in Customer Solutions training room

Pictured: Training class in Customer Solutions conference room

Pictured: Training class in Customer Solutions conference room

Collaborate

We employ a strong sense of community in Customer Solutions. I believe this to be driven by our support of one another through collaboration. Our department is furnished with several collaborative meeting areas that allow for impromptu meetings to share ideas or touch base; or to simply take a break.

Pictured: Collaborative meeting area

Pictured: Collaborative meeting area

Pictured: Collaborative meeting area

Pictured: Collaborative meeting area

Refuel

Breaks are important for maintaining consistent productivity. Members are able to visit the kitchen steps from their workspace to grab a coffee, soda, or a snack from the vending machine.

Pictured: Customer Solutions kitchen and break room

Pictured: Customer Solutions kitchen and break room

Pictured: Members are treated to movie theatre style popcorn on special occasions!

Pictured: Members are treated to movie theatre style popcorn on special occasions!

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and thoughts of all things “holiday” have begun to flood our minds: the excitement of seeing family and friends, re-living our favorite traditions, and the ever-important holiday practice – eating! The easiest decision in the face of this seemingly endless buffet is to go on a 2-month hiatus from every trace of health-conscious habitude you had prior.  This is ultimately a personal choice; however, I propose you consider the road less traveled.

Why not make this year a healthier holiday? I have provided several ideas below for making healthier choices this season, applicable to both the office and the home.

1. MAKEOVER YOUR RECIPES

When preparing a dish for a work party or family gathering, consider researching a “lighter” version of the recipe to make ingredient substitutions that improve nutritional value. Many traditional full-fat, high-calorie dishes are easily made over without sacrificing flavor. For example, one Green Bean Casserole recipe from EatingWell.com skips the canned soup and all of the fat and sodium that comes with it by substituting a lighter, homemade white sauce. See the full recipe here.

Other helpful websites:

Thanksgiving2

The Skinny Taste blog offers lightened up thanksgiving recipes, healthy holiday recipes and skinny fall recipes.

Thanksgiving3

The Chocolate Covered Katie blog will help you find the perfect healthy dessert recipes to add to your holiday meals.

2. MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE

Free time is limited during the holidays, which makes us more apt to put fitness on the back burner. Exercise is important in easing stress and preventing weight gain, and can foster the motivation needed to consistently make healthy choices. Consider the following ideas for fitting exercise into your routine.

  • Start your day with exercise. This will free up your evenings for other holiday-related tasks.
  • If you’re not a morning person, try walking or running outside, or visiting a local gym over your lunch hour.
  • Walk or run a local race with your family, friends, and/or coworkers. Many communities have an annual “Turkey Trot” on Thanksgiving and a holiday-themed race in December.
  • Training in preparation for the event can be instrumental in boosting motivation.
  • Click here for upcoming races in the Muscatine, Iowa area, courtesy of the Cornbelt Running Club.

3. EAT SMARTER

The holidays are a notoriously celebratory, emotional, and sometimes stressful time, and with food thrown into the mix it can be more difficult than ever to maintain self-control. Try these simple methods for eating smarter this year:

  • It may seem logical to skip breakfast and lunch to save calories for eating whatever looks tasty at the afternoon office party. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
  • When meals are skipped, the likelihood of overeating increases as your appetite is stronger than usual once you allow yourself to eat.
  • Instead, try to eat portion-controlled meals at mealtime, and allow yourself to have a special treat at the party.
  • Another effective method to battle the urge to overeat is to track your intake throughout the day.
  • There are numerous free apps that allow you to input what you’ve eaten and provide an outline of your daily progress. This creates accountability in providing a visual summary of your choices.

Relax. Allowing yourself a second (or third) piece of pie doesn’t mean you’ve thrown all self control out the window. Forgive yourself and move forward, always keeping your end goal in mind.

What are some other healthy tips you would add to our list?

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