Enthusiasm Goes A Long Way Over Email

I work over email, I rely on my words to get things done and make money. I email developers, designers, and most importantly my customers.

25% of my day goes to customer support at Flying Cart and sometimes I find myself going above and beyond for certain customers.

I want to go above and beyond for all my customers

I started to ask myself why I do this for certain customers. At first I thought it was based on when I had my coffee or the type of question they asked. As I started analyzing my emails in our archive I began to notice a pattern. All the people I went above and beyond for started things off with a nice greeting or compliment.

Here are a few things customers said to me:

  • “Hey, Rishi. I’m loving the outcome.”
  • “Hi Rishi! This was so helpful and we appreciate it so much. I have a few more questions and could use your help.”
  • “I’m totally loving Flying Cart. It is so easy to use. I need some help though on setting up…”

– These type of responses totally pump me up. It showed me that I was making progress. They also spelled my name correctly!

When things got frustrating they showed me a little sympathy:

  • “I hope I’m not coming off as a pest with this, Rishi”
  • “I know this is a lot of work but we really want it to be amazing”

– This was after 10+ emails which was frustrating. When the customer shows me that they understand they are being annoying it completely relaxes my frustrations and keeps me plugging along.

I broke it down even further and found 2 major patterns:

  • The use of my name: “Hi Rishi”

– By simply stating my name I felt like I was helping out a friend not some random stranger.

  • Using emoticons: “:)”

– In college I use to cringe when my friends used emoticons, I thought it was something only 13yr old girls use. But when it comes to email interactions with co-workers or customers I actually picture them smiling which does a lot for my mood.

In summary: emoticons, friendly greetings, and a little enthusiasm!

This works well for 2 reasons:

  1. No one else does it. So your email will stand out as polite, mild mannered, educated, and fun to work with!
  2. Your emails are read based on how the recipient reads it. Do whatever it takes to convey a positive mood so they don’t create a mood for you.

Do you have any tips on how to sound better over email? I’d like to know in the comments below.


    • I also like to omit punctuation whenever I am writing a long email because if you’re already reading all this then why would you want to be bothered with extra dots questions marks commas colons and semi-colons you could just read it all the way through and be finished and move on to the important stuff right

  1. This is so true… i used this method as well, and have gotten my manager to start using emoticons. I believe it sends the tone across, and like you said, after 10+ emails, chances of frustrations increasing are high, and its very important for either side of the party to still show that they are enjoying this interaction and are not frustrated by it. It helps a lot when you know they are feeling the same way.
    I have people sending me emails with “Hey Patel” and to me.. thats a little rude. it puts me off, and discourages me to respond. But the people with nice, “Hello Mr. Patel, or Hello Shamik” get a positive reaction from me.

    glad someone else thinks of the same things!

    • Nice work on getting your manager to start using emoticons!

      How did you go about telling them how to do that? I would have loved to be a fly on the wall during that conversation.

      • One day we had about 20 emails sent back and forth between us in a matter of minutes (there is no chat function/feature on the server of our company), and as we went through the emails, I had a sense that the tone was changing. He was getting frustrated (not at me.. but because he was sitting in a meeting and he was getting more action items) and I could sense it in the emails. He is known to take his anger out on other people. After the day ended.. I asked to speak to him for a minute.. and I straight up told him… Hey, when you get frustrated, your emails start changing and they start showing the frustration because your grammar deteriorates, your hello’s stop etc etc.. it would be nice if you could rectify that, so that “me” on the other end of the conversation know that your not mad at me.. but at the situation.. and i hinted at emoticons as a fun way to lighten the situation.. it worked!

        • Shamik – Thanks for sharing that story. I’m glad you figured that one out and made life easier on yourself.

          Impressive that you were able to go up to him at point blank and tell him to change. More people need to do this at work. Be upfront and tell people how they can be better at their job (even if it is your superior).

          You win the best comment award, Shamik!

  2. Pingback: Enthusiasm Goes A Long Way Over Email | Defining New Media | Scoop.it

  3. One thing I do, when sending a numbered list of any kind, is to preface it like this:

    “Please excuse the list format; I think it will be faster for you to read:”

    It comes off as less demanding.

    • David that is an excellent idea. I never even thought of that!

      I always send lists via email to contractors about bugs. I will use that line from now on. Thanks!

  4. I like to put all of the questions I want to have answered into a numbered list. That way it is easy to for the recipient to instantly absorb what actions are required on their side. Often they would respond by writing beneath the list points in a different color, which is great since you then have both the question and answer in the same mail.

    Also, I had noticed that if I did not do that, I would usually only get the answer back for the first or the last question, never all of them.

    • Hey Jarne – I like your list idea.

      Do you find that it is better to send all your questions in a massive list in one email or to break up over 2-3 emails?

  5. I was always worried about my use of smily faces, but it’s nice to hear that some people actually like it! I think it’s friendly and shows your positive attitude 🙂

  6. That’s so true for emails. I work in an IT company where meeting deadlines is everything. Blame games are a part of everyday routine and email is the most preferred channel to do so. But still, I insist on using emoticons and personal greetings to lighten up the tensions and focus on the primary goal of providing quality solutions to clients, in time.

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