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Y U Trippin'?

March 17, 2009  

There's no question that the advent of online communication has lowered our expectations for proper grammar and spelling—in the casual environments of instant messages, email and blogs, we forgive the occasional flub or "where r u?" without giving it a second thought.

But what if you're exchanging tweets or emails with a customer service representative who can't make it through a single sentence without mangling the English language? Maybe they don't seem to know the difference between there, their and they're; or your and you're; or to and too. Perhaps they indulge in slang or demonstrate an incomplete understanding of correct punctuation and capitalization. Whatever the reason, poor English detracts from the experience, and puts into question a company's ability to handle problems.

"Most of the things that people mess up on are simple things that everyone was taught in middle school (and probably before that)," argues the Service Untitled blog, which recommends reviewing the chats and email that originate in your customer service department. If you see problems, don't stand by—take action:

  • Give employees guidelines for proper usage.
  • Test them on what they learn.
  • Monitor their progress.

The Po!nt: "Improper spelling and grammar is a terrible way to lose customer confidence because it is so easy to avoid," says Service Untitled.

Source: Service Untitled. Click here for the complete post.

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  • by Kara Tue Mar 17, 2009 via web

    Great post. But I had to chuckle, because it appears you may not seem to fully understand pronoun antecedent agreement. Your pronoun "they" referred to the singular "customer service rep" and should have been a "he" or a "she." But i'm just messin' with you . . . it's a common mistake. And I did appreciate your content!

  • by Dain Tue Mar 17, 2009 via web

    I completely agree. It is SO easy these days to send or post something that's not 100%. Spell-check is built into many applications but often is neglected because people lose that feeling of 'instant' communication if they have to go back and check everything again. They often just can not be bothered.
    Here's a hint: if you have spell-check - turn it on! At the very least it will save you from embarrassing yourself.
    The brain's ability to automatically compensate for incorrect or missing letters means that a good spell-check system is a must if you don't want to detract from your branding.

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