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A Courteous Client Handoff

Last week I worked with a group of applications support engineers who respond to clients' requests in email 24 hours a day. They have an efficient client-communication habit, and I want to share it with you. 

When an engineer refers a client's question or problem to someone else on the team–often on another shift–he lets the client know about the handoff. (I say "he" because the entire team is male.)

Clients learn the name of their new support contact and a general time that the new contact will respond to their question or problem.

This thoughtful habit helps clients feel informed, and it prepares them for follow-up from a different person. It also saves clients time, since they don't write repeatedly to the wrong person.

It's just a simple, smart tip I wanted to pass on.

Could you do handoffs, referrals, or introductions more efficiently?

Syntax Training

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By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

2 comments on “A Courteous Client Handoff”

  • It’s also very human. In a world of automated email replies, just knowing you’re dealing with real people can make such a difference.

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