#2 Posted: 20 Oct 2005 09:07 Edited by: Ian
Hi Dee and welcome to the Forum.
Firstly let me applaud you for your work on e-mail quality!
In my opinion a similar approach to e-mail monitoring and rating can be taken as with call monitoring. First take some time with your staff to determine what makes a quality email. You can do this by gathering all your recent e-mail and written correspondence. Review it for grammar, misspellings, effectiveness, presentation, and politeness. Also look out for common words and phrases and decide if those are the ones that you want to convey who you are as a company. Obtain some customer input if possible.
Next design a quality form with all the points you want to emphasize and monitor. Here are some of the points I have measured in the past:
Uses Standard Greeting
Modifies Appropriately to Reflect Customer Concern, Issue
Uses Customer Name, Please, Thank You
Provides Accurate/Appropriate Information
Appropriate to Customer's Needs
MEETS FORMATING REQUIREMENTS
USES SYSTEM CORRECTLY
Record Updated, Notes Entered
Follows Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar Guidelines
Sets Customer's Expectations
Include Original Text
Uses Standard Conclusion
Acknowledges Customer Issue, Concern
Answer Addresses Customer Inquiry
Strengthen Connection Between. Need / Benefit
Present Appropriate Benefits, Positive Tone
Uses Transitional Statements
Appropriate Tone/Professional Grammar
Clear, Organized and Easy-to-Read
Selects Appropriate Template
To monitor your e-mails you could start with a 100% sampling for new recruits (to provide swift feedback and to avoid bad habits developing) and reduce it down to around 10% for experienced employees. A scoring system such as 0-5 points on each topic together with an overall score works well. Some companies have their supervisors do the monitoring/coaching while others assign the task to specialist quality assurance staff.
There are a number of software packages available that allow you to monitor all or some of your team's e-mails in real time, saving you the need to make copies etc. A word of warning here: it is essential that you obtain buy-in to this before roll-out!
One other word of warning is that writing styles do vary from one writer to another, after all this is what makes us unique and interesting. Be careful that your reviewers do not over-concentrate on these small differences which could flatten a writer's style and could ruin the rhythm, flow or tone of the message. Have them concentrate on the technical aspects of the email and your quality measurement will be a success.
Feedback should be specific, positive and preferably face to face. Your staff must be made to feel encouraged to develop and not left feeling they have been reprimanded!
Another good e-mail resource can be found at: http://www.emailreplies.com/Index.html
I hope this helps.
Managing Editor, CSM