Well, maybe not perfect, but much better. After my friend Steve’s abysmal car rental experience with Avis, he gladly completed an online customer satisfaction survey. He wanted Avis to know he was a most disappointed customer. Little did he know that he was about to become a more disappointed customer.
First e-mail from Avis: Lots of errors!
Here’s the e-mail Steve received after he submitted his survey.
From: Smith, Ms. Anne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Your feedback about your recent rental (Reference: -123456789)
Thank you for taking the recent survey from your past rental. I appreciate your feedback; it helps us serve our customers better. I sincerely apologies for you not being satisfied with your rental car experience, at your convenience if you have need to further discuss any other items or any future rental needs; you may reach me at 860 627 3700 ext 1234 or email email@example.com
Oooh, Anne, you have got to proofread before you send. Your second sentence is OK, but all the others contain errors:
- Write about your past rental not from your past rental.
- Change apologies to apologize.
- Brush up on your punctuation. You’re misusing the comma and the semicolon.
- Tighten your wording. You wrote if you have need to further discuss any other items when to discuss any other items would do..
Second e-mail from Avis: Trying harder!
This e-mail is much better:
- Personal. It uses Steve’s name twice and the pronoun we several times. It restates exactly where and when he had his unsatisfying experience.
- Positive. Avis assumes it can keep Steve’s business and that he will book another Avis car. The e-mail uses phrases like look forward and your next experience.
- Proofread. In contrast to the first e-mail, this writer has spelled and punctuated correctly.
On the you-might-want-to-rethink-that list:
- The banner photo is odd, just odd. I am not sure what Avis is trying to convey by pairing the words We Apologize with a shiny black Chevy, but I am pretty sure Chevy won’t be happy.
- We’re in the business of treating people like people. As opposed to what?.
I’m interested in your thoughts. What do you think would be the effect of the first, flawed e-mail on an unhappy customer? In your opinion, does the second e-mail’s offer of an upgrade, $10 coupon, or bonus award miles offset the damage done by the first one?