Plain English for customer communications

Customers expect clear, concise emails and letters that respond to their questions and deal with their issues effectively.  This course will give staff the skills and confidence to communicate successfully with customers – and help them to write in a way that will achieve a satisfactory result and avoid escalation of challenging issues.

This highly practical training is suitable for all customer-facing teams, especially those who want to show regulators and customers that they take clear communications very seriously.

We customise the course to ensure that it is suitable for participants and for your organisation.  We’ve delivered it to managers and staff in government departments and agencies, banks, insurance companies, utility firms and call centres.

On successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Be able to write emails and letters ­with greater speed, confidence and
    effectiveness
  • Understand how to write in clear, concise English with a professional tone
  • Have the skills to write emails and letters that respond to the needs of customers
  • Have the skills to edit their own emails and letters

Course content

Part 1 – Planning to achieve objectives

  • Identify your readers (to develop a reader-focused approach)
  • Create an effective objective
  • Put yourself in the customers’ shoes to make sure you write the right letter/email
  • Ensure any action required is clear and all questions are resolved
  • Plan to achieve closure
  • Use a planning checklist

Part 2 – Writing with KISSSS (Keep it short, simple, strong and sincere)

  • Say what you mean; write to communicate
  • Use plain English in a concise, professional style
  • Get buy-in from readers / customers
  • Avoid jargon, ‘posh’ words and over-formal ‘business speak’
  • Avoid wordiness, repetition and unprofessional language
  • Write strong, clear sentences and paragraphs
  • Make every word count
  • Use topic sentences
  • Write emails for scanners
  • Use headings to aid navigation

Part 3 – Reviewing

  • Strategies to review your own work
  • Become aware of common errors (grammar, punctuation, use of English, spelling)
  • Identify your own ‘problem areas’
  • Layout – Make it reader-friendly

Resources – Reinforce the learning 

  • A resource pack (checklists, punctuation factsheet, common errors etc.)
  • Online writers’ resources

Download the outline

Plain English for Customer Communications – half-day course outline

Please contact us for further details.