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The Cost Of Miscommunication

Using jargon, technical terms, abbreviations, and specialized vocabulary in email messages is filled with peril. This language can lead to miscommunication. And, this misinterpretation of terminology can be expensive in many ways.

1.It can affect your professional relationships.

2.It can make you, or your company, liable.


Miscommunication can jeopardize business relationships. Using jargon can crush the rapport you have worked so hard to build with customers or coworkers.

A reader who receives an email message filled with technical terms and industry jargon may have several reactions � none of them good. For example, the reader may become irritated, aggravated, or mad. It�s a natural human reaction to become defensive when you encounter something you don�t understand.

The reader may also think you�re trying to be condescending, or that you�re trying to show off. At the very least, the reader will become frustrated. The person may, or may not, bother to ask you to �translate.�

Why subject your customers or coworkers to that type of treatment? Don�t take the chance of ruining a good relationship with people by sending them information they cannot understand in email messages.


If a customer misunderstands information you have provided via email, and then acts upon it, who is responsible if something goes wrong? There are liability issues involved with miscommunication.

For example, let�s say you are providing financial data to a customer, and he/she misunderstands that information. If the customer makes a decision based on the miscommunication, it could lead to costly mistakes.

The �cost� to the customer may be monetary. The �cost� to you may be a loss of credibility. Misinterpretations can be expensive and embarrassing.

Why take the risk? Don�t put yourself or your customer in a risky situation. Try to use clear wording and avoid potentially confusing technical jargon.

Submitted by:

Kelly Watkins

Kelly J. Watkins, MBA, Louisville, KY. Visit: http://www.KeepCustomers.com to order, Email Etiquette Made Easy (a comprehensive guide filled with exercises & examples) or for tips on communication & customer service! (812) 246-2424 or kelly@keepcustomers.com.


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