• Unit 4: Providing Information for Customers

    The former U.S. Senator and widely respected language scholar S.I. Hayakawa often argued that you should put your thoughts in writing because learning to write is learning to think. Unfortunately, customer service can't be performed from a script. When you are on stage and interacting with your customers, the script has to be in your head, not on paper. However, you still need writing skills. As Hayakawa implies, writing organizes the messages you want to communicate and enables you to choose and edit your ideas into their most effective formats. As a result, while you may not be responsible for a lot of writing in customer service, you will constantly use the patterns and forms of communication that writing introduces. Learning those patterns - referred to as principles in the readings for this unit - becoming comfortable with those formats, and shaping your words for maximum impact enable customer service experts to communicate with clarity, efficiency, and impact, whether that is done on paper, face-to-face, or just in your brain.

    Legendary American author Mark Twain said: "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.

    • 4.1: Understanding Oral versus Written Communication

    • 4.2: Using Written Communication Styles in Business Settings

    • 4.3: Business Writing in Customer Service

    • 4.4: Organization: The Key to Clear and Effective Writing