Yes, our Telephone Doctor customer service and communication training covers this as well.

This subject gets covered a lot; however, we want to reiterate some key points on both email and live chat.

Points that will make life easier for those who use these methods of communication.

Live Chat

If your company is using live chat online, here are a few tips that will help you and the person on the other end.

A Telephone Doctor survey shows a live chat conversation will end up in a phone call nearly 50% of the time. What does that say to you? Well, it says to me, the conversation didn't go the right way. More help was needed. That's because the written word can often be mistaken for something it wasn't meant to be.

That being said, as many of you recall, Telephone Doctor started out as experts in telephone skills. As the other touch points of communication came along, we fine tuned our tips, skills, and techniques to help email, voice mail, snail mail, fax and face-to-face. (Texting is left out for now, because it's not in the mainstream just yet. Certainly there may be clients who prefer a text, but in the office/business world it's not "there" quite yet.)

Back to the live chat line. For those not familiar with live chat, simply put, it's servicing and communicating with customers, one-on-one, via a web-based site online. It's email in real time. In reading some of the printed live chats from clients and customers it was very clear to me, the biggest problem was: the personality is missing.

It appears the company person goes directly into a "robot mode." Yes. No. And a lot of one and two word answers. No smiley faces. Nothing that says, "Hey, I'm human" or "I care."

While we're not looking for answers that rival Gone with the Wind, we do know that three words make a sentence. We also know one word answers are considered rude and cold.

We found another BIG concern on live chat and email are the words many of us confuse day after day. Which is your albatross?

Here they are:

You're - Your

There - Their - They're

Grateful - Greatful

To - Too - Two

Hear - Here

Seamless - Seemless

Know - No - Now

Effect - Affect

When to use I vs. me

The list goes on and on. I'm about to give you the absolute best answer for never making these mistakes again. Ever!


If you're writing an email or doing live chat and aren't sure which 'word' is correct, use a totally different word.

Example. I found myself mixing up 'greatful' and "grateful'. As in: "It was a great party. Thank you" and "I am very grateful for this opportunity." So rather than worry if I used the right word or not, now I say, "It was a fabulous party. And I am so appreciative for this opportunity."

Remember, 'when in doubt, leave it out.' While we often don't think others will mind these errors, they do. They wonder about our credibility; our intelligence; our thoughtfulness.

If you're using live chat, think of the person you're communicating with as sitting right across the desk from you and talk with them. Not down to them.


Do you know the top 5 email frustrations? Here they are:

1. Poor spelling and grammar

2. Unrelated subject lines

3. Forwarding unrelated messages (Ouch that can be bad!)

4. All caps. (It's OK when you're excited in a positive way; not necessary other times.)

5. Reply to all when not necessary and

5A. Messages that are way too long

We are all aware we could probably name five more offenses and frustrations. However, these top five keep coming up to the top time and time again. We believe they are the best of the worst. Keep them in mind as you email.

Ok, I promised this wouldn't be a long article. Hope you enjoyed. Love to hear from you on this or any topic you'd like to hear about.

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Reprinted with permission of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. Nancy Friedman is a featured speaker at franchise, association & corporate meetings. She has appeared on OPRAH, Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning & many others. For more information, call 314-291-1012 or visit

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