Chapter 7: Bad New Messages Introduction Identify and discuss the steps, advantages, exceptions, and strategies for using the inductive outline Writing messages refusing requests, denying claims, and handling problems with customers’ orders Writing messages denying credit, providing constructive criticism, and communicating negative organizational news The Inductive Outline Using it to convey bad news Steps and Advantages Begin with neutral Presents reasons idea before refusal Present reasons for Emphasizes the refusal reasons State refusal or bad Avoids negative news in a positive tone reaction Close with a future- De-emphasize the oriented idea refusal Exceptions Second response to the a repeated request Small, insignificant matter Request is obviously ridiculous, immoral, unethical, illegal or dangerous The writer wants to demonstrate authority Strategies Writing the introductory paragraph Presenting the reasons Writing the bad news statement Closing positively Writing the Introductory Paragraph Avoid: Ideas to use: 1. Empty 1. Compliment acknowledgements 2. Point of agreement of the obvious 3. Good news 2. Tipping off the bad 4. Resale news too early 5. A review 3. Starting too positively 6. Gratitude Presenting the Reasons Provide a smooth transition from opening to explanation Include discussion of reasons that are logical to the reader Show benefit and/or consideration Avoid using “company policy” as a reason Writing the Bad-News Statement Position the bad news statement strategically Use passive voice, general terms, and abstract nouns Use positive language to accentuate the positive Imply refusal without a definite statement of bad news Offer counterproposal Closing Positively Include: Avoid: 1. De-emphasize the 1. Trite statements bad news 2. Statements that 2. Add a unifying undermine validity quality to the message 3. Statements that 3. Include a positive, encourage further forward-looking controversy idea Applying the Concepts Refusing Requests Denying Claims Handling Order Problems Refusing Requests Reasons--before-refusal Offer a counterproposal Be sensitive and give honest explanations Intro--sincere compliment, make subject clear Closing--offer to pursue alternative Denying a Claim Present explanation for refusal Tone is important/avoid lecturing Close the letter with promotional material Refusing an Order Minimize disappointments Add promotional material to draw resale Offer an alternative place of purchase Tone is important Applying the Concepts (cont.) Denying Credit Providing Constructive Criticism Communicating Negative Organizational News Denying Credit Three main problems: 1. How to say “no” without saying “no” 2. How to fairly inform them about reasons for the decision 3. The reason to start with positive news rather than negative news Legality of Denying Credit Equal Opportunity Act, ECOA 30 day notice Reasons for refusal if denied Fair Credit Reporting Act, FCRA The right to know the nature of the information contained in your credit file Providing Constructive Criticism Principles Have positive intent Be factual Use positive language Leave the judgment to the recipient Recognizing the Risks Being stereotyped as a complainer Being associated with negative thoughts and perceived in negative terms Appearing to challenge the management’s prior decisions Providing Constructive Criticism (cont.) Risks Worth Taking The writer gets a feeling of having exercised responsibility Management learns of changes that need to be made The team or individual about whom the letter is written modifies their techniques and is more successful To Avoid Legal Hassles Primary Considerations Only include specific facts that you can verify and avoid opinions about the person’s character or ability Is the intent to hurt or to get even? Is the information false? The Worst Letters: Are short, general, exaggerate, and negative The Best Letters: Are long, specific, and positive Communicating Negative Organizational News Three Things to To write effective Consider: organizational 1. Be sensitive messages: 2. Be honest 1. Use the inductive 3. Deliver message in approach a timely manner 2. Present reasons and explanations before the bad news Outline of the Inductive Approach (A Refresher) Begin with a neutral idea that leads to the reasons for the bad news Present the facts, analysis, and reasons for the bad news Present the bad news using a positive tone and de-emphasis technique Close with an idea that shifts away from the bad news Conclusion In writing bad-news messages, the goal is to keep customer loyalty and repeat business. Remember to: 1. Be honest 2. Give alternatives 3. Always write in a positive tone
"Purchase Letter of Refusal"