The delightful Gerry Riskin has a wonderfully pointed post on his blog about E-mail manners and the cost of poor ones. He emphasizes that:
You work so hard to attract and satisfy clients – make sure your emails are not crafted in a manner that undermines your good efforts.
In "Bad email etiquette can send client relations plummeting," Gerry discusses a NY Times article:
Here’s a quote from an article called ‘Yours Truly,’ the E-Variations in today’s New York Times:
Many e-mail users don’t bother with a sign-off, and Letitia Baldridge, the manners expert, finds that annoying. “It’s so abrupt,” she said, “and it’s very unfriendly. We need grace in our lives, and I’m not talking about heavenly grace. I’m talking about human grace. We should try and be warm and friendly.”
I will add that many do not add a “sign on” like “I hope this finds you well” or “It was nice seeing you at the conference. You will recall that I promised to send you a…” or even, “I hope you are having a pleasant day in San Francisco.”
See Gerry's post for a link to a quick e-mail etiquette test.
Gerry's points are very valid and they pertain to internal communications as well. There seems to be a little more tolerance when corresponding via a handheld device...I suppose that's why many people have the little "sent by Blackberry" or "...Treo" message that appends their curtly thumbed notes.
Another rudeness that Gerry's post makes me think of are abruptly ended phone calls. The failure to say "good-bye," or even "thanks," and simply ending a call by dropping the phone onto its base--often loudly--is more common with lawyers than accountants. And it happens a lot...usually by men.
When did people become too busy (or important?) to say "Good-bye," "Hello," or "Be Well"?