Opinion: The Impact of Customer Service on Email Etiquette

Despising the “Unfortunately” Adverb in Emails

Email communication has become an integral part of our daily lives and an essential tool for businesses to interact with their customers. However, certain phrases or word choices can significantly impact the recipient’s perception of the sender. One such phrase that instantly raises red flags is the adverb “unfortunately.” It sets a negative tone and can make the recipient develop a disdain for the person on the other end of the email.

Customer Service Determines Reputation

It is crucial for businesses to prioritize their customer service if they wish to build a loyal customer base and maintain a positive reputation. Customers demand transparency, reliability, and proactive problem-solving. Unfortunately, when they encounter incompetence or unfulfilled promises, it can have a lasting negative impact. In the case of the experience shared, the writer mentioned being offered an 8% discount and subsequently not receiving it. This kind of discrepancy can lead to frustration and disappointment.

The Importance of Honoring Promises

When a company fails to fulfill its commitments, it not only sets a negative precedent but also undermines the foundation of trust between the business and the customer. In this case, the customer was informed that the discount would not be applied to their purchase because it was not compatible with the machines they were using. However, this contradicted what they were initially told. The inconsistency in information can easily erode trust and lead to dissatisfaction.

Timeliness Matters

Another significant factor in customer service is timeliness. The writer expressed that they were eventually offered the discount, but it was too late. The delay in rectifying the situation demonstrates a lack of urgency and concern for the customer experience. While the gesture of providing free 24 pickle balls as an apology is appreciated, it could have been more impactful if it had been coupled with a prompt resolution to the discount misunderstanding.

The Power of Effective Communication

Communication plays a pivotal role in customer service. It is necessary to ensure that customers receive accurate information and that any issues are addressed swiftly and sincerely. Businesses must empower their customer service representatives with the necessary knowledge and authority to handle customer inquiries and concerns effectively. Miscommunication, delays, and inadequate responses can undo even the most well-intentioned efforts.


The impact of customer service on a company’s reputation cannot be underestimated. In this case, the email exchange with the writer demonstrates how a combination of inadequacies – from unfulfilled promises to delayed resolutions – can lead to immediate disdain towards the company. Businesses must prioritize customer service and ensure that their communications are courteous, informative, and prompt. By doing so, they can foster positive customer experiences, build trust, and nurture a loyal customer base.

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