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Is Your Company Putting the “K” in “Kuality”?

Posted on May 31, 2011 @ 12:04 PM in Uncategorized

Some time ago, I spent over a thousand dollars on a new insurance product. So I was a little miffed to receive a welcome letter that greeted me as, “Dear Louse”.

LOUSE?!! Excuse me? My first name is Louise. I’m pretty sure I spelled my own name correctly on your application form. Oh and thank you for that lovely plastic card for my wallet. Now it’s official. I’m a card-carrying louse. (Actual card shown here!).

If I’m going to be your loyal customer, we just got off to a shaky start. Frankly, I had some initial misgivings when I spotted no fewer than eleven spelling mistakes on your application form (on the English side. There were none in French because you probably had to pay a professional for that, n’est-ce pas?).

But you were one of Canada’s largest, most reputable insurance companies. Not some seedy, fly-by-night outfit like Dewey, Cheatham and Howe. So I forgave you and filled it out anyway.

What Are You Really Saying?

How you communicate is a direct reflection of how you conduct your business. Not all your customers will care or even notice if you misspell a word.

But some of us will. And you’ll leave us no choice but to wonder if you’re going to be that careless with our money, too.

Spelling mistakes, misplaced decimal points. What’s the difference? Will your sloppy attitude spill over into how you handle the sensitive personal information we’re obliged to entrust you with?

These days, too many companies are putting the “k” in “kuality”. Don’t let yours be one of them!

You ARE Your Message

No matter how large or small your business, the way you communicate expresses your values, creates an image and reinforces your brand.

Everyone in your organization needs to support those values in every aspect of what they do, from internal emails, memos and telephone manner to the more formal correspondence and materials that represent you to the outside world.

Companies that DO pay attention to how they communicate at every level and point of customer contact will enjoy a competitive advantage over those that don’t. Excellence always trumps mediocrity. These days, it’s sadly and increasingly rare.

Here’s an example of how a simple spelling error can cost you money, too.

While standing in line at one of Canada’s top four banks, I noticed a big vinyl banner announcing “No-fee withdrawls”. Cringe. A couple weeks later, it had been corrected: “withdrawals”.

That missing “a” x 1100 branches x $100 ea (that’s conservative, given the size of the banner and the cost to ship it to all those locations) would have cost this bank at least $110,000 to correct.

Having a professional editor or proofreader take a look before sending it to be printed? Priceless!

Help Your Business Excel.
Always Take Your “Q” from “Quality”!

Let’s learn from each other! Please share your own stories below.

What are some of the worst (or funniest) spelling errors you’ve ever noticed?
What lessons have you learned from others’ mistakes?
Do you have any examples of companies putting the “k” in “kuality”?

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