In a new white paper available for direct download, “The Consequences of Poor Writing,” we discuss six ways that poor writing can hurt your business. As the white paper details, poor writing
- Costs sales and business
- Costs time
- Can damage morale and undermine respect in the workplace
- Can hurt your organization’s brand
- Can be dangerous
- Means lost ideas
Let’s take a closer look at the first consequence, “Poor writing costs sales and business,” as it’s especially damaging. There are two simultaneous, troubling realities here.
- Poor writing leads to fewer new clients, lower client retention, and fewer referrals. It’s a triple revenue-killer.
- When poor writing costs sales and business, there’s a strong chance you won’t be aware that it’s doing so. Clients and prospects are unlikely to tell you about the damage your company’s poor writing is doing; they might not be fully cognizant that poor writing is a factor causing their dissatisfaction.
Let’s examine how poor writing skills in the workplace are a triple revenue-killer.
1. Fewer New Clients
It’s obvious that writing matters for delivering new sales. It’s why companies—whether they sell candy, cars, or kaleidoscopes—spend so much time and money on marketing writing. After all, if product descriptions are unclear, unconvincing, or careless, people won’t buy your product. Meanwhile, if you’re a contractor or service provider, sloppy, incomplete, or unpersuasive proposals, websites, and marketing materials will cost you business.
Let’s look more closely at proposals to better illustrate how writing quality impacts purchasing decisions. Obviously, when prospects become clients, they want you to do quality work for them. Your proposals, meanwhile, are often prospects’ first exposure to your work, so they can have a tremendous impact on prospects’ views of your company’s suitability. If your proposals are highly impressive, they bolster prospects’ confidence in your company’s professionalism and capability, and help deliver a high rate of sales. But if your proposals are shoddy, prospects can only be left suspicious about your company’s professionalism and overall capability to do the quality work they’re seeking.
2. Lower Client Retention
Poor writing can hurt customer retention in a variety of ways. Two of the most common are:
- Poor work product—If written reports or other documents are core deliverables that you offer, then sloppy writing, poor organization, and other writing problems are major issues that will cause many clients to consider switching to your competitors.
- Poor communication—Poor communication is a major problem for all types of relationships, including those with clients. If your written communication with clients is frequently or consistently poor, it can reduce client satisfaction. Let’s say, for example, that you have employees in key client-facing roles who regularly write unclear and mistake-filled emails and other written materials. Clients might wonder why you have these employees working with them. Are the clients not a priority, so you’re having lower-performing employees work with them? Or does your overall organization lack the professionalism your clients are seeking? In either case, clients likely will find themselves looking for alternatives to working with your company.
3. Fewer Referrals
You have fewer clients and less-satisfied clients than you would if poor writing didn’t plague your company, so it follows that you’re going to receive fewer referrals.
The Good News
Your business doesn’t have to suffer the costs of poor writing. Contrary to common belief, you can improve your teams’ writing skills—provided you offer proper training. Contact us to learn about our customized onsite and online business, technical, and scientific writing courses to start taking advantage of the benefits of effective writing!