Strong writing skills offer obvious benefits when it comes to writing a sales letter, drafting marketing copy, or preparing a presentation , but they impact many more aspects of your business than you may think. The effect of bad writing on business might be an invisible cost, but some pretty big organizations have discovered just how much they can save by improving writing skills. The respected company Wylie Communications, Inc. has compiled some telling examples of how bad writing hurts business:
- FedEx rewrote its operations manuals, cutting the time cost of finding the correct information by 80 percent, which translated to $400,000 in savings each year. And that's not counting the business benefits from users who couldn't find the correct information in the old manuals.
- Prior to 1977, the FCC had five full-time staff members on hand to answer questions about CB radio regulations from the public. When the commission reworked their regulations to use easily-understood language, they were able to reassign all five staff members.
- The U.S. Army conducted an experiment, issuing a memo to 129 officers. Some officers received a more-readable version, and others were given a less-readable one. Those who received the more-readable memo were two times as likely to act on it the day it was received.
- General Electric's technical writers found that, after rewriting the software manuals, calls from business customers with questions about the software dropped by an average of 125. GE estimated that they save $375,000 per business customer with the reduced need for clarification.
- The U.S. Navy reworked its business memos for better readability, saving 17 to 27 percent of the reading officers' time and an estimated $27 to $37 million per year.
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