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HR Communication Lesson: Speak Plainly

HR Communication Lesson: Speak Plainly

by Frank Roche on August 13, 2007

in Communication

I ordered a Timbuk2 Hacker Bag today after I’d read about it on Scott Beale’s excellent Laughing Squid. I’ve owned a couple of Timbuk2 bags myself, but this is the first time I bought one online. Boy, was I ever happy.

In addition to an excellent site that made it easy for me to order, I also got this fantastic confirmation by e-mail. Here are the HR communication lessons I got from their note:

  1. It was timely. Within 15 seconds of ordering, the note popped into my Gmail. There was no guessing about whether what I ordered was actually ordered. If they had waited 3 weeks to send it to me, and had 17 committee meetings in advance, I wouldn’t have been happy. Why do you wait to communicate with employees? Does that make it better?
  2. It was distinct. I’ve ordered hundreds of items online. Timbuk2’s confirmation note was different than anything I’ve ever gotten. Not “different” in an unrecognizable way, just different in how they told me my bag was coming. I felt like they were talking to me. How much did it cost them to tell me, “Your new bag is gonna ROCK!”?
  3. It was simple. Yep, I got it. They wrote the note in plain English. It’s convenient that I’m a native English speaker, but you get the point. They had fun, for example saying, “PAYMENT DETAILS, or HOW MUCH YOU SHELLED OUT.” It made me smile, and what’s wrong with that? What do you think this would have said if the suits had watered it down? Forget the suits. Speak plainly.

Here’s the whole note. I blanked out a couple of details just to keep people from sending me unsolicited gifts. (If you feel so inclined, you can add me to your Facebook friends, where my home address exists in its full glory.)

The Timbuk2 Confirmation Note That ROCKS!

Thanks for picking us. Your new bag is gonna ROCK!

Here is your order summary email.

We suggest that you actually read this, confirm your order and make sure you ordered what you wanted. Once your order makes it to our warehouse, we can’t change it for you and if it’s custom, we can’t take it back. Not because we don’t love you; but because we already have really, really nice custom made Messenger bags from Timbuk2. It’s part of the uniform.

Your order number is 5XXXX78

ORDER SUMMARY:

BILLING INFORMATION or WHO PAID
Frank Roche
1728 Spruce Street
Suite 101 Philadelphia, PA United States, 19103

SHIPPING ADDRESS or THE LUCKY ONE
Frank Roche
1313 Mockingbird Lane
Anywhere, PA United States, 19312

ORDER DETAILS or WHATCHUGOT
1 Medium Hacker $120.00 ea.
Ballistic Nylon black-black-black

PAYMENT DETAILS or HOW MUCH YOU SHELLED OUT
Visa – number: 4XXXXXXXXXXX08X7 – $129.50

Subtotal: $120.00
Shipping: $9.50
Tax: $0.00
Total: $129.50

Now here’s the part you really want to read.

When will my order ship?
Your order will be sent to the warehouse and shipped in 2 to 5 business days.
If you selected expedited shipping like Second Day or Next Day Air, your order will ship within 1 to 2 business days. Business means Monday through Friday and excludes most US holidays just in case you didn’t know. Now you do. FYI: custom bags do not require any additional processing time. We are just that awesome. Of course there is one exception, isn’t there always? Think “i” before “e” EXCEPT after “c”. If you ordered the Lex Pack the above rules do not apply to you. You see, the Lex Pack takes longer to assemble; there’s a lot to this bag, so it will take 5-7 business days for the Lex Pack just to leave our warehouse. If you opted for Second Day or Next Day Air, please note the shipping method you selected at checkout will determine how many days in transit your bag will take to get to you but does not include production time.

How long will it take my order to get to my loving, waiting arms?
Once your order ships via UPS it will take 3 to 7 business days to arrive depending on where you call home. You can track your order on our website using your order number and clicking Order Tracking or you can be patient and wait for UPS to send you a notification of shipment indicating that your order has left the building. Please note that your item must ship before anyone can track it and it can take up to 48 hours for your tracking information to trickle down from UPS to our systems.

[tags]Timbuk2, hacker bag, communication, HR[/tags]

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