There are several reasons a person may need to write a personal business letter. They may need to resolve a problem with a company, request a replacement item under warranty or dispute an item on a bill. This type of letter is valuable because it allows the sender to communicate clearly and precisely and gives a record of the communication.
A personal business letter gives credibility to the writer and is a hallmark of professionalism. A poorly crafted letter signals indifference or incompetence.
Some of the most common reasons a personal letter may be written are:
• To request something from the recipient
• To congratulate a business partner or employee
• To express thanks or gratitude
• To follow-up after a meeting or conference
• To formalize a decision taken in an informal meeting
Some examples of when a personal business letter may be required are:
• From a consumer to a business
• From a job applicant to a company
• From a citizen to a government agency or official
• From an employer to an employee
• Between staff members
• From a charity to a prospective donor
The letter should be printed on plain white paper and not have any cartoon or floral embellishments. It is, after all, a business letter. It should also contain the sender’s contact information. This includes an address, phone number and email address where the sender can receive return correspondence.
Even though the letter is personal, it is about a serious subject and should follow formal business-letter format. This includes using block format, which means the entire letter left justified and single spaced except for double spacing between paragraphs, addresses and closing signature. It is recommended to use a generally accepted font such as New Times Roman size 12 because it is easy to read.
The letter should be addressed to the proper person. If it is a complaint letter to a company, the sender should find out the name of the person in charge of customer service. Many companies have several offices and addresses including post office boxes, so the sender must take the time to find the correct address.
A RE line after the address, tells the receiver exactly what the letter is about. If the sender has an account or billing number, it can be put in this line.
The tone of the letter should be cordial and polite. Even if the letter is to make a complaint, it should not have an angry tone. If there is an issue to be resolved, a polite letter will have a better chance for getting a favorable result. All the information should be stated clearly including why the letter is being sent and what are the sender’s expectations if there are any. For example, if the sender wants an item removed from their bill, or if they want to have a defective product repaired or replaced they should state it clearly. If the letter is to solicit a donation, it should be made clear at the beginning.
By Andre Bradley