Business services notes (1 Viewer)


New Member
Oct 29, 2007
Key terms and concepts
Body language
Using the body or facial expressions when communicating.
Briefing notes
Summarised notes that report on the progress of a particular project or task.
Written communication, usually by letter.
Defined resource parameters
The resources available to complete a task are limited/stated.
Electronic mail
Correspondence that is sent via email or facsimile.
Instances of asking or seeking information.
Equity principles and practice
The notion of fairness and the procedures in place to support it.
General correspondence
Items of mail that are delivered to a workplace generally by a post person, consisting mainly of letters.
The mechanical and electronic components of a computer, eg the hard drive.
Verbal or written directions setting out how to do a task.
Memo (memorandum)
A form of written communication (that is less formal than a letter) from one person to another or a group of people in an office.
Network system
A chain of interconnected computers, machines or operations.
Oral communication
Communication that is verbal, which can be either face-to-face or over the telephone.
Proforma letter
A standard letter that has been drafted to use in numerous similar situations.
The process of checking a document for errors, either on the computer or paper.
Quality assurance
A system to maintain standards in a business.
A person who receives something.
Software package
A number of computer programs generally sold as one package, all produced by the same company, which is cheaper than purchasing each program individually.
Voice mail
Any system for sending, storing and retrieving audio messages, like a telephone answering machine.
Written communication
Communication which is written down, either in the form of a letter, memo, note, facsimile, report or email etc.

Important notes
Verbal communication
Verbal communication is the simplest form of communication. However, it is not successful unless the two people understand the information the same way.
In an office, verbal communication can include
· answering the telephone
· receiving visitors
· relaying messages
· receiving or giving instructions
· making or confirming arrangements
· addressing meetings.
Effective verbal communication skills
Listening is an important skill in communicating with others, as you are able to learn what the other person wants and means. To fully understand the message being conveyed, it is important that you ask questions to clarify the meaning. It is also important to clarify that the other person understands your message.
Understanding body language: Body and facial expressions are often used when communicating. It is important that your body language is not conveying something different to what you are saying.
Appropriate speech: In the workplace, it is important to use language appropriate to the audience. The jargon used when speaking to a colleague is not always appropriate to use when speaking to a client, as they may not understand the jargon being used.
Making use of correct questioning techniques: Questioning is an important tool used to obtain feedback and clarification of a message to ensure that the receiver understands what the sender is saying. There are three main questioning techniques.
1. Open questions: these encourage the sharing of information and usually require longer answers, eg Why are you interested in applying for this job?
2. Closed questions: these questions are usually asking for a yes or no answer, and do not encourage any further discussion, eg Are you interested in applying for this job?
3. Reflective questions: these questions are structured so that the person answers in a particular way, to make their opinion clear, eg This job interests you, doesn't it?
Effective telephone techniques
The first voice heard on the telephone creates a lasting impression and the receptionist is usually the first point of contact a customer/client has with a business. It is important that callers are greeted with a pleasant and clear tone of voice, in a polite and friendly manner, using concise and correct English.
Most organisations have a policy for answering the telephone, which may include
· answering the call within a certain number of rings
· giving a greeting like good morning or good afternoon
· saying the name of the business
· introducing yourself
· asking how you may help.
Responding to enquiries
In order to respond to enquiries promptly, it is important that you have a good knowledge of the organisation's products or services, as well as the personnel who work there. If you cannot answer an enquiry, you should be able to direct the enquiry to the person who is responsible for that area or department so that the person has their queries answered within a short period of time.
Written communication
Written information is a very important part of the business communication process. Written information in an office may include handwritten and printed materials, electronic mail, internal memos, briefing notes, facsimiles, general correspondence and telephone messages.
Effective written communication
To be effective, written communication has the following aspects.
Clear: It is important to write clearly so that the person reading it will not get confused. It is best to use short paragraphs (which contain only one thought or idea), short sentences and simple language.
Concise: To write concisely, use as few words as possible to convey your thoughts, avoid repetition and leave out unnecessary information.
Correct: It is important to follow specific rules and styles for business writing. Every business will have its own style of presentation so that all documents have a company look.
Courteous: This is polite and respectful writing. Write a letter to a customer in the way that you would like to receive one!
Complete: Make sure that all the relevant information is included in the correspondence so that no details are left out.
Business letters
There are several forms of business letters.
Acknowledgement: Sometimes sent to confirm that the business has received a letter.
Claim: Also known as a letter of complaint. These letters should be written tactfully, without blame or anger. The problem should be stated first, with adequate information provided so that the business can reply to offer a solution.
Adjustment: Often written in reply to a letter of complaint or claim, usually to offer a solution. Also sent when an adjustment is made to a client's account.
Confirmation: Used to confirm something that has been agreed upon either over the phone or in person. This will serve as a written record so that details can be checked.
Enquiry: These are requests for information.
Covering: A brief description of what is being sent. For example, when a business is sending brochures to a client, a brief covering letter is included.

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