a) Economy and Efficiency
In the first place, written communication is economical. A letter can do a better job at a less cost. A long distance trunk call has got to be brief because as the minutes tick away, the charges grow; and it is not always made unless urgent and unavoidable. A telegram is telegram where every word costs. The message is cut down to size to minimize the cost, perhaps even at the expense of clarity! A letter can be written at the convenience of the writer and read at the convenience of the receiver. Not so a telephone call which comes at any time of the day and annoys the receiver by interrupting him when he is busy, or disturbing him when he is relaxing or enjoying his luncheon! For thanking the customer of his order or informing of the delay or conveying any matter which is not urgent, a simple post card or a letter is considered an efficient means of communication.
In business, all messages are not brief. A long and intricate message cannot be given over the telephone. Because it is quite likely a word or phrase may be misheard, a figure may be transposed, a date or address may be incorrectly received at the other end. For these reasons one cannot reply upon telephone conversation. But a carefully written letter ensures accuracy.
Any information in a written form has another distinct advantage over an oral communication. Human memory is short and oral information cannot always be remembered in all its details. But when the information is down in black and white and is signed, it becomes official and serves as a permanent record and is filled for future references.
d) Goodwill and Image Building
Invitations, seasonal greetings, thank you letters, congratulatory messages and condolences cannot just be conveyed over the telephone. A personalized message in writing goes a long way in building good human relationship which is very essential in day-to-day life and it is more so in business. Goodwill letters are written to promote customer relationship. In business there are many occasions that can be turned into an opportunity to create an impression and build goodwill. For example – when a customer is ill, when a customer has a birthday, a son or daughter gets married, when someone has done a favor or when a person has been promoted – all these situations are personal in nature, and men in business write letters to suit the occasion and to promote a feeling of friendship on the part of the readers. Such letters act as a business promotion device in an indirect manner. Besides communicating information and building goodwill, letters also help to create a favorable image of the company that sends them. Every letter that goes out of a company goes as a goodwill ambassador and speaks for its quality. Written communication is proved to be more effective than verbal communication and its effectiveness depends upon how it is written.
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