Writing claims and adjustment messages requires preparation and planning before you begin to write. Write from a simple outline to keep you organized. Decide what you want the reader to do. For example, do you want your money back or do you want the product replaced? A claim letter is a way to resolve problems on errors that were made and may need an adjustment. An adjustment message is a response to a claim letter that was made against your business.
Write about the relevant facts in the first paragraph. Begin with the problem. Explain exactly what happened and the reason that you are writing the claim letter.
Spell out why you believe your claim should be granted in the second paragraph. Tell the reader about the specifics of the claim and the legal responsibilities and fairness. For example, the product didn’t function as the advertisement suggested.
Start the third paragraph by requesting action. Request what you expect the reader to do. Include a date by which you expect action. Don’t threaten, but explain what additional steps you may take if your request is not fulfilled. Close with a “Sincerely” and your signature above your printed name.
Start your first paragraph with an approval sentence. Give the customer the good news first and comply with the customer’s claim.
Start the second paragraph by explaining the mistake. Explain the cause of the problem. Don’t assign blame. Focus on your ongoing efforts to avoid mistakes and difficulties.
Express your appreciation for the customer's business in the third paragraph. Apologize if you feel that you must do so. If unable to comply with all elements of the requested adjustment, explain why and add any necessary details on how you will be responding to the request.
Close the letter with “Sincerely,” and print and sign your name.
Check your letter to ensure the tone is friendly. Try not to sound condescending or mean.
Keep a copy of your letter for your records.
Provide as attachments documents such as bills, advertising materials, or receipts that can back up what you are writing.
- "Business Communication"; Mary Ellen Guffey, Dana Loewy; 2010
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