Nature of Business Letter
Of all forms of written communication, letters are the most common, the most frequent, and the most personal means of communication. A letter is a written message sent to an individual or a group of people .It may either be a business letter or a social letter.
Is used to transact business.Its tone and style should be formal and business like.
Is a friendly letter intended to convey personal messages to the people close to the writer.
Functions of Letter
Business letters secure, promote and maintain business without complications, Business letters serve us a reference for the future. Every organization should have to classify its outgoing mail and incoming mail and file them classified on the basis of their subject matter in a chronological sequence. Business letters serve to maintain the correct information of the organization in the perception of the receiver. Business letters establish and maintain contacts over a wide area truly enlarging the scope and extent of business. Business letters can be used as legal documents in disputes. All business letters promote goodwill and enhance the prestige and the image of the organization.
Some of the useful functions these letters perform are:
1. Keeping records and maintaining references.
Letter is the record of what was committed to a supplier or customer or information sent to a government department.If any time there is need to check back what the other agency had agreed to do it is available on record and reference can be made to that particular letter.Business letters provide valuable data about earlier policies, transactions and all other activities of the organisation. Modern business cannot depend on memory as in olden days. Letters are ready references if they are available. New policies can be evolved by studying the earlier ones. It is not only essential to maintain good correspondence but also more essential to make them be available in the files.
2. An Authoritative Proof
A business letter also serves the purpose of evidence. A written commitment binds the concerned parties to obey to the text of writing. A letter signed by a responsible person acts as an authoritative proof of what is said in it. It can even be treated as a valid document that can be produced as evidence in a court of law if any dispute arises.
3.Maintain contacts where physical contact is not possible
It is very difficult to send business representatives to all the places. But a letter can be sent any place at any distance. Sometimes executives, professionals, politicians, etc. are difficult to be approached personally. But a letter can find easy access to anybody. Thus a business letter helps to widen the area of business operations and also the access to a large number of people.
4. Exchange Business Information
The prime objective of a business letter is to exchange business related information between the parties involved. Most of the time business people send letters to their counter-parties containing various business information.
5. Building and Maintaining Business Relation
Business letters help to build and maintain business relation among various parties like manufacturers, distributors, intermediaries, support services and consumers.
6. Maintaining good public relations
The companies often want to stay in touch organisations and people even if they do not have direct business dealings with them.This generate awareness and goodwill for their products and services.Heads of the organisations communicate with such people and with eminent people and respected organisations through formal letters.
7. Legal Functions
Business letters can provide evidence in legal disputes, if any, that occur in a transaction. They are useful as legal documents in quotations and offers.
8. Making a Lasting Impression:
In case of oral communication, the impact of any message is felt mainly during the time of hearing. And as soon as the next oral communication takes place, the effect of the previous one is reduced. But a letter makes a lasting impression on the readers’ mind as it stays with them and works effectively every time it is read.