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Money back is better than a refund


Giving a customer money back is better than a refund.

The more concrete your language, saying “money back” instead of “refund”, for example, the more likely it is you will increase customer satisfaction.

Same with delivering “to your door” rather than “house”, referring to the “navy blue polo” rather than “the top”, and “fixing” rather than “solving” a problem.

Concrete language reduces...

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Baby birds


Baby birds open their beaks for two reasons. 

They trust their parent and it’s worth it. They get fed.

Customers and colleagues open your emails for the same reasons.



See: The Little Book of Letters and Emails

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Avoiding overcorrection when things get messy

I’ve been ruminating over the critical distinction between “letter of the law” and “spirit of the law” - the literal vs. the intent - because as we witness the world’s most powerful democracy floundering, it’s clear that the systems and institutions Americans have relied upon for their democracy to function have at least one striking flaw.

They are predicated on the assumption that those in power will do what’s best for their people - and that...

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Living in a snow globe that has been violently shaken

It’s difficult to know what to write today.

It feels like we’re living in a snow globe that has been violently shaken. While things will eventually settle, we are in the midst of being rattled to our core by COVID-19.

So, this is a collection of things I’ve been reflecting on. 

We’re all connected

As a global pandemic, we’re all in it. We can’t look away and pretend it’s someone else’s issue. It became tangibly personal as soon as our...

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