Letter of Compliment Assignment: Pre-Writing Form

Step 1 of Guffey’s 3 x 3 Writing Process




Identify a situation that happened to you or that you witnessed in which you/a person received good customer service, helpful advice, or necessary assistance to compliment the party/parties involved in the situation.

  • Note: Compliment does not mean to thank the person.


  1. Analyze Your Purpose and Select Your Channel


  1. Identifying the Purpose (See p. 130 in text)
  • Why am I sending this message?
    • I am sending this message to Apple Inc. support and service department.
  • What do I hope to achieve? What do I want the audience to do/believe?
    • As a result of my letter, I want the audience to know the customer focused and helpful attitude of their customer support representative that I spoke to about a problem with my iPhone.


  1. Selecting the Best Channel (See p. 131 and Figure 4.5 on p. 132)
  • How important is the message to me/to the audience?
    • The letter is important to my audience because they should appreciate the effort and loyalty their customer repetitive put into their job.
  • How much feedback is required?
    • Based on the purpose of this letter, the audience (shouldn’t) respond (i.e., provide feedback) to my letter of compliment.
  • How fast is feedback needed?
    • Based on the purpose of this letter, I should send it within a week.
  • Is a permanent record necessary?
    • The audience (does) need a hard copy of the letter for my/its files?
  • How much can be spent?
    • Based on the immediacy of feedback and need for a permanent record, I (will have to) spend money to send the document?
  • How formal is the message?
    • Based on the purpose of the letter and its audience, I should use (informal) language to write my letter of compliment.


  1. Anticipate and Profile the Audience (See p. 130-131 and Figure 4.4 on p. 130)


  1. Profiling the Audience
    • How can I tailor the message to my readers or listeners?
  • My primary audience is very professional.
    • Is/Are there a secondary audience(s)?
  • My secondary audience is __________N/A_________________________
  • Additional people who will read or hear my message is/are ____________N/A_________
  • The secondary audience is different from my primary audience because _______________________________________N/A_______________________________
  • Additional background information I need to include for the secondary audience is ________________________________N/A_________________________________


  • I will adjust my message if it will be forwarded to other audiences by __N/A__________ ____________________________________________


  1. Determining the Tone of the Message and Selecting a Channel
    • What is my relationship to the audience? I am a long time customer.
    • Is the audience a member of or outside of the company/organization? The audience is the member of the organization.
    • If the audience is in my company/organization, does he/she hold a position of authority? The audience is not in my organization.
      • How will this affect the tone of my message? N/A_________________________
    • How much/what does the audience know about the topic/subject of my message? The audience is well aware of the subject of my message.
    • What do I know about the audience’s education, culture, beliefs, and attitudes? I do not know the audience of my message in person.
    • What reaction (positive, negative, neutral) will the audience have to my message? I expect that the reaction of the audience will be positive based on the purpose of the message that I am sending towards them.

III. Adapting to the Task and Audience (See p. 132-139 and Figure 4.6 on p. 133)


  1. What techniques can I use to adapt my message to the audience(s) based on the purpose of my message? (The audience will do/believe ________ as a result of this letter.)
  • Identifying the Strategic Approach
  • Based on the audience’s reaction (i.e., positive, negative, neutral), I can use the direct (direct or indirect) approach to writing my message.
  • Developing Audience Benefits
    • The benefits I can emphasize to the audience for doing/believing what I write in my message are: they well know about the quality of their services and they well be informed about the attitude of their customer services.


  • The needs of my audience are to know about their customer satisfaction and/or I can demonstrate empathy by providing customer care information.
  • Cultivating the “You” View/Attitude
    • When I write, I will:
      1. Focus on the receiver.
      2. Emphasize second-person pronouns (you, your). Instead of “We need you to work on Saturday,” try this:  “By working on Saturday during the open house, you may surpass your sales goals for the quarter.”
      3. Avoid overusing you (otherwise, my message may appear to place blame and cause ill will to the reader).
    • Being Conversational but Professional (See p. 135, Figure 4.7)
      • When I write, I will:
  1. Use warm, friendly, and informal writing.
  2. Keep my messages professional.
  3. Not use IM abbreviations, slang, sentence fragments, and chitchat.
  • Expressing Yourself Positively
    • When I write, I will:
  1. Find positive ways to express my ideas to avoid angry reactions from the audience.
  2. Avoid words like complaint, criticism, defective, failed, mistake, and neglected.
  • Being Courteous
  • When I write, I will:
  1. Soften the tone of my message by using a courteous tone

Use words like please and th