Research has projected that there will be about 4.1 billion email users by 2021. The increasing number of email users has led to an increase in the use of email for customer support. Many businesses are reaching out to potential and existing customers via this medium to get them to buy their products and services. They are also using email customer support to keep existing customers loyal to their brand. This trend has made email customer support a necessity for any business that wants to grow.
Customer service emails are conversations between a customer and a support agent that aim to resolve a specific problem or concern of the customer regarding a product or service. It is convenient, and the going is good as long as customers get the answer they are looking for. But sometimes a customer might get answers that are below his or her expectations. This can make the customer feel let down.
So how do you avoid this and make sure that your emailing strategy remains effective? There are important questions you should ask to determine if you are doing your customer service emailing right. We will look at these questions in the remaining parts of this article.
1. Did You Provide Solutions To The Customer’s Problem?The main reason your customer support exists is to provide solutions to your customer’s struggles as far as your product or service is concerned. This aim should be clear to you the business owner and also to the customer care representative. You can only solve the customer’s problem if you are communicating effectively him or her.
Clarity of the email is a major factor that can affect the communication between the support and the customer. Communication is easier when the message of the email is clear and easy to understand. Follow these quick tips to ensure clarity of your email: Do not use big words – the aim of the email is not to make you sound smarter by using big words. Save that for real-life conversations. Your aim is to make your customer understand what you are saying. Big words can make that impossible.
Avoid long paragraphs – Nobody likes to read long paragraphs. Split long paragraphs with line breaks. For easier referencing, use numbers instead of bullets to explain a step-by-step process.
Give it a human touch by making it personal – This is very important when writing customer service emails. Personalized service can calm any customer no matter how serious his concern is. You should sound like a human being and not like a robot that has been programmed to give dry answers. How can you make your email reply more personal?
a. Start by greeting the customer. It is good to open with a hearty greeting instead of going straight to business. This is the first step you can take to make your emails more personal. It sets the tone for the whole email so ensure that you do it well.
b. Address the customer by name This is often ignored by customer support agents. Use a customer’s name when talking to him or her. Avoid using titles like “customer” or referring to him or her by a case number. This will make the customer feel he is dealing with an automated system and not a human being.
c. Thank the customer for contacting you. You should do this before moving to business. You may wonder why thank the customer since you are the one providing answers to his question. But the thing is, the customer is doing you a favor. He is letting you know something is wrong with or difficult to understand about your product or service.
d. Summarize the situation This is very important when dealing with complex cases. Summarizing the situation will make sure you are on the same page with the customer. If there are doubts, ask for further clarification. When you are dealing with customers who are not native English speakers, you can rephrase what the customer says to check if you fully understand him or her.
e. Provide answers in an easy-to-understand manner. After following the first four steps outlined above, provide answers in a way that is easy for the customer to digest. You can use screenshots, examples and step-by-step lists to make the customer understand depending on the complexity of the problem. If you don’t know something, let the customer know and promise to get back to him or her within a timeframe. You should ensure that you really get back to the customer within that timeframe.
The steps above will make your emails more personal to the customer. Let’s go to the next important question.
2. Did You Acknowledge The Recipient’s Perspective?It is important for you to consider the customer’s point of view. Everybody has different views so don’t be too focused on what you want to pass across without acknowledging the customer’s perspective. If you are responding to an inquiry, acknowledge the question and provide specific answers. Always keep your email specific and simple.
3. Did It End On A Positive Note?Before sending the email, read it over. How does it make you feel? It is not good to end your conversation in a negative way even if the problem was not solved. Find a way to end it on a positive note. Make sure you give all the possible support you can give. If you cannot find an immediate solution to the problem, reassure that customer that you will do all it takes to find a solution and get back to him or her. You should be able to go the extra mile for the customer. The efficacy of your email customer support depends on this.
Always remember that even though simple, emailing can be an effective tool for building a lasting customer relationship. So, ensure you do it right.