One of the challenges of working in customer service is the massive amount of emails you receive and need to be answered as soon as possible.
When you’re spending a whole day writing emails, it can be easy to forget that there is another human being on the other end, which is waiting for an answer that will solve their issue.
No matter what kind of information you need to deliver, the way you deliver it can make or break your business’ reputation, which is why customer service needs to be paid extra attention.
But how can you deliver better-written emails, that feel personal and solve the customer’s issues, while at the same time keep being productive?
Follow the tips below to ensure you deliver the best support you can to your customers.
1. Use Email Templates
Lots of companies fear that using templates will take away from the personal tone of the email, but when you receive hundreds of emails that need to be answered as fast as possible, automation becomes a great help.
The more emails you receive, the more you start to see that some of the interactions become repetitive, so having some templates that can solve some of the most common issues can save you a lot of time.
Automating the writing process does not take away from the human interaction, as some may believe, as long as you don’t just copy and paste the text into the reply box.
To do so, you need to first identify the most common issues that customers seem to have and start developing a template for each one of them, which you can then adjust according to the situation.
To get started here are 19 free email marketing templates designed to nurture, sell, onboard, and reach out.
2. Make Your Emails Personal
Templates will save you a lot of time, but make sure to only use them as an outline for the final email. In the world of customer service, email personalization is key, in order to make the customer feel like they are interacting with another human, not a robot.
When customers feel like they are receiving custom-tailored service, they build up their trust in the company and feel like an important asset for you.
In order to make the emails feel more personal, make sure to always use the customer’s name at the beginning of the email and your name in the end. This makes the customers feel like there is actually a real person behind the computer screen.
If you don’t know how to address them, go with a slightly friendlier tone than theirs, to respect their boundaries, but also gain their trust.
3. Keep It Simple
You work with your products and services every day, it is only normal that you are familiar with the technical notions behind them and have no issue using them. Keep in mind, though, that your customers may not be, so always make sure you use simple terms when explaining them to your customers.
This does not mean that you should underestimate your customers, but simply make sure they understand the information and avoid any sort of misunderstanding.
This way, you can avoid a long trail of emails where you keep explaining to the customer all of the complex terms you are using, while also staying away from sounding too stiff. Keep your email copy simple.
If you are not sure your response is clear, ask a coworker or someone else to read it and give you their opinion. The key is to make sure anyone, even someone who does not have your complex knowledge of the products, understands what you are trying to explain.
4. Pay Attention to the Tone
One of the strongest debates in customer service revolves around which tone is the most appropriate for replies: formal or casual?
Truth is, the answer depends on multiple aspects. When asked, the majority of customers say they prefer a more casual and friendly tone, as it has more of a human touch to it.
When it comes to denying their request, things seem to be the other way around. People like to be turned down in a more polite and formal way, as it feels more professional.
If you are unaware of the tone you should use, a good tip is to answer is a slightly friendlier tone that the customer is using.
Pay attention to what type of words they use and if you find any clue that they might appreciate a more formal tone, go with that. Also, make sure the way you answer matches the values of your brand and how you want people to perceive it.
5. Pay Attention to the Way You Deliver News
The order in which you deliver the news to the customers plays an important role in their overall reaction to the email.
In 2013, a study revealed that customers who received good news last had a much positive reaction to the response, while those who received bad news last were more likely to react in an unfavorable way.
In customer service, you generally want your customers to be happy, so leading with the bad news and concluding with the good ones is a better approach. Writing something on the lines of “I am sorry to inform you that, unfortunately, the product has still not left the warehouse.
The good news is that we have identified it and it will be included in the next transport on Monday.” should be enough to leave the customer with a good impression.
6. Proofread & Check Everything
Nothing signals unprofessionalism more than a bad-written email, full of grammar mistakes and typos. Make sure to always proof your emails before sending them, to avoid overlooking the small details.
If you need to include links in your email, check them to make sure they are not broken and the page opens up. The same goes for attachments. Make sure you include all the files you said you are going to attach and ensure they can all be opened.
You can also try to avoid these seven deadly sins when you’re writing or proofreading emails.
7. Include Links When Necessary
Nobody likes to read long emails, so make sure you reduce both your and your customer’s effort by including links to further instructions in the body of the email.
When customers ask for support on installing something or for instructions on using your services, provide links to useful articles or content from your website in order to keep the email as concise as possible.
If the link includes a huge amount of information, you can hit them exactly where they can find what they are looking for. This will save them time and help you avoid multiple email exchanges for a simple issue. On the other hand, it will give the customer a good feeling when they can accomplish something on their own.
8. Don’t Forget to Thank Them
If a customer took the time to write to you, no matter what their issue is, make sure to let them know how thankful you are. A simple “Thank you for your email.” can be enough. Feedback, be it positive or negative, is an extremely important tool to help your business grow.
When they encounter an issue, the majority of customers simply stop doing business with you, without complaining or letting you know, so when they do give you feedback, they are actually doing you a big favor.
This can help you identify issues you were not aware of, which can then benefit your relationship with other customers as well. So, no matter the subject of their email, make sure to let them know you value and appreciate their time and effort to bring that thing to your knowledge.
9. Don’t Leave out Any Unanswered Questions
Check your email and make sure you did not forget to tackle every single issue your customer might be having. Even if you cannot provide a clear answer yet, at least provide information about how and when you are going to come back with a solution.
Customers don’t want to feel like you did not read the entire email and just copied and pasted a universal answer.
Go over the email again before sending it, to avoid leaving out any important information.
Good customer service means providing the best possible aid for your customers and making them feel heard and valued.
10. Conclude with Clear Results
Make sure that, when they finish reading the email, the customers have a clear understanding of how and when their issue is going to be solved.
This does not mean that you need to give every detail about the process, but simply explaining to them the most important steps can go a long way.
For example, if the customer is writing in regards to a faulty product, simply list out the steps that you are going to take in order to exchange or repair the product.
Make sure to set out clear expectations about the length of the process and always tell them when you are going to follow up.
Sometimes, you simply can’t give them an exact time for when the issue is going to be solved, you can always promise them an update on the situation. This will give the customers something to wait for and will help you build up trust.
You can also create a survey for customers to fill in to rate your customer service efforts.
To recap here are 10 tips to create the best customer service emails:
- Use email templates
- Make your emails personal
- Keep it simple
- Pay attention to the tone
- Pay attention to the way you deliver news
- Proofread & check everything
- Include links when necessary
- Don’t forget to thank them
- Don’t leave out any unanswered questions
- Conclude with clear results
About the Author
By Donald Fomby who is a valued member of the writing team at translation and localization company PickWriters. Donald studied Computer Science at Texas A&M. In his spare time, Donald writes Sci-Fi short stories.
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