Communicating via email is challenging. Unlike a phone conversation, this channel makes it more difficult to read and communicate tone. Yet, there are several benefits to email as well. You don’t experience the stress of a customer yelling at you, and you have more control in how you respond to them. In this power read, I share my tips to help you craft emails that improve your performance metrics and deliver delight to your customers.
Mindsets for success
Before we begin, here are some mindsets that will help you approach customer service emails effectively.
When a customer writes in for support, it’s because they have a problem they need your help to solve. Don’t let their frustration confuse you. Identify the problem they’re facing, and keep it at the forefront. This will help you figure out how to solve their challenges and also make them feel reassured.
Be confident in your role as the subject matter expert in the interaction. Even if you don’t know how to solve their issue, there are lots of ways for you to get the resources and support to do just that.
When you’re reading a customer’s initial email, put yourself in their shoes and really listen to the emotional concern they’re expressing. This will help you respond to them with empathy, warmth, and acknowledgement of their experience. Being cold and overly professional will not help the customer feel heard – you can treat them as a friend while also getting the job done!
You don’t have to be overly professional and formal in your language. Robotic responses don’t deliver the human touch that can make an immense difference, especially on email. You can have fun and be personal when you write to customers – trust me, they appreciate it. Lots of times, customers write in to thank us for the pleasant experience of talking to a real person.
With email, you don’t have the luxury of having an immediate back-and-forth conversation with the customer like you would over the phone. However, you can preempt follow up questions by thinking ahead. Ask yourself, “Is there any information I can include that will help with understanding, reassurance and overall satisfaction in this initial email?”
Let’s say you have a customer who has written in to request a refund. If you respond by simply stating that you’ve refunded the order, that is helpful. But you can go over and above to deliver customer satisfaction by adding information on the amount refunded, the payment method, and even how long the processing might take. These are all elements a customer may have asked on the phone, so by thinking ahead, you help reduce their effort and demonstrate how thorough you are.
That said, although you may do your best to try to predict possible questions, you will always run into the possibility of the customer wanting to ask follow up questions. Be ready to follow up with your customer in a timely manner if this occurs.
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Customer Service Team Manager