Have you ever gotten a customer service email that totally turned you off of the company? You think, “OK, that was just bad.” Whether the email didn’t address your concern, sounded too formal or too casual, or looked like it was written by a corporate robot, it just didn’t work. That’s exactly the kind of customer service email you don’t want to write. Follow these tips in your emails, and you’ll have the happiest customers around.
Watch Your Language
The language in your customer service emails should be helpful and professional, but not overly formal. The level of formality you employ depends on your customers. Treat them like human beings, not stuffy bureaucrats. And hey, if they are stuffy bureaucrats, hit them with all of the flowery, ten-dollar words you can muster. The best rule of thumb is to mirror the language they used in their initial email. If you talk to them the way they talk to you, you’ll be more relatable to them. It will ease communication so you can better solve whatever problem they’re experiencing.
Beef Up Your Strategy
You can use a variety of different tactics to craft the best emails for your specific customers. Try a few of these ideas out, if you haven’t already, and you’ll be sending customer service emails like a real pro:
- Automatic replies: As soon as you receive a ticket, let your customer know that you’ve received their email or chat and that you’re working on it. The acknowledgment of their problem or complaint helps ease their anxiety about whatever they’re going through. An automatic reply will buy you some goodwill—and more time to solve their problem. Some auto replies promise a more personal response in a certain time frame, which can be great for the customer—but only if you can keep your promise!
- Respond to complaints: Even if a customer emails you just to tell you that your product or service is terrible, respond politely. Tell them that you’re sorry they’ve had a bad experience, and ask them what went wrong. Any feedback they give you will help you learn how to fix these problems in the future.
- Follow up after resolution: Sending your customer the solution to their problem doesn’t mean your job is done. Follow up with them to make sure it worked for them. Let your customer know you were happy to help them and that you’re just an email away if they have any other questions.
- Have fun with it: A lighthearted joke here and there can go a long way in maintaining good relationships with your customers. Think hard about the kind of humor your customers would appreciate, and go with that. Of course, if they wouldn’t appreciate a joke at all, it’s best to stay away from humor. But there are other ways to keep it light. Flex your creative muscles, and play to your own personality strengths, and you’ll find ways to delight your customers with every email. The best place for a funny joke or a “Have a nice weekend!” is at the end of an email. You want to leave them with a happy feeling.
- Personalize: Any personalization in a customer service email will go a long way in making them feel they are talking to a person, not a robot. Use their name and any other (appropriate) personal info you might have available to you to let your customers know you’re here for them. Try to relate to and empathize with your customers. Recognizing that whatever they’re going through isn’t great will help them feel like you’re talking to them, not at them.
Use the Right Tools for the Job
There are a wide array of email tools available to help you manage your customer service email workflows. Here are a few of the best:
- Team Inbox: A shared inbox is a great way to manage your incoming customer service emails. Having everyone log into a single email account can get messy fast. A shared team inbox solves most, if not all, of the problems caused by a shared account.
- Social Support: Many customers’ first impulse when they have a problem is to go straight to social media and post publicly on your company page. Many web tools offer a social media integration that will send these complaints straight to your personal or team inbox. Then you can jot a reply down from a single centralized location.
- Ticket Systems: No customer service department is complete without a ticket system. Managers need a way to assign tickets to customer service representatives in an efficient and helpful way. That should be the main factor in determining which ticket system to use.
There are many alternatives for each of these tools on the market. Do your research to determine which solution best addresses your individual customer service department’s needs. Then you can help your customers like never before.