The responsiveness of customer service is crucial to stand out from the competition and provide a memorable customer experience. While it’s important to invest in new digital channels, such as instant messaging, traditional channels should not be neglected. In fact, sometimes your customers actually want to slow down and write you a thorough message. When a situation calls for more detailed explanations, many customers turn to a prime communication channel that most of us could not function without: email. According to Forrester, email is actually the most commonly used digital channel for service, with 54% of customers having used it in the past year. Here are six tips for sending perfect emails that your customers will appreciate.
It may come as a surprise that a casual tone is best for customer support emails. According to Software Advice, a survey of more than 2,000 online customers across all ages and genders found that 65% prefer a casual rather than a formal tone. This doesn’t mean that agents should start using slang and emojis—keep in mind that a professional approach is still important. By keeping your tone casual, you are being friendly and approachable, just as an agent might speak to a customer over the phone.
Every email should have a personalized quality to it. The agent writing the email should always address the customer by name and be sure to sign the message with his name as well. By using names, the email turns into a conversation, and the customer can also follow up directly with the same agent if needed.
Capture the attention of your reader with a short and catchy introduction. Establish a relationship of trust right from the beginning of your email. When responding to the customer with a proposed solution, use simple language. The customer should not wonder about any technical vocabulary, so explain in clear terms that he can understand. If there is a process to follow, it could be helpful to break it down into steps. Highlight the benefits of your product or service rather than its features.
If it needs to follow a specific process, it will be helpful to break it down into several steps, inserting relevant links for each one. Encourage your recipient to take action by offering a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA). This could be an invitation for a free trial, a promotional offer, or a purchase button.
If the solution being offered requires access to long documents or multiple images, consider inserting links to files. The body of the email should never contain too much content that might overwhelm the customer. Another solution is to provide relevant links to information on the brand website, such as video tutorials or specific answers in a database of frequently asked questions. Email might actually be a step toward helping the customer use self-service.
A study conducted by SuperOffice found that the average company takes just over 12 hours to respond to emails. However, another study by Toister Performance Solutions, Inc. found that 89% of customers would be satisfied with a response time of just one hour. The pressure is on to respond quickly, so do not waste time. If your company cannot respond within 12 hours, be sure to send customers an automated response indicating when they should expect an answer.
No matter what the situation, agents should always show a proactive, determined attitude. Every email should convey the idea that a solution will be found and that the company is happy to assist the customer in the process. Positive language will reassure customers, while negative, doubtful, or even sloppy language (such as spelling errors) will make them question your competence as a brand. Email is an ideal channel for communicating efficiently without losing a personal touch. By following these six tips, your brand can foster stronger relationships with customers who will be more likely to support you in the long run.
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