No matter how many channels we communicate on these days, email still holds a prime spot in both our personal and professional lives. For this reason, it also remains an ideal customer service channel as it enables brands to neatly summarize information and engage in a friendly and personalized exchange with customers. While social media and messaging apps provide the convenience of quick communication, email may reassure customers who seek more detailed support over time. Indeed, an eConsultancy report found that 60% of customers prefer email for customer service. And don’t think that timeliness doesn’t matter: A Forrester study found that just over 40% of customers expect an email response within 6 hours. Here are seven ways to optimize email customer service for true customer satisfaction.
Every customer service email should be treated like a conversation. Start the email by addressing the customer by name, and don’t wait until the closing to mention the service agent’s name. Instead, devote the first paragraph to introducing the agent and clarifying his role and just how he intends to help the customer. This immediately sets a personal and friendly tone that instills trust in the customer.
Just like a conversation, agents should take a friendly and approachable tone while still using professional language. Striking a balance between the two shows respect for the customer while also encouraging an exchange of communications. This way, your customers will feel they are encouraged to engage with your brand.
While customers normally appreciate a detailed explanation, make sure to avoid overly complex or technical language. The idea is to communicate all pertinent information in a way that customers will understand. Using difficult language may confuse or stress customers in already difficult situations.
Like any customer service channel, email needs a fairly quick response time. Responding within 24 hours is generally acceptable, but the sooner your brand responds, the better. If more time is needed to answer a question, send a short email to acknowledge the customer’s email and reassure him that you are working on finding a detailed solution.
It’s definitely a timesaver to use pre-written responses to common questions, and generally speaking, it’s a smart thing to do. However, brands should be careful not to sound too scripted and lack the personal touch. One way to make such responses personalized is to allow agents to re-write them in their own words and compare them with other agents during training sessions. This fosters a team spirit among employees while ensuring that your brand delivers a personal touch.
Giving customers options is always important. Allow customers to respond directly to customer service agents with a direct email address or phone extension. In addition, include other contact information such as social media buttons or toll-free phone numbers if the customer wishes to switch channels.
Providing comprehensive email assistance may help your brand achieve first contact resolution, which is always a big plus. However, when additional information needs to be communicated or several exchanges need to take place, empower your customers with self-service options that save them time. For example, always include a case reference number that allows them to contact your brand and get information at any time. Providing links to tracking information can also allow customers to follow deliveries.Effective email customer service is all about finding a balance between professional and friendly language as well as concise but relevant communication. With these seven tips, your customers will appreciate your brand’s commitment to putting their needs first and valuing their business. To deliver the very best in customer service, learn about Vocalcom, a global leader in cloud-based contact center software solutions and premium conversational commerce platform for great customer experiences.
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