Of all the situations aforementioned, it’s customer service the one people certainly struggle with the most. We usually associate customer service with angry customers and that’s certainly not something you want to face. We get anxious, we forget how to solve the issue the customer has, or we simply don’t pay enough attention to what’s required of us because of the stress we experience.
Customer service is delivered in a variety of formats: over the phone, on-site, via chat, or through email. And this form of written communication is the one that concerns us for this blog post.
But, what is the challenge behind email communication? Think about it: you can’t see your customer’s face or hear their tone of voice; asking questions for clarification of the issue becomes a constant back and forth of emails that turn into a huge thread of messages too difficult to follow up with, which delays the delivery of the solution for them; emails can get lost in your inbox, causing more delays and upsetting your customer,... It’s not an easy task.
The first thing to remember is that you must always treat your customers the way you’d want to be treated, especially when dealing with something that is causing dissatisfaction. This is a universal truth and a golden rule to live by in any industry. Since customers can’t see you or hear you, your choice of words and your level of personalization with the customer matter a lot. Nobody wants to feel like they’re just receiving a generic email and then just wait to be ignored. Make sure your customers don’t feel this way by addressing them properly.
Your emails’ extension is another factor to consider; being direct and going straight to the point is always appreciated by customers who are busy or in a rush. Remember also to organize your emails by paragraphs or bullet points, depending on the case. Keep in mind that politeness is still essential, even if you’re keeping your message short.
Sometimes you might deal with customers who are not as experienced as you in the technical field. You want to avoid misinterpretations, so make sure you write your emails using a language your customer can understand.
Another great thing to do is ensuring you understood your customer’s situation. A highly recommendable way to do this is retyping your customer’s message in your own words to show you actually got it right. Don’t be afraid to clarify the issue! Your customer will appreciate your willingness to help.
Closing your email nicely will also contribute to making a great impression on your customer. End your emails with positive phrases that leave a smile on your customer’s face. A simple “Thank you for making business with us” can go a long way.
As with each skill we acquire, improving the way we communicate is something that takes time and practice. There are plenty of courses and infographics online that can help create really effective emails that impact your customers positively. Take those courses, create your email layouts for situations you deal with the most often, and keep lists of phrases handy. As time goes by, the task will get a lot easier for you and you’ll keep your customers satisfied by providing them with a first-class service they’ll never forget!