One email decides whether a customer is going to invest in your product or not.
That certainly makes email service one of the most important tools for providing great customer service.
So how can you improve email service and ensure business growth?
Check out some of the tips:
1. Make The Address Personal
Greeting the customer personally as if you are meeting them face-to-face can make a big difference.
You can start the email by using the first name: “Hello Mike.” When you open the email as “Dear Customer” or refer it as “Case No. 8997,” the customer will most probably think that the email has been sent by a robot.
To make the interaction look as if two people are directly communicating with each other, write “I,” or “ we” or “you.”
Such a type of interaction ensures that the email does not look as if it is a transaction.
Make sure that you sign it off using your personal name instead of “The Support Team.”
It will make sure that the email looks completely personalized.
2. Always Use Conversational Tone In An Email
How do you talk when you are directly speaking to someone in person?
Well, you need to use similar conversational tone in the emails.
No one wants to make any communication with robots or faceless companies.
Every customer expects a response from real people.
So when you use the conversational tone in the emails it will give the reader the feeling that he is talking to you personally.
The customers certainly like it when you address the email in an informal tone.
However, it does not mean that you should be sloppy.
Always make sure that the spellings are correct and the grammar is correct.
3. Never Forget To Say ‘Thank You’
Whenever customers contact you to ask a question do not forget to thank them.
They are letting you know that something is not clear about your service or there are any issues with the product and so on. If they are reporting a problem to you, thank them first.
It is quite possible that they are speaking about an issue that has already affected other customers as well.
Help Scout says that for every complaining customer, there will be 26 others having the same problem but preferring to stay quiet or will address the issue to someone else.
Experts say that the complaint from a customer should be treated as a gift.
It means you have been given a chance to retain 27 customers.
Instead of writing a formal email in reply to the complaint like “With reference to your complaint no –,” you should write something that will make them feel as if they are valued.
You can start your email by saying, “Thank you so much for letting us know about this issue you have been having.”
4. Apologizing Upfront, Showing Empathy
If the complaint is genuine do not put off an apology.
The best way to pacify an angry customer who is complaining about your product/service is by apologizing up front.
Let the customers feel that you are genuinely sorry for informally saying,” sorry.”
Avoid the formal phrases such as “please accept apologies from me,” or “I would like to apologize to you.”
Expand the email by making a reference to some particular details that the customer has mentioned in the complaint. It will make the customer feel that you have really listened to the complaint or read it thoroughly.
You can add more empathy to the email by saying,” I’m extremely sorry that you have to undergo so much distress, especially now that you are relocating to a new place.”
The real art of writing an email is showing empathy even when you are not wrong, or even when the customer is wrong. Instead of repeating sorry, you can show the care you feel by saying, “ I can really understand how frustrating all this has been for you.”
5. Make It To The Point
What would you like to hear in the form of a reply?
Naturally, you would immediately look out for the solution you have inquired about.
So once you have apologized, expressed gratitude to the customers and show them how much you care and want to solve the issue for them, the next step is breaking the news-good or bad.
The customers are just waiting to hear your side of the decision.
Avoid lengthy explanations and long sentences.
Just directly let them know what the company has decided.
It will ensure that you sound more honest and transparent instead of being a defender.
Even if it is a bad news, do not weave it into a long story.
Put it up front and explain the rest of it in the email.
For the bad news, you can always soften the blow by offering alternatives. You can say,” I know you were not expecting this news, but I have explained the reasons for this decision right below.”
6. Make It Crisp And Clear
You certainly want the customers to understand everything when they read your email.
If it starts with long, complex sentences then maybe he will decide not to go through it further.
Instead, keep the sentences short and crisp and then lead to the most important points.
Try to make the email easy on eyes by maintaining lots of white space in between the paragraphs with each paragraph of four lines or less.
Use a logical structure to ensure that your customer can easily navigate the email.
The structure should lead the customer to what is more important for them even if it is not according to the order experienced by you.
You can use subheadings, bullets in a step-by-step way and make the customer walk through all the instructions.
The effort should always be directed at making this clear for the customers.
7. Do Not Overwhelm The Customers With Superfluous English
Avoid trying to impress your customers with overwhelming words and superfluous language.
They will not be impressed. Rather you may baffle them.
The customers should not need any translator or assistance for understanding the email.
So make sure that your email is written in plain and simple English.
Instead of writing difficult sentences like, “I have raised a job to scope the works, “you should simply say,” I’m sending an expert to take a look at the problem.”
In such emails, owning the sentence or the statement is very important.
So while writing an email always use direct, active language that will clearly indicate who has done what.
8. Avoid Use Of Negative Language
Do not cut out the hopes of your customers by saying,” We do not have the product in the stock currently.
We will not have it until next few months.”
Instead, make the same statement positive by saying, “The product you are requesting will come in next month.
I will book your order right now, so that it becomes available to you the moment it comes.”Avoid the “I do not know,” attitude. Instead always maintain a can-do approach.
To understand how improvements in the email can help in the business growth let us take a case study of a call center department of an ecommerce site.
The call center department is a primary base that answers the queries of the customers and tries to offer proper solutions.
The e-commerce site is a regular books site that offers academic and classic literature collections to the readers.
The traffic to the site is more or less same all over the year.
And since the dealing is quite simple, there are not many complaints from the customers.
That was one reason the e-commerce site opted out of hiring a call center company to handle its customer service department. Instead, it employed few trained agents to take care of the delivery and customer service issues.
The problem started when the e-commerce site added a new vintage collection of antiques and art pieces.
These gift items and classic collections are loved and treasured by the connoisseurs around the world.
Hence, they were a bit pricey items.
But since the e-commerce site wanted to venture into something new but unique the management decided to add this new item to its shopping list.
The gift items were unique and preferred by high-class people for gifting or even for awarding big laureates.
The trouble started when a company placed a bulk order of 25,000 gift items to be distributed to its partners, finance and legal consultants, associates, clients, and even esteemed customers.
For the first time, the call center department started receiving calls in huge numbers.
The call waiting multiplied and there was no way the staff could handle the growing load of the inquiries from the customers.
Complaints started pouring in and the client directly addressed the e-commerce directors and asked them to look into the matter.
He even threatened to cancel the order or break the contract if the complaints were not addressed in time before their annual function.
The client was agitated as its customers and associates were complaining about not receiving the gifts on time.
Some of them had received damaged items whereas some did not carry the manual/ description that is an important part of a classic artwork or a vintage piece of item.
To handle this problem, for the first time the e-commerce site decided to outsource the customer service department to a reputed contact center company that was using the latest call center software.
The ecommerce site manager discussed all the issues with the call center head and told him that he immediately wanted a team to handle all the complaints and pacify the customers so that his company does not lose the client.
The call center manager picked up a team of 10 to 15 skilled agents from his company and also hired a few expert agents who had prior experience in handling customer service work related to an e-commerce site.
It was important that they had a few people who could handle the issues related to failed or faulty delivery with ease and convince the customers.
The manager then asked its technical staff to start tracking the call recordings, the database and call drops to check out whether the frontline staff is doing their duty to perfection using its best call center software.
Such was the flow of the calls that it was decided that apart from answering the phone, the agents should also email and chat with the customers who were available on these platforms.
The agents were trained to send personalized, empathetic emails to the customers.
Since it was possible to generate multiple personalized emails for a common problem at a time, the task was completed within a short duration.
The customers started reverting through email instead of calling the customer care agents which reduced the flow of the calls.
By using emails it was possible for the customer care agents to forward various files and details easily to the customers which they could retain for further reference.
The call center software solutions implemented by the call center company ensured that all the data was preserved and the agents could always refer to it.
After the eCommerce site outsourced the customer service work to the call center company, things began to improve.
The complaints reduced as the issues of the customers were readily addressed by the agents.
Moreover, the customer care service was available 24×7.
Hence customers located across the globe received an instant reply to their problems whenever they contacted the customer service department.
Since the agents were available on live chat and emails, the customers could easily approach them even during their work time simultaneously doing other office work.
The issues of the wrong deliveries were solved and slowly the client began to receive positive feedback from its associates, elite customers, and partners.
This one experience proved as an eye-opener for the eCommerce company directors.
They accepted that customer service is a special field of work that needs expert staff and advanced call center solutions for successfully delivering results.