Customer service email is a crucial aspect of email marketing. Still, it is often overlooked.
In all likelihood, your company representatives send out a massive number of emails each day. Given that volume, it’s hard to fully appreciate the importance of every single one. While that’s natural, it’s also a missed opportunity.
How your team writes customer service mails has a major impact on how those reaching out to you perceive your brand. Chances are, when a customer emails you, your reply is the only company email that they’ll ever pay full attention to.
It’s vital to seize that opportunity and shine.
Here are 5 no-nonsense tips to make every customer service email count.
1. Acknowledge – Agree – Assure
The gold standard of customer email communications are the three As.
First off, acknowledge that a problem has cropped up and resulted in frustration and lost time for your customer. Thank them for bringing it to your attention. If the fault was on your side (and maybe even if it isn’t), apologize.
Next: Agree that what the customer is describing is indeed an issue, and that it has to be fixed. Demonstrate that you understand their problem.
The final A: Assure your email’s recipient that you are working on resolving their problem. Whether it’s through having tech support contact them, providing a replacement, or issuing a refund.
It’s all-important to avoid belittling the problem the customer is facing (even if it is a rather routine matter). Another big no: A minimalistic link to the FAQs, how-to videos, or help pages. If they’d wanted that, they wouldn’t have emailed you. That’s not to say, of course, that you can’t include relevant links at the end of your response.
2. Be Concrete
Be precise when you explain what you’ll do to resolve the customer’s issue – and how long it’s going to take.
“As soon as possible”, for example, could mean just about anything. Will you be getting back to them in an hour? Or the day after tomorrow?
Even if you think the problem will take a few days to resolve, letting your customers know has its benefits. For one thing, you can apologize for the wait upfront and reduce irritation on their part. For another, they won’t flood your agents’ inboxes with follow-ups.
3. Be Human And Use Clear Language
This should be a given – one most companies fail at. It’s a fair bet that you’ve received an impersonal, rude, or jargon-laden customer service mail at least once. And that your perception of that brand consequently took a serious hit.
That’s why it’s crucial to be human and polite throughout your email, and to use clear language.
On the first point, go all-out on personalization, even if many of your customer service emails are auto-generated. At a minimum, use their name and include your own. And even if the mail you get is loaded with abuse and expletives – maintain polite friendliness in your response.
On the second point, avoid using jargon or unnecessarily complex, lengthy sentences. It doesn’t matter what sort of copy you’re writing: Clear and simple is always better than impressively creative. Your customer is looking for a quick fix or answer, not a novel or a technical report they’ll need a dictionary for.
4. Carefully Structure Your Mail
The structure of your customer service mail will ultimately decide its success.
Following the three A’s is already an excellent outline. In addition to that, keep your mail as straightforward and easy to understand as possible. Don’t hesitate to use bullet points or number problem-solving steps.
If there are multiple customer questions to address, break up your answers accordingly. Use formatting to mark topic breaks and transitions to improve readability.
Finally, keep it short and sweet. People just don’t want to scroll forever, especially on their mobile screens.
5. Be Fast And Follow Up
In a recent study, the average customer service agent took 12 hours and 10 minutes to respond to an email. Aim to beat that.
Even if you don’t have a solution ready, a fast response is worth it. Customers appreciate knowing you’re aware of the problem and working on it. If at all possible, give them a preliminary timeline for the resolution.
The faster you actually address your customer’s difficulties, naturally the better. If an issue is taking longer to resolve, send your customer an update to demonstrate your continued effort. Otherwise, they can quickly feel ignored, with satisfaction – and ultimately retention – plummeting.
Writing a customer service mail is fundamentally different from many other aspects of email marketing, like personalizing newsletters or crafting cold emails.
However, it’s impossible to overstate the impact of a great email response to a customer’s request.
By observing the three As, being concrete and human, using clear language and structure for your mail, and making sure your response time is top-notch, you’ll be able to get the most out of this opportunity.
You might only have your customer’s full attention this one time – so be sure to excel.