Despite the rise of social media, live chat services and chatbots, email is still one of the most commonly used communication channels for businesses and individuals all over the world. In 2017 alone, over 269 billion emails were sent every single day.
When it comes to your business, the chances are that you communicate with your customers using this traditional method. In fact, as many as 46% of customers will choose email as their preferred method of communication.
So, as a business, what emphasis do you place on making sure that these emails are of the highest quality? Thanks to the level of connectivity that we all share, thanks to the internet, your customers now expect the very best service possible. They want to feel special. They want to feel valued. They want to feel like you care about them as individuals.
There’s no better way to do this than writing personal-sounding emails to them, no matter what their question, query or reason for contacting you is. Today, we’re going to explore exactly how you can write these kinds of email, helping you to provide the best customer experience.
The Foundations of a Customer Service Email
Most commonly, a customer service email will have one of two purposes; a customer is complaining about a problem or a customer is asking a question. The typical reply time for an email is 1-4 days, depending on the size and nature of your business, but replying as soon as possible yields the best results.
The nature of customer service emails can vary dramatically from message to message. One email could simply be a customer asking whether you have any items in stock or a request for information about a product or service you offer.
On the other hand, if a customer has had a bad experience with your business, the email can seem rather irritated and bad-tempered. Regardless of what email you receive, it’s vital that you reply personally and professionally. Here’s how:
Of course, the first point of contact you’ll have with your customer is the greeting. Too many businesses have fallen into the trap of rushing the greeting of their emails and jumping straight into the business side of things, making the customer feel shunned and as though you’re rushing to handle their request, almost as though you’re trying to get them out of the way.
“Start your emails softly and gently, greeting the customer by their name, perhaps even stating that you hope they’re having a good day. This will make them feel valued by your business and sets the tone for the rest of the email,” explains Anita Driscoll, the support manager at Essay Roo.
Moving down the email, the next step you will want to take is thanking the customer for getting in touch. If the customer has a question, this means they are already interested in what your business has to offer; they just want more information, so thank them for showing interest.
Even if your customer is complaining or has a problem, thank them for notifying you of the problem and making it clear that you are putting them first.
Summarizing the Subject
The next step you need to take is briefly summarizing the problem or request that the customer has originally contacted you for. This short, 2-3 sentence paragraph shows the customer that you have understood their situation and that you’re both on the same page.
This is exceptionally important when it comes to more complex matters that you’re trying to deal with. By summarising the request, both you and the customer knows that you’re on the same page and there’s also the opportunity in the customer’s reply to correct any kinds of misunderstanding.
Answering the Question
After the tone of the email has been set, hopefully positively, and the request has been summarised, it’s time to move onto the meat of the email by providing a valuable answer. Of course, this reply will solely depend on the nature of the email and will vary in complexity, but the basics will always remain the same.
In addition to the text content of your reply, you help to make your customer’s life much easier by providing a detailed reply with other forms of media. This could include screenshots, bullet-pointed step-by-step instructions on how to resolve an issue, real-life case studies or examples and links to relevant content that is hosted on your website or blog.
“The aim of this section of the email is not just to answer the customer’s question, but to do it in the easiest way where your customer can easily digest and act on the information that you’re giving them,” shares Jennifer Harper, a customer service manager at Type My Essay.
Be sure to check back through the original email that your customer has sent you to make sure that you’ve covered and replied to every single point that they made. In a situation where you don’t know the answer, don’t just say that you don’t know. Instead, let the customer know that this request will take a bit longer to process but you will get back to them with an answer. Be sure to include a timeframe.
Closing Your Email
When all the loose ends have been tied up and the answers provided, you’ll need to close as strong as you started. This means letting the customer know that if they experience any more problems, they’re more than welcome to get back in contact with you at any time.
If possible, make sure they can get back in contact with you personally, saving them the trouble of having to explain everything all over again to another customer service agent.
Don’t forget to add a nice closing sentence, perhaps wishing your customer a good day or even making a joke. This is a great way to turn what could be a negative situation into a positive one.
While this is the detailed format of a personal customer service email, there are several other factors you’ll want to consider when writing your emails;
- Choose your tone of voice in-line with your brand (formal/informal)
- Use simple and understandable language (no jargon)
- Use automation services (such as ‘we will reply’ if you have a lot of emails to deal with)
- Create templates to make life easier.
About the Author
Mary Walton is a writer at Australian Economics Assignment Help service. She also blogs at Simple Grad and proofreads content at PaperFellows, college writing service.