Email support remains an integral cog in every company’s customer service strategy. To date, there are more than 4 billion email accounts in the world, and it’s continuously growing.
An Enghouse survey revealed that 46% of consumers prefer to use email as their preferred business engagement channel, second to phone. IT support companies and customer service departments of any business, no matter how small or large, should always ensure that they are delighting customers with every interaction.
Providing excellent customer support through every stage of the buyer experience is one of the top indicators of a brand’s reliability and trust worthiness. Customers like knowing and feeling that someone’s there to help them when a problem arises with the products and services they’re paying for.
Email is a great way to build, maintain, and nurture customer relationships. However, it can also break it. The internet and social media have made it easy for customers to share how well or how badly you handled email support.
So, think twice before clicking send. Here’s a quick guide that can help you craft a helpful and emphatic email to show your customers you care.
1. Personalize your emails
Don’t treat your customers as just a number. You may be getting hundreds of emails in your inbox, but it’s no reason for you to make your customers feel like they’re just one out of a hundred with the same concern.
Personalize your message by including their name in the salutation. You can even go the extra mile by matching their tone and voice. That doesn’t mean that you should send an angry reply to obviously frustrated customers.
If the tone is casual and conversational, then ensure that your response uses the same tone. On the other hand, if the customer is businesslike and detached, then you can use a more formal tone.
2. Thank them for their message
This is a classic customer service protocol. Always thank your customer! Thank them for their interest in your product, for purchasing, or for contacting you.
Simply put, let them know that you’re thankful that they are one of your customers. It’s highly recommended that you express your gratitude in the beginning of your email.
3. Introduce yourself properly
People like knowing that they’re corresponding with a real person, instead of just a machine. By knowing who they’re talking to, your customers can determine that they are indeed talking to someone who can help them with their specific concern.
If you’re sending out an automated response, include a signature at the end of your email with your name and position. Don’t forget to let them know when you will get back to them with a more detailed response.
4. Deliver the bad news first, and then give them good news
A study at UC Riverside discovered interesting human reactions when it comes to receiving news. Researchers studied how respondents reacted when delivered good news or bad news in a specific order.
The study found that people who were given the bad news first were more likely to feel better after the good news. On the other hand, people who get bad news last were more driven to act upon the news they received.
So, if you want to make your customers feel better, give them the bad news first and the solutions last. It is good news to know that there’s an easy solution to their problems, and that you will help them through it, right?
5. Use the ELI5 technique
Your customers came to you with a specific concern that they would like to be addressed as quickly and simply as possible. Avoid using technical jargon that can further confuse your customers and make them feel inefficient. Give clear and simple instructions that are easy to follow.
The Explain it Like I’m Five technique doesn’t mean that you should make your customers feel like silly children. Simply explain the solution step by step—in easy-to-understand words and sentences.
Provide screenshots and illustrations if possible. If the instructions are long, provide them a link to an online source that they can follow.
6. Use white space and bullet points
Most users don’t like reading long, wordy emails. Break it down into shorter paragraphs, and utilize white space so that your customer’s eyes can rest and easily digest the information you’re giving them.
Use bullet points and numbered list for specific instructions. Again, if your instructions are long and complicated, include a link that leads them to an instructional article.
7. Let them know they can contact you again if they need more help
Encourage them to respond to your email whether they were able to solve the problem using your instructions or if they need further assistance.
This is especially helpful when you’re asking your customer to complete necessary steps or instructions on their own to solve their problem. By letting them know that they can reach out again if they encounter difficulties, you’re providing them assurance that you’re just an email away.
8. Combine templates with free text
Most customers will send very detailed emails with a complete back story of how they arrived at their current predicament. Read through it carefully, so you don’t miss out on any pertinent details.
Some email support agents fail to realize that they weren’t able to address all concerns because they’re just sending out template responses.
It’s okay to use templates, especially for instructional materials. But, make sure that you combine it with free text that was individually written for that specific client.
9. Thank them again
After giving them all the information they need, don’t forget to thank them again. Close your email with a friendly tone. Don’t forget to include your name, position, and contact information.
10. Double check your spelling and grammar
So, you’ve crafted the perfect email response. But before you hit send, make sure that your email is free of spelling and grammar errors.
Wrapping It Up
A perfectly crafted email can help you establish your brand as reliable, credible, and trustworthy.
The bottom line here is that if you care about your customers, you will take the time to craft a personalized email that addresses their specific concerns. Every email you send is an opportunity to build a better relationship with your customer. Take advantage of it.
Remember, delighted customers are the most effective brand promoters.