Customer support can't be an afterthought in a successful online business.
How you reply to customers will have a tremendous impact on every important metric you value. Good customer service has many benefits besides the obvious idea that one should maintain basic manners and email etiquette. In a material sense, good customer service will reap you immediate benefits such as:
- Increased Retention
- Reduced Refund Rate
- Increased Loyalty
- Increased Lifetime Customer Value
- Increased positive referrals
- Increased brand image
Practicing quality customer support is not difficult, but many companies seem to try and "wing it." I don't want you to wing it. So, in this blog post, I'm sharing the 7 steps that every single customer support email my team sends includes.
If you make sure that every email checks the boxes below, you'll get all of the benefits mentioned above!
#1 Be Kind (Always)
Kindness can be difficult when working customer support, but it is mandatory. Regardless of how upset the person on the other end seems, we set the tone, and never match it.
Although it can be cathartic to tell someone off when they're being rude or disrespectful, there is no benefit to your company in doing so. You're not on a stage performing for a crowd. The only person you're communicating with is the customer and neither of you will get anything out of you matching negativity with negativity.
#2 Make it Personalized and Professional
Use their name (spelled correctly) in salutations when applicable. The last thing you want to do is make yourself sound like an automated reply.
Sometimes a simple casual greeting or farewell shows the customer that.
- You are there for them and are present to address any issues they have.
- You care enough about your customers to give them personal support.
In terms of your own personalization, be sure that you're using a professional company support email address. Don't use some random @gmail address.
A professional email with your website in the address greatly boosts trust and credibility with your partners and customers.
Its way harder to trust Old Macdonald's personal email address [email protected], than it would be to trust his polished corporate email [email protected]
#3 Provide Complete Replies
Always do your best to fully address any and all issues that they bring to your attention when replying to said emails.
There is nothing more frustrating than incomplete replies in emails, and your customers will be grateful for clear and concise replies.
#4 Keep it Lean
There is a fine line between "complete" and too much detail. Although it's better to err on the side of providing too much information, your customer simply wants things fixed.
Don't make them read a novel in the process. Keep it Short, Sweet, and to the Point
#5 Don't Be Open Ended
Let the customer know that you are around for support but avoid ending an email in a way that requires the customer to reply.
Instead of saying something like "How else may I assist you?"
try "Please don't hesitate to reach out with any additional questions"
That sort of closing statement communicates the fact that you are there if they need anything else without forcing them to reply with a "Yes" or "No".
#6 Close With Gratitude
Let them know that you value them as a customer (or potential customer). Customers will respect you if you respect them; it's just basic human psychology.
It is always important to remember the human being behind the screen as more than just a potential sale.
#7 Reply in a Timely Manner
Make sure customer support emails are replied to as quickly as possible (within reason). Replying within 1 business day is standard but with the right team in place, you can beat this.
Also, to save yourself and your customer time, it is a good idea to save some templates for common questions you may come across. Make sure they are personalized, obviously, but having templates can be a great time saver.
And there you have it! 7 rules for top rate customer service in the world of emails.