Scroll, scroll, scroll. “Hmmm. That rings a bell.”
Open the email. “Oh! It’s the company I complained about.”
Read a few sentences, close email, leave. “I’m not sure why I even bothered…”
Sounds familiar? That’s what many customers do with your emails. Typically they’re underwhelmed by these communications as there isn’t anything unique or new about the way the message is being presented.
It’s the same old, “Hi there, we’re really sorry our product was not what you expected. We’ll contact you blah blah text.”
These kinds of emails aren’t just ignored but left in limbo…for eternity.
It sure is convenient to use the same old messages, templates, and designs (more than 60 percent of marketers use mass email blasts to keep in touch with customers). But the truth of the matter is, your customers are just as hateful towards bland customer service emails as you are.
Essentially, people are only interested in emails that truly enrich their lives – messages that make them feel they’re really cared for. And, unfortunately, these occasional all-stars may not be yours. But they can be. With a little extra effort, you could make a lasting impression on your customers.
Here’s the SaneBox Scoop on how to write compelling customer service emails.
Personalize the Email
We don’t just advise addressing the customer by name. The email’s content should feel like it’s crafted by a real person, rather than a dull customer support team.
For instance, you can include phrases like “I personally looked into it”; “I talked to the manager and…”; “is there anything else you’d like…” This kind of personal response shows that you’re proactive and taking action.
Of course, using an approachable tone does not mean coddling customers.
Let’s say a customer is asking you for a complete refund on an item they damaged in a fit of rage. You would tell this customer no, you’re not giving him/her a refund, but you should do it in a direct, friendly, calm manner. You’re not going to violate your return policy for a mistake you didn’t make. Pleasant can be purposeful, too.
Thank the Customer & Get Some Feedback
Before moving to resolution, thank the customer for getting in touch. After all, they’re doing you a favor by letting you know that something is either puzzling or not working. Expressing gratitude is also a great way to generate goodwill for your business.
Although “thanks” or “thank you” seem to be a one-time opportunity, the reality is that you can use them in emails on various occasions. We’ve left a few ideas below.
A Week or Two after the Purchase: You can thank the customer again for doing business with you, and convey that you hope they’ve had a fun, enjoyable experience using your product. If you’re afraid of forgetting to follow-up, use SaneReminders to attain peace of mind.
Approaching the End of a Product’s Life: If you know that a buyer needs to restock your products every year, you can schedule your emails to encourage repeat purchases roughly at the ideal time. Use “thank you” in these emails to validate the customer’s buying decision.
Upon Achieving Milestones: You can thank customers for helping you achieve important milestones – such as reaching 5,000 orders, or marking your fifth year in business. Remember: sometimes a bit of genuine gratitude is all customers truly desire.
And while you’re at it, let them know that the feedback they have to offer is valuable to your company. This step will enable you to avoid situations where you have to email back and forth to understand the problem (nobody wants to talk with an agent who repeatedly requests more information, particularly when it could have been provided much earlier in the communication had it been requested).
Answer the Customer’s Query
After all the thankfulness and summing up the information, it’s time to finally solve the customer’s problem. The goal here should be to not only offer a solution but also to make it easy for the customer to understand.
Depending on how complicated the issue is, you have several tools at your disposal to make the explanation easier to digest:
Self-help materials from your knowledge base
If you’re not sure about something, take note and inform the customer that you’ll do your best to bring things to a close without involving them.
The key here: use the correspondence to facilitate your customers. Because everyone has better things to do than to step in a complex email chain, make it simple and stress-free.
Close On a Highlight
After providing a solution, let customers know that they should come to you directly if they have any doubt or confusion. Also, make sure to include any information that’ll help streamline the customer service process.
For instance, you can mention toll-free numbers to call for support, links to frequently asked questions, and details on all social media sites on which your business is present along with a direct link to the brand’s profiles.
We also recommend adding a bit of personal touch at the very end. Simply wishing the customer good health or cracking a joke can take the sting out of an unpleasant case. Tidbits like “Happy Monday” are like a cherry on top for customer support emails. Uncertain about this approach? Read this case study on how certain email closings resulted in higher response rates.
Over to You
While there may not be a silver bullet that saves you from an onslaught of complaints, the best practices mentioned above will enable you to provide truly exceptional customer service via email. Keep your messages positive, confident and brief to make customers happy.
What’s your take on customer service emails? Do you show gratitude to your customers? We’d love to hear from you.