Effective Email Customer Service

April 16th 2013       Sally Ormond       customer service, Customer service best practice, dealing with emails

Customers that phone you are such a pain, aren’t they?

Unless you happen to have a large call team, you can only speak to one person at a time, and then there’s that annoying ringing when you’re trying to get some work done. Why do they do it?

Thankfully, more and more people like to deal in email (much quieter and less annoying), but how you deal with their incoming enquiries will have a big impact on their perception of you as a company, so how can you make sure you give a good impression?

1. Show your email address

Obvious! I hear you cry, because otherwise how will they know where to send their email to.

Yes, I know that, but have you noticed how many companies these days are opting for a contact for instead and don’t show their email on their website?

I’ve lost count of the number of companies I’ve contacted this way only to never hear from them.

Showing your email address (a bit like showing your postal address) reassures potential customers that you are a real company that wants to hear from its customers.

2. Answer quickly

Email is immediate, so your customers will expect a quick response. Make sure it’s at least the same working day, even if you just sent a holding email to show you have their query and you’re dealing with it (and give them a date when you’ll have an answer by).

If it takes a bit longer than you expect to sort out their problem, send them regular updates so they know you haven’t forgotten them.

3. Use their name

When you respond make sure you use their name. There’s nothing worse than getting something that say ‘Dear Sir’ or worse ‘Dear customer’.

4. Thank them

I’m not teaching you to suck eggs here, but make sure you open your response with a ‘thank you for your email’. Even if they’re complaining, it shows that you value their email and want to put things right.

5. Answer everything

Usually, the email you get will cover more than one point, so make sure you cover everything in your response. There’s nothing more annoying, from the customer’s point of view, that receiving an incomplete response that means they have to contact you again.

6. Concise

Although your email must be polite, it should also get to the point quickly. Your customer doesn’t want an essay, they just want an answer.

And always end with a ‘if we can be of further assistance, please get in touch.’

Oh, nearly forgot, always read through your email before hitting send to make sure it’s spelt correctly, there are no grammatical errors, that it answers all their questions and that it makes sense.

You might think all of  this is common sense, but judging by some of the emails I’ve received over the years, it obviously isn’t.



Tags: customer service, Customer service best practice, dealing with emails
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