Despite the boom of social media, email remains an integral part of the omnichannel customer service strategy.
Email’s a big hit among the 55-and-above age bracket, with 52% of them naming it as their preferred method of engaging with brands.
And even millennials love email too. As much as 73% of them prefer this touchpoint because it’s “part of everyday life.”
As such, your online customer care strategy won’t be complete without email. Using it as a customer support tool will let you reach a bigger demographic.
However, delivering customer service through this touchpoint can be tricky. For a better customer experience, you need to make sure that your messages are easy to digest and straight to the point. So for effective communication via email, practice these seven tips!
1. Always use the customer’s name.
Too many emails sound robotic and impersonal, and customers are tired of getting them. Addressing customers by their first name shows that you’re paying attention to them.
You can’t go wrong with enthusiastic greetings as well. Cheery hellos can lighten up the atmosphere and improve the tone of the conversation.
2. Introduce yourself.
When customers contact you, they expect to talk to a real, breathing human, not a bot. All your call center agents should thus make it a habit to introduce themselves to customers. This makes interactions more personal. Instead of a transaction between a customer and a brand, the interaction then becomes a conversation between two people.
3. Simplify explanations.
Depending on the customer’s issue, your customer service email may contain technical concepts. The golden rule is you have to make everything easy for the customer to understand.
There are plenty of ways to do that, including these:
• Use short sentences.
• Don’t fit two or more ideas in one long statement. Explain them one by one.
• Avoid jargon.
• Use illustrations, graphics, and other media.
4. For longer instructions, use links.
When customers receive an email, they’ll probably spend just a few seconds scanning it. Your best bet, therefore, is to make the email as short as possible. However, don’t compromise problem resolution just because the procedures involved are too complex.
Or better yet, you may transfer the conversation to another channel such as the phone.
5. Use a conversational tone.
Generally, customers of all ages and genders like call center agents who use conversational but polite language. It makes the customer service interaction seem more relaxed. However, there are exceptions:
• Sincere apologies (e.g., “We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.) work better than casual ones (e.g., “Sorry!“)
• When denying a request, avoid using a casual tone.
• When delivering good news, customers prefer a more informal tone.
6. Avoid weak and vague phrases.
For clear and effective communication, do away with weak phrases. These are common expressions that don’t add any value or meaning to a statement or those with a negative connotation.
7. Keep customers posted on updates.
Although customers don’t expect an instant reply upon sending an email, they’d want you to keep them updated about the progress of their requests. Tell them specifically when they can expect results, and promise to get back to them at a particular time. Just make sure to stick to the schedule.