Email has become the most ubiquitous and basic of business tools. Likely to be the first thing someone checks when starting the workday, email is now the primary method for business communication. As such, it’s imperative that a business think through the role email plays in customer service.
There are many benefits to employing email as a customer service tool, but certain risks and weaknesses as well. Most people have experienced the embarrassment of a thoughtless typo or an email whose tone was misconstrued by the recipient. Create a set of rules for email conduct that all customer service representatives are expected to follow to avoid some of the most basic email errors. Include guidelines that may seem like common sense, such as never using profanity, along with less obvious suggestions like avoiding jokes, or anything at all political. Train employees in the company’s preferred tone for use in written correspondence.
Always proofread. No email should be sent without being read over first. Typos are embarrassing, unprofessional and, in especially egregious cases, can obscure meaning. Proofreading ensures each email possesses the clarity and professionalism that shows the company in the right light. If a customer service representative doesn’t take the time for such a basic task, it sends a message to customers that they and their concerns are unimportant to the company.
As people are busy and time is one of the most valuable commodities there is, make the point you need to in the fewest words possible. Needlessly lengthy emails are likely to be only partially read or skimmed, causing important information to be overlooked. If the issue being addressed is especially complicated, determine whether a phone call would be a better approach rather than a long email. Then follow-up after the call with an email summary of the phone conversation (in case of complex instructions, etc).
While a reply doesn’t need to be immediate, the goal for every customer service email should be to respond within a business day. This shows that the customer service representative is attentive, and helps prevent letting an issue drop off the radar. For problems that take longer to resolve, requesting customers to create a ticket in Mojo Helpdesk is an easy way to ensure that the issue will stay visible to the assigned representative until it’s solved.
To make providing customer service with email easier on representatives, create template responses to the most common customer issues. Chances are, the company encounters certain questions or problems with more frequency than others. By working out the best response to each of these frequently asked questions, and offering them to representatives in an easy to access space, such as the Helpdesk, the company can be sure that representatives provide the preferred proof-read responses and cut down on the time required to respond to many customer service issues.
As with any customer service tool, email can be used effectively or detrimentally. By implementing the proper process to ensure tone and avoid typos, and with encouragement to have your customer service team take the time to mindfully and carefully review correspondences before sending, basic email blunders can be easily avoided.