Working in customer service, you deal with tons of emails every day. No wonder, 96% of consumers consider it essential for brand loyalty. So you try to manage your customer service appropriately to influence your overall conversion rates, don’t you?
The problem is that there’s a big gap between what businesses and customers consider excellent service. While 80% of companies believe they deliver super experiences, only 8% of customers agree with that.
Customers want to feel that brands are on the same wave with people and that their problems matter. As a brand representative, you understand it. However, when dealing with hundreds of customer messages all the time, it’s easy to lose sight of their importance. At the same time, one negative interaction can turn a client off your business and ruin your brand’s reputation.
What to do?
Master the art of customer service emails writing for positive and productive communication with your clients. Given that excellent service means friendly customer support for 68% of customers, you need to find a balance between formal and chummy tone of voice in your brand messages.
Here’s how to do that.
1. Call Every Customer by Name
No matter what customer type you’re writing to, using their names in greetings and throughout emails is your chance to win their favor. It’s all about a human psychological need for recognition, and you could read about it in Dale Carnegie’s books on how to win friends and influence people.
As he wrote, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
So, when using the ContactPigeon automated solution for marketing campaigns, make sure to adjust it for personalized greetings. This tiny detail can influence your brand loyalty by far.
Tip: Ensure to double-check all the information about clients in your automation tool. Sometimes they misprint, write jokes a la “Jack (don’t write me),” or write nonsense like “dtelga” to test your attention. Another reason to check all fields twice before mailing out is for avoiding something like this:
2. Avoid Professional Slang and Jargon
“Some customer service agents are afraid of looking too casual,” says Mike Hanski, CEO at Bid4Papers. “They use business language, trying to sound serious and formal, and write long sentences and impersonal word constructions. All this kills personalization and increases customer’s frustration.”
Sure thing, you can’t talk to customers as if they are your buddies. It’s about finding a balance between professionalism (including your brand tone of voice) and friendly manners.
These writing tricks will help to avoid over-formality in your customer service emails:
- Add emojis if appropriate. A single smile emoji after greetings conveys friendliness, but don’t overplay with them: Avoid double emojis, use them only when a customer sets the tone, and ensure that your emojis don’t have double meanings so customers wouldn’t misinterpret them.
- Minimize using professional slang and tech terms: Yes, sometimes it can be challenging to explain the problem without them; but your goal is to help a customer, and they’ll hardly understand your message full of jargon or abbreviations.
- Write short sentences with words everybody knows.
- Add conversational indicators such as “Yes, I understand,” “Hope this helps,” and so on. This signals your attention to a customer’s problem.
3. Mirror a Customer’s Tone
Replying a customer’s email, make sure to mirror their tone: Use the same writing style, word constructions, and follow a customer’s mood. All this lets them know you’re on their side, and you do want to help them.
How to do that?
- Don’t joke or sound casual if a customer’s tone is formal.
- Relax your tone if you see a customer is friendly and easy-going in emails.
- With enthusiastic or excited customers, try to bring some energy to your writing tone as well.
NB! But please don’t get angry when replying to an angry or frustrated customer. In this case, your goal is to put them at ease and make them understand you’ll help them.
4. Promise to Help but Be Honest
Your mission is to make customers less anxious and minimize the number of their check-ins for updates on their problem.
When you promise to help them in emails, make sure to keep them updated on how things are going. Email them at least once a day while the solution to their problem is “in progress.” The point is to let them know what (and when!) to expect, especially if something doesn’t work for them.
At the same time, don’t feed promises if you know you can’t help. Be honest with your customers in emails. Overpromising does nothing but frustrates and encourages angry customers to provide your brand with negative feedback on social media. As far as you understand, it’s a sure-fire way to kill your online reputation.
Even if you can’t do anything with a customer complaint, show your empathy. (83% of complainers admit they like when a brand follows up with a response or apology. It makes them feel you’re on their side.)
So, apologize to the customer when you mess something up; admit you were wrong, and you’d do your best to fix it in the future. People appreciate honesty, and they’ll appreciate your response even when they are upset.
5. Structure Customer Service Emails Right
Do your best to avoid templates and one-size-fits-all writing constructions. They make you sound like a robot, while customers need to feel they talk to a real person who understands their problems and is sincerely open to conversation.
Try structuring your customer service email like this:
- Start with a personalized greeting.
- Thank a customer for the email and say you’ll try to solve a problem as soon as possible.
- If you think there might be a misunderstanding, don’t hesitate to ask for confirmation so that you’d be on the same page with a customer.
- Provide a customer with a solution. Use short and clear sentences, avoid writing long paragraphs — don’t turn your email into bulky text.
- Ask if there’s anything else you could help a customer with.
Although it looks time- and energy-consuming to craft every customer service email with this structure in mind, the game is worth the candle. Moreover, you’ll soon notice that many situations become common, and many interactions start repeating themselves with time. It’s that very moment when you can use canned replies in emails.
If used appropriately, canned replies can be efficient and save you tons of time on writing. Just make sure to craft canned responses that sound personal, and send them only when appropriate. Assuming that you use customer segmentation for deeper marketing insights, feel free to segment all canned replies into categories too, and use them depending on the situation.
Extra tip: You can even run these email campaigns from a traditional email client. Take a look at these Outlook alternatives in case you are interested.
In a Word
Friendly customer service is a top priority for 96% of consumers who come to your brand and build their loyalty to it. Many clients still choose email communication with brands in the era of live chats and online messengers, so it’s your chance to deliver excellent service and positive experience for lead generation and better conversion rates.
When it comes to customer service emails, each small detail can make a huge difference. The words and tone of voice you use, the way you structure your emails, your frankness — they all count and help to build a strong relationship between your brand and the customer. So why not make the most out of it?
Lesley Vos is a guest author building posts on writing craft, content, and digital marketing. She builds web texts, writes for Bid4Papers.com blog and others, and polishes her writing skills. Specializing in guest blogging and self-criticism, Lesley develops a habit of doing her best proofreading before she hits “send.”