29.1% of customers prefer to interact with customer service representatives via email. And, the number of email users across the world is expected to increase to 2.9 billion by 2019. But if your customer service emails aren’t helpful, people won’t be happy with you, and you risk losing them to a competitor.
In fact, you could lose up to 60% of all customers who are unsatisfied or frustrated. Here are five tips you can use to improve customer support emails to provide your customers with the help they need (and deserve). If you’re not responding quickly, that could be a large part of your problem. Here’s why.
#1 Quick Response Time
The average time that it takes for a business to respond to a complaint sent by email is 44 hours. A quick response time will make a huge difference when it comes to how customers view your brand. If you reply quickly, they’ll know that they can rely on you and trust you. In turn, customers will be more likely to continue buying your products or services.
If you want to create accountability for your agents when it comes to their response times, set up Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This is an agreed time period that your representatives should respond to or resolve tickets.
Brands like Ultius, a writing and editing service, improved their customer service with the help of automated SLAs and reminders:
Customers prefer a quick first reply. Even if the first response doesn’t contain an actionable solution, a mere acknowledgement of the issue and an estimated time by when you can provide a solution will also do. Since customer expectations create your own, customized SLA policy.
Aside from SLAs, you can also use canned responses for quicker response times. These are pre-written response templates that reps can choose from with a single click. Instead of typing up the same response every time, your team can simply choose a canned response and move on.
Automation is another easy way to save time on support emails. Use these features in your helpdesk software to automate email follow-ups or email/ticket routing so that you can spend more time-solving customer problems and less time worrying about mundane tasks. When a customer sends you a customer support email, one of the most important things you can do is acknowledge the issues they’re facing head on.
#2 Empathize and Fix the Issue
You have to make sure your customers feel heard. Even if you have to write out a reworded account of what the customer has already said, you’ll show them you understand and value their concerns. This also gives them a chance to reiterate if you misunderstand the issue they are trying to communicate.
Fix the issue right away, offer them something extra, and go above and beyond. Make your response personal for best results.
#3 Keep it personal
Personalized emails bring in a 29% higher open rate. When responding to customers, be sure to use their name. Don’t use impersonal titles or refer to them as a case or ticket number. When you use their name, they’ll know that they’re dealing with a real person.
Nothing says “we’re automated robots” or “we don’t care” like using numbers to refer to a valued customer.
Try to stick to something like this example from the Google Play team: Don’t forget to link to your knowledge base or another helpful article to save time.
#4 Link to Your Knowledge Base Article
Scrolling through lengthy emails isn’t fun. Most customers won’t want to put in the effort. Who does? To avoid long emails, link to a knowledge base with articles that help to explain solutions in greater detail.
If the solution to a problem contains more than three steps or one image, link to an article rather than listing out steps in the email. That way, they’ll be able to fix their issues with the help of the article instead of having to go back and forth with an agent.
For example, SUMO includes links to FAQ articles by adding a “P.S.” to their emails.
Once the issue is resolved, get feedback to find out how you’re doing using a survey.
#5 Get Feedback on Email Support
Once an email has been closed out and the customer has been taken care of, it’s important to get feedback from customers. To do this, send them an email containing a customer satisfaction survey.
Keep this email simple and friendly, but be neutral. You never want customers to think you’re trying to persuade them to give you a positive response. Here’s an example of a good feedback email template used by flooring company Harndec. They even added a questionnaire to make it even easier to collect customer feedback.
If you aren’t doing email support right, you’ll lose customers. It’s important to respond to customers as quickly as you can. Shoot for a quick response depending on your industry benchmarks. Address the problem head-on and repeat the issue so that the customer knows you took the time to listen. Keep things personal by using the customer’s name. Never refer to them as a support ticket number. Link to knowledge base articles that contain lengthy information that can help them solve more technical problems, too. No one wants to read long emails. Finally, get feedback once you’ve resolved the problem so that you know how to adjust your approach to customer support emails.
Start using these tips today to give your customers the excellent, attentive customer service emails they want. Looking to switch from email to a ticketing software?