The customer service industry is one of the most challenging yet most rewarding job roles out there. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working in a high street retail department store, managing the checkouts at a supermarket or handling customer queries for a globally-operating business, the expectations remain the same.
You need to be giving the customer the best experience possible. When you’re writing emails to these customers, you’re representing the very business you work for, and it takes an enormous amount of care to ensure that you’re writing the right words, communicating the right messages and keeping your customers happy.
Emails are one of the primary ways in which you will communicate with customers, so it’s vital that you get it right. To ensure that you’re making the best impression, doing your job effectively and maximising your success rates, here are ten need-to-know tips and tricks for writing the highest quality emails possible.
#1 - Addressing the Customer
When you are communicating with a customer via email, it’s imperative that you address the custom in a personal way, so they feel like they are being spoken to directly, rather than simply receiving a generic email.
This can be done by using their first name, or a suffix and their surname; whatever works best for the situation. This helps the customer to feel valued by your company and as though they are speaking to a person, rather than a machine or computer.
#2 - Keep Things Short & Sweet
A customer will not want to open an email from you that’s thousands of words long and takes ages to read. Instead, they want to quickly be able to open your email, quickly consume the information that you’ve written them and either reply or take the appropriate action.
In short, you need to keep your emails short and to the point. Try to keep your emails as close to 150 words as possible and break up your sentences into paragraphs or even bullet points if you can.
#3 - Use Simple & Easy Language
It’s easy to get caught up using professional language when replying to customer emails, especially when it comes to writing for a niche industry that has a lot of technical jargon alongside the products or service.
Always remember when you’re speaking to a customer to keep the language as simple as possible. That doesn’t mean that you need to be patronizing, you simply need to keep the language to a level in which there’s no room for misinterpretation.
“For some customer agents, it’s difficult not to feel like you sound patronizing to your customers, but this may not be the case. If you feel like your email doesn’t sound right, get a co-worker or manage to check it over and read it, rather than risking the response from the customer if you get it wrong” shares Abbi Johnson, a customer service manager for BoomEssays.com.
#4 - Read the Signs
Some customers are going to be mildly inconvenienced by the problems they are having, and others are going to be livid. Although difficult, it’s essential that you learn to read and pick up on the tone of voice that is being used in an email by the customer.
If you’re acting extremely happy to a customer that isn’t, this can actually make the situation worse. Write as though you’re talking to a friend, while obviously remaining professional.
#5 - Provide the Best Support Possible
This tip goes without saying, but you’ll be surprised at how many customer service representatives overlook it. If you’re replying to an email, whether it’s an account problem, an order issue or even just a general query, you need to make sure your messages are clear.
This means if you’re writing out a step-by-step instruction guide for the customer to follow, be sure to make it as clear as easy to follow as possible, so there’s no room for error whatsoever.
#6 - Use Tools & Resources
It’s safe to say that nobody is born to be a professional writer and it can take years to practice the skill to get it perfect. However, your customers still demand the best service possible, so why not use help when it’s available? To ensure perfect emails, here is a list of tools and resources you can use to save time while guaranteeing quality.
- StateOfWriting.com & MyWritingWay.com
These two online blogs are full of writing-related resources such as professional writing guides that you can follow when writing emails for different purposes. This means you’ll be able to quickly refer to different templates and guides depending on the nature of the email that you’re writing with all the information you need, such as language and tone of voice, ready next to you so you can save time and research efforts.
This is an online writing agency that’s home to a range of professional writers and freelancers who can guide you through the email writing process, so your messages are structured and easy to read. Read UK Writings review to get the proof.
This is a free online tool you can use to proactively track and monitor the word count of your emails while you’re typing. This helps you to keep your messages short and precise.
Essay Roo is an online writing service in which you can order samples or complete emails (templates) that you can use in your customer service job. The content has been created by professional writers to your request and has even been recommended by publications such as the Huffington Post.
- ViaWriting.com & Grammarix.com
These are two blogs you can use to source information which can help you to improve your skills when using grammar which is such an important part of writing perfect emails to your customers and ensures your credibility as a customer service agent.
You can use Academized similarly to the other services listed above that provide email writing guides, helping you to keep your emails structured and well-organised. This ensures your emails are extremely readable and send the right message.
This is a free online tool where you can add information to create and format a properly formatted citation, reference or quote, perfect for generating high-quality emails. This will help you to make sure that your emails look and feel professional while remaining easy to read.
#7 - Provide All Information
Hand in hand with point #4, you never want to provide information to your customer who then has to message you again to ask for more information. Using the points above, you should have already read the tone of voice of the customer and have some idea of what type of person they are.
Use this information to your advantage. If you need to go out of your way to provide more information, such as documents or screenshots, do so to avoid the return email.
#8 - Acknowledge the Problem
If a customer has used a product or service and is happy, the chances are that they are not going to get in touch, they’ll simply get on with their lives. However, if there’s a problem, things are different.
When replying to a problem email request from a customer, one of the most important things you need to do is to acknowledge the problem they are experiencing.
Even if this means physically typing out a reworded version of what they have already said, this shows that you understand their concerns completely, and there’s the opportunity for them to correct you if you’re wrong.
“If the customer you’re dealing with seems particularly upset, be sure to let them know that you are aware the problem is causing distress and how it must feel and that you’ll do everything you can to make things better,” states Jason Hindle, a customer service representative for EliteAssignmentHelp.com.
#9 - Learn When to Not Email
Sometimes, some problems with customers may go on for some time, and if continued over email, it can be draining and exhausting for both you and the customer, and it will only make things worse in the long haul.
In situations like these, it’s important to realise there are other forms of communication, such as a phone call, that might make things easy to sort out. Don’t waste anybody’s time by continuing the simply reply to an email.
Instead, say something along the lines of ‘Hello! Thank you for this email. I believe this problem can be resolved far easier other the telephone. If you can provide a contact number and a good time to call, I’ll be happy to do what I can for you!”
#10 - Always End Positively
The worst thing you can ever do as a customer service agent is to close communication with a customer with a negative thought in their head as this is how they will remember your business.
When writing, always make sure the last paragraph, or even the last sentence, is a highlighted positive that stands out and aims to leave a smile on your customer’s face, even if it’s just ‘Thanks’ or ‘I hope you enjoy the rest of your day!
Mary Walton is a blogger at SimpleGrad.com