E mail support is one of the effective tools in customer support. The sender and receiver of the email don’t have to be online to be involved in the process, yet the customer avails all the benefits of customer support without any stress.
What is Email Support?
When it comes to resolving customer concerns relating to a product or service, Email support has become one of the effective tool in the new era. The benefit of email support is that both the sender and receiver don’t have to be online to initiate or maintain the conversation.
Importance of Email Support
In the context of business and everyday communication, email has become one of the chief means of communication because it is within reach. With the dawn of mobile technology and its use, email’s is to stay in near future.
As per the latest studies conducted by Ameyo, 57% of customers opted for email as their ideal means to interact with retail support staff. Only 23% chose phone as a means to call customer care and the rest of 20% chose live chat. It isn’t an overstatement to say that businesses should choose email support as one of the best practices to care for their customer through this channel.
As the numbers says, customers who prefer email to resolve their issues also demand how well they need to be treated while receiving a service.
-41% of customers expect they receive a response to their email within 6 hours from the company.
-51% of customer wants a response within the first try, else they drop the idea of purchasing from that company
-86% of customers don’t prefer to do business with a company with which they had a bad customer service experience.
Successful email customer care
Businesses struggle to manage the huge number of emails they receive from their customers. That will simply put the business in danger if they have a poor email support system. With a bad email support system, businesses cannot figure out the number of customers they have lost due to the high expectations from the customers.
But to address the huge number of customers and resolve the issues through an email support system, businesses need a lot of manpower or resources.
Outsourcing email support campaign is a great way to handle the additional burden on businesses. An expert email response team can do the job for you while you can focus on core business.
High level of customer expectation and unable to fulfil their demands will cost the goodwill of the business.
56 % of customers never go back to a company with poor customer service.
52% word of mouth is an honest advertisement on the part of the customer and it comes from a positive customer service response.
54% of the customers chose escalation after poor customer service.
To provide efficient and effective customer support, businesses need labour-intensive customer support, which companies don’t like
With Covid -19 pandemic the habits have changed globally, so in the virtual world. People prefer to work and buy things at the luxury of home. Information’s are available at the touch of their phone. Purchases are done through research and they expect instant results to all their concerns either through live chat support or email support.
62% of branded companies prefer email support services as a way to communicate.
Interesting, right? Let us understand why
Email and chat support increases CSAT and reduces the operational cost
One of the main reasons for brands to opt for email support is that it decreases operational costs. Having a clear understanding of the benefits of email support why would a business shut the doors it provides.
Customers trust written documents rather than verbal promises. Customers feel that when their concern is documented it is taken seriously by the company.
With mobiles being an inevitable part of the daily, customers can access email on the move. Customers can raise a query at any hour and get ready support at their convenient time.
One another advantage is that email can be easily integrated into other channels like voice or chat support. It doesn’t cost extra and increases ROI
Both organizations and the customer benefit from this feature. The company can attach agreements, bills or tickets and graphics for customer support or engage a customer. Customers can attach a picture of a faulty deliverable to which they seek the support for.
Emails are traceable with a single search option, it doesn’t have the hassle of losing, on the contrary to paper as it may be misplaced or destroyed. Both parties can refer to any time in future to check if the problems were resolved.
Good for Hustling customers
For most of the customers who are entrepreneurs who are hustling in activities, calling customer care and waiting for someone to pick or waiting in queue is quite frustrating. Email support is the best resolution for such customers, all they have to do is type their concern and wait for the reply within the stipulated time. Email support is the special business promoter for such busy customers.
Issues and solutions are explained in detail
With email support, customer can describe their concern in detail without missing any point of concern, Which is rather not available in calls or live chat as they may misinformation or queries due to lack of time. Similarly, agents too can provide solutions step by step in detail and which can be used by the customer in future if he faces the same issue twice.
Surveys can be conducted as good feedback
Feedbacks are a lifeline for a business that looks to improve and attain a standard of perfection. Most customers are reluctant to fill feedback after a post-purchase decision, but when requested through email, they take time to fill the feedback at their convenience. To determine their NPS and CSAT scores surveys are another tool used by businesses. This can be done by sending brand updates for upselling or cross-selling. Mapping customer behaviour is a very important to move when businesses are striving to provide a delightful customer experience.
Omnichannel support all the way
Omnichannel marketing is used by organizations to achieve the goal of creating a consistent brand experience, which leads to a better customer experience. Email support can take a business’ customer support a long way, still, organizations should always be available in other channels, as there are no single means that customer is satisfied, the brand should follow what customer needs.
Out of the box responses
While customers buy a product they have a set of expectations on customer service too. Customers reach out to customer service only when needed and if the response is auto-generated it will leave a bad impression on customers minds which may lead to ruin the trust they have in the business. Furthermore, they resort to social media to post a bad review on your business and through which business may lose potential customers too. This may lead the customer to switch to other brands. Outsourcing email support help businesses to build a strong customer base by treating them with utmost care in long term.
Advantages of Email Support
Email increase competence, output and business promptness. Email support is,
Inexpensive – email costs are constant regardless of the distance and number of people to whom it is being sent
Fast – the recipients receive the email within minutes after it’s being sent or at the most within a few hours.
Ideal – the same message can be sent to any number of recipients and can be stored until the recipient is ready to read it.
Everlasting – All the records are permanent, the details, the sender ID to the time and date when it was received. Several types of documents can be attached to an email and be sent to too many recipients at the same time. Some internet service providers limit the size of the email attachment, check it before you send it. Businesses too limit the size and type of email they receive.
You can also set up a software that helps to add entries to address book from emails sent, received or respond to. Also to confirm receipt of an order, or to let people know if you are out of office.
Dos And Don’ts of Email Support
The Subject Line should be clear
Subject lines with, “ Hi “, “ Touching Base” or “FYI”, should be avoided. The subject should be clear and brief
Proper usage of Salutation
An email beginning with “ Good Morning”, Good Afternoon “, “ Good Evening” or “ Hello “ sends a better impression to the customer rather than using “ Hi” or “ Hey” this sort of communication isn’t professional.
“Good Day” or “ Greetings” are another sort of phrases used globally.
An introduction is a must
In the U.S, it is a best practice to self-introduce themselves by the first and last name and add to a few more details. Like the first and the last name with some background information in the first few lines. It is important while introducing yourself to a new contact, potential customers, clients or employers.
Understanding the culture
There are different forms of culture around the world. Like in Japan it is polite and customary to inquire about the weather whereas this may be inappropriate in a culture where this kind of inquiry is made only by mutually respected third parties. It is better to research the country’s customs before emailing them.
Avoid Humor and Sarcasm
Humour and sarcasm can have a bad impact on the receiver if the text is out of context. So better to avoid such texts to stop the recipient from being confused or being offended.
Most of the customers are sceptical while opening attachments, said that, it would be wise if the attachment is pasted into the body as it saves time for the customer to refer to it without consuming time.
Never Hit “ Reply All “
Reply- to -all option should only be used when the message should be read by all the recipients in the conversation, keeping the conversation closed gives space for the other recipients and do it only when necessary. Say for example, if an admin is sending an email to all staff members, requesting funds for a community service project, reply to the admin, not to all staff members.
Do Reply Expediently
A customer feels pleased if their query is addressed within 24 hours. If you are in a situation where you kept a customer waiting for more than 24 hours, express an apology. Without which you may lose the customer in the long run.
Don’t use emojis
Emojis may lead the customer to misinterpret your email, or can even be diverted to spam filters or junk. Emojis are considered to be immature or unprofessional.
Do Protect Privacy
Be cautious before sending an email, imagine a mail being sent to the wrong recipient and being published on Facebook? All emails are retrievable even if it is deleted, so check before you “ send”.
Don’t be negative
If you need to convey a negative comment in an email use objective words and state the facts. Sending negative comments is never recommended. Communicating negative messages face- to –face is the best option.
Proofreading is one of the professional ways to send an email. By proofreading you check and recheck for spelling and grammatical errors. Less or no error is professional. Nowadays there are so many online tools available to check spelling and grammar.
Don’t Forget the Conversation Closer
While closing an email loop it is advised to use the conversation closer like “ No reply necessary, “ Thank you again”, or ‘ Please let me know if I may be of further assistance .” Close your email using “ Best Regards”, “ Sincerely,” “ Thank you “.
Email Support Best Practices
Irrespective of the size of the business you run, following customer service strategies help you in serving the customer effectively and efficiently. It doesn’t matter you have in house customer service team or you outsource the email support, by following these steps you serve your customer better.
Improve your email response time
Accelerate the time you respond to customer concerns, this has a huge impact on customer satisfaction. Customers look for responses at the earliest, even if you can’t resolve all the queries, responding to their concerns gives relief and satisfaction to the customer. They acknowledge the fact that you show seriousness in addressing their issues. It can set a stepping stone for more quality conversations ahead of time.
Respond to customer queries within one business day, if not for within an hour, if you stay consistent in this manner, you give a positive impression in the mind of the customer. Have a casual, friendly tone
Depending on the business industry, choose to refer people, Eg. The Banking industry refers to their clients by their titles. Most businesses refer to their customers in a casual, friendly tone throughout the email. Act as per the situation demands. To sound casual is also considered professional.
Templates can be useful, do not completely depend on them
In a scenario where the customer queries are the same, answering it with a template may be helpful, keeping in mind all customer questions may not be identical too.
Sending a personal message are more productive rather than an automated message.
Salute with personal greetings
Using personal greetings is one of best practices if your brand is allowed to do that. You can get even more personal with this.Saluting your customer with the first name is one of the best practices for some businesses taking into account the customer demographics, yet most businesses refrain from doing so. It may also declare your tone in branding your business among a particular segment of people.
Create a connection
Creating a connection with a customer based on the product they bought will make the customer feel personal and better, in some cases it may even calm down the customer.
Making them feel comfortable saying,” I’m sorry you are having trouble with Product Y, I have bought the same for myself ,it’s an awesome choice you made,” right away makes you more connected.
To sense an emotion through email is sometimes hard, it may lead to an embarrassment for both the agent and customer. When you come across such a situation, forge your feelings to establish a connection with the customer. We never know what kind of hardship they are undergoing.
Use some wisdom to understand the customer feelings and acknowledge them in writing, there can be umpteen number of reasons a customer may be disappointed example the product they bought didn’t work to their expectations, or they may be frustrated they didn’t receive the customer service through phone or they may be anxious that their account didn’t exist.
Using statements like,” I’m sorry you’re experiencing trouble with Product Y. I’d be frustrated too!” it can make the customer feel relieved to an extent. To achieve this you need to have the skill of emotional intelligence to identify yourself with customer feelings, it is an art of customer service skills to master.
While drafting an email for customer resolution certain points to be kept in mind such as customers are busy or they might not be interested in long essays describing the whole response. Keeping this factor in mind the email should be concise.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean to miss the information which is of utmost importance, but avoiding information of least importance is recommended.
Avoid complex explanations
There might be situations where it is necessary to explain the resolutions which requires complex explanation. Resort to much simpler ways to put forth your message. By choosing this way you may avoid back and forth conversations to arrive at a conclusion or clarity.
Customer service is the assistance and guidance a company provides to people before, during, and after they buy a product or service, and when the customer contacts a customer service after the purchase, it may be that your customer is unhappy or unsatisfied in some way. That means it is a negative aspect for customers from your business. But keeping this in mind the customer service agent must be positive. Here the email should be focusing on the solution, rather than the problem.
Giving assurance to the customer that their problem will be sorted out, sets an expectation for the future.For example, let’s say your customer attempted to cancel their subscription to your service, but they were still charged for this month.
You can say something like, “Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to immediately refund this month’s payment—you won’t owe anything for this month—and cancel your subscription going forward. I’ll also send you an Rs100 coupon you can use to purchase anything you’d like from our store, as an apology.” Make the assurance to the point.
List the possible links to the customer, if a customer enquiries about a complex question that may need elaborate explanation in the email, you can divert the customer to specific links in which all the solutions for the customer query is available, but in a manner that the customer feels that you didn’t dismiss his request rather gave a piece of supplementary information on his query. For example, if a customer is asking which keyboard shortcuts are available in the latest release, it may not be efficient or wise to list them all in your customer service email response. , you could lead into a link with something like, “if you want to learn more about keyboard shortcuts, we have this step-by-step guide…”
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness, so express some gratitude in your customer service emails.The customer may sound annoyed, frustrated, irate but thank them for the investment they have done to your business.
Followup without failure
If your business thinks that customer service is the key factor to having repeat customers, never wrap up the interaction with a single message, think out of the box and create a rapport with the customer to ensure that you’ve resolved the issue as desired.
In a few cases, the customer may follow up, in that case, be prepared to provide more information or help.
Double check the email before sending
Rechecking the message for spelling, grammar, links you include are working, check the advice, recommendations, instructions or other details are currently accurate. Bad spelling and unclear wordings may lead to further confusion and back–and–forth messages that are a waste of time for both the sender and receiver.
Measure customer satisfaction
To evaluate your email strategy, you must survey to gather information from the customers who received your service and request them to rate their overall satisfaction, in addition, prompt them to comment additionally for further improvement.
Analyze high–level data.
Constant improvement through measuring your customer service email best practices is one of the best tools to excel in customer service. Study your general email metrics, such as your average email response time, the average length of your messages and threads, email length, and whether there are customers who contact you more frequently than others. These are a few metrics to understand if you are travelling in the right direction of customer service.
Change to improve
Matching your email metrics with your customer satisfaction data will demonstrate your current level of success. Use this as a tool to improve the areas where you lack perfection and initiate new tools and methodology to improve the standard of service you provide in customer service. For example, you can incorporate new types of email templates, or experiment with different greetings, to see how your metrics eventually change.
If you are committed to constant improvement there is no doubt that your email support will be the best in the industry for dealing with customer service.
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