With the upcoming Holidays comes an opportunity to reflect the best-of-breed customer service. Customers also can impact the customer service they receive by virtue of their requests. With both sides having a desire for positive results, let’s go over the basics from both angles, shall we?
Email Etiquette is not for customer service reps alone. It is also applies to those requesting customer service. Both sides have equal responsibility in ensuring the conversation concludes to their satisfaction.
It is not uncommon to experience customer service representatives that respond to emails without answer questions directly or completely. Just as often “customers” who assume simply because they are the “customer” do not need to take the time, effort and courtesy required when making their requests.
Here I’ll provide to you both sides of the story so each participant understands their responsibility in the conversation.
CUSTOMER SERVICE REP EMAIL ETIQUETTE:
- Respond to all requests ASAP — no later than the same day. If you are online for business, you need to be able to respond practically in real-time to instill confidence in your site, product and customer service levels. The faster the better!
- Take the time to review the request made and make a point of offering assistance in detail to the specific requests made. To send a template response that doesn’t address your customer’s questions directly reflects a lack of concern for detail and for the customer.
- Address the customer’s concerns or questions point-by-point to make sure all the bases are covered.
Answer the their questions in a clear and concise manner using full sentences, proper spelling and grammar. No matter how upset or rude a customer may be, take the high road and never communicate in less than a professional tone.
- Point the customer to URLs within your Web site that offer the information they seek, if appropriate, for future reference.
- Always include a pleasant greeting and thank the customer for emailing you. At the end of your response let them know if they have any further questions or require additional assistance how they may contact you.
CUSTOMER EMAIL ETIQUETTE:
- Review the Web site in question to ensure the information you seek is not already provided for your convenience. Look for the FAQ (Frequently Asked/Answered Questions). To email without reviewing a site’s content gives the impression that you may be a demanding and therefore not a profitable customer.
- When asking about specific products or services, include the URL to the specific Web page within the site that you have further questions on. Ask your questions in a clear and concise manner using full sentences, proper spelling and grammar.
- If referring to an order, include your order ID and as much information as possible to enable to customer service rep to respond quickly and in detail to your request.
- Never take the stance that as the customer, posted policies and attention to detail do not apply to you. They do. Always ask for assistance with a courteous and humble tone.
- Be sure to communicate in a cordial manner. Customers who communicate with respect and courtesy will be valued more than those who make doing business with them difficult. Thanking customer service reps for the efforts on your behalf will ensure you continue to receive the service you desire.
As you can see, Email Etiquette applies to both customers and customer service reps alike. Customer service reps using positive Email Etiquette skills will attain and maintain profitable customers. Customers who make their requests with courtesy will show they are a customer worth catering to.
no matter what your task may be."
Og Mandino (1923 – 1996)