Why Customer Support Email Should Be Considered Sacred

by Anne Reuss

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How do you build customer relationships in today’s high-tech marketplace? I hate to say it, but…

You’re running out of options.

Customers are casually dating competitors while we are constantly learning what makes them happy and trying to speak their language.

Email is one of the few fertile grounds you have left for building customer relationships. It’s a small window of time to allow your words to captivate them without the distractions of social media noise or the 10 tabs they have open in their browser.

It’s a chance to show your brand at its finest.

building customer relationships

Why would you want to risk screwing that up?

Some businesses still don’t get it. Jeannie wrote last week about how micromapping can save your business, after her simple request from Regus revealed their shortage of empathy and ability to accommodate customer needs. In her case, the only two contact options she found were phone numbers. There were no email or website addresses provided for support.

Yet, even with her fractured hand (which she disclosed to the rep), she was instructed to contact the Regus support team herself about the issue via email, which was answered with an automated reply saying someone would satisfy her request within 48 hours.

What was the outcome? Well, it earned micromoment of the Month!

A machine cranked out this email:

customer support email

This email made us shudder from the subject line down. Its poor form and punctuation made it painfully obvious Jeannie was viewed as “BW2014924-016”: a support order for them to complete- not Jeannie, the loyal customer, who’s having a tricky time using devices with a fractured hand.

Words as micromoments

Why did we make it micromoment of the Month? So we can remind you the power a few simple words can have on a customer.  What if the representative on the phone call had resolved the issue, or composed the email for Jeannie? Then, she could have gotten an email (written by a human, please!) confirming her issue was resolved with well wishes for her hand.

You don’t need to roll out the red carpet and go to extremes when you write an email. Here are a few ways you can we maximize these fleeting points of contact.

  • Take notes about the customer, not just their issue, and bear those details in mind for future contact.
  • Add a personal touch, and remember customers don’t speak your internal language. Tech details and codes, if necessary, can be displayed last.
  • Encourage continued dialogue, and be sure you let them know what to do if they have more questions.

Your customers just want to be understood and have their needs accommodated, preferably by a human who demonstrates a little empathy. Bonus points for personality!

Speaking of personality, here are a couple unexpected efforts made by brands to inject some personality into typically boring language. These made us laugh this month! Can you do the same for your customers?

Yes, this person should follow.

communicating with cusotmers
Darn autocorrect!

Customers won’t remember you just for making things right, they will only remember you for making things better.

Image credit: Stiller Beobachter via Creative Commons license

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