Customer Experience News & Trends

How to write better customer service email

Customers like email. But are yours worth reading? 

Email is still the most convenient way to get help and connect. A third of customers say they use email more frequently this year than last, and 45% say they use it as much as ever, according to research from Drift.

You want your messages – whether you initiate or respond – to be effective and professional.

7 tips to be effective, professional

These seven email tips from the experts at CXService360 will help you create great customer service email:

  • Get personal. Customers want to feel like they’re interacting with a person, not an organization. Using their names – even in messages that are auto-replies or pulled from a script – is a given. Add your name and contact information to the signature.
  • Be consistent. Even if messages come from different people, they should follow a style consistent with your company. Anyone who writes email needs training (and testing) on writing, formatting and proofreading. Use agreed-upon language for your products, services and industry terms.
  • Be clear. Avoid jargon and include embedded urls to reach more details if you must refer to something complicated. When you need to write about a complex subject, write simply – as if the audience were students who need to understand. Don’t talk down to them, but add enough background and details to familiarize them.
  • Be positive. Use a positive tone. Avoid words with negative connotations, such as “but” (use “and”) and “actually” (remove this word entirely). Give your messages a “Mother Test”: Review it with this in mind, “Would my mother feel this is negative?”
  • Set the right tone. Most email messages are best received with a casual tone. The only time you’ll want to be more formal is when you deliver unfavorable news.
  • Use automation – never as a substitute, only as an enhancement. Add automatic responses to let customers know you’ve received their message and how long it’ll be until they’ll receive a personalized response.
  • Mind your order. You can’t avoid or dance around bad news that has to be delivered in email. But you can deliver it in a way that customers don’t feel so slighted or inconvenienced. Unless it’s an emergency bad situation – which should be reported immediately with the fastest, most direct communication available – deliver bad news with the silver lining first. For instance, if a fulfillment update will delay deliveries by a day, emphasize the benefits of the update in a sentence. Then explain the delay, why it’s important to do and how it will impact customers.

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