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How To Improve Your Email Support For Customers

How To Improve Your Email Support For Customers. The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Etiquette, Make It Your Own, Always Use Positive Language

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How To Improve Your Email Support For Customers

Customers today seek a more convenient and efficient support channel. They do not have the extravagance of time to deal with long queues on the phone turn to email support.

Compared with phone support, emails are not at risk of being misrouted or getting interrupted by connection problems. It’s also easier for customers to review and keep track of their transactions as these are recorded in the Inbox.

As with any customer service channel, email support still needs a lot of improvement to meet the modern consumer’s ever-increasing demands.

The Cloud Tutorial found that only a few businesses offered customer-centric support channels in the past decade in the research they conducted. If you fall into this category, below are some guidelines on how you can achieve higher customer satisfaction through your support channels:

1. The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Etiquette

The Dos and Do nots of Email Etiquette

Email communication upholds the basic rules of grammar. Proper use of capitalization, punctuation, and language maintains a professional tone in your correspondence with your customer.

Don’t use emojis, abbreviations, slang, and spammer language. Don’t bombard your customers with lengthy, rambling paragraphs. Instead, write short and concise sentences.

More importantly, every interaction should be rooted in customer service’s two critical points: acknowledgement and empathy.

Acknowledge why the customer is writing in and how they feel about it. Most support requests come from customers who are frustrated or agitated due to an ongoing issue. Usually, the first reaction to this kind of situation is to dive into the problem to appease the other party quickly.

Before doing so, take the time to let the customer know that you understand their needs and thank them for the opportunity to lend a hand.

Empathize and listen to your customer. In face-to-face and phone support, active listening is the process of fully understanding, remembering, and interpreting what the speaker is saying.

In non-voice channels like email, this can be done by analyzing the word choice, tone, and other context clues in the message. By listening to their words, you foster a healthy interaction with your customer.

Invest enough time in making a customer feel seen. A customer who feels seen and understood is a more receptive partner in resolving issues.

2. Make It Your Own

Some companies receive hundreds, possibly even thousands, of emails daily. While it’s tempting to use templates or canned replies to cope with the job’s repetitiveness, you should always personalize your responses. The last point you want is for the customer to think that they’re talking to a bot.

The outcome of your correspondence largely depends on how well you can profile your customers. You can get a feel of their personality, temperament, knowledge, and how adept they are with technology within the first few exchanges. This should inform the overall tone of your service.

If their messages sound formal, reply with the same tone. If they appear to be having difficulty following your instructions or explanation, use the classic “explaining to a five-year-old” method. The goal is to have a conversation that sounds natural from start to finish.

3. Always Use Positive Language

Perhaps the most overused phrase in customer service is “I’m sorry”. Practice saying “thank you” instead of apologizing, especially for things that aren’t personally your fault (e.g., defective product or delayed delivery). You can also highlight the positive aspect of your customer’s experience by eliminating negative words.

Consider these examples:

  • Instead of “Sorry for making you wait”, say “We appreciate your patience.”
  • Instead of “We can’t do that”, say “Here is an alternative or workaround you may try.”
  • Instead of “Unfortunately, that’s not available”, say “I have other recommendations that would suit your needs.”

Using the right vocabulary can spell a huge difference and make your customers feel better. In most cases, customers rate your performance not based on what you tell them, but on how you make them feel.

4. Be Extra Sensitive Of Time

Email support may not be considered real-time communication compared with face-to-face or phone support. That said, you should always respond promptly. A frustrated customer won’t be happy waiting long on top of what they’re complaining about.

However, a quick turnaround time should not compromise the quality of your reply. Always make every contact count. Address concerns and answer questions correctly so that the customer won’t have to make follow-ups or repeat themselves.

As an exception to the rule of personalization, you may use templates or auto-replies only when making follow-ups to save time. You may also try bulk replying if you deal with high-volume cases regularly.

Remember, every interaction with a customer reflects your company’s values and the quality of your service. Email support should not only be focused on immediate resolutions. Ultimately, customer satisfaction comes from hassle-free interactions that feel personal and positive.

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Business

13 Tips for Getting on Top of Your Taxes

It’s tax season! Whether you have only a personal return to worry about or that plus a business return, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind while getting your tax forms completed.

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13 Tips for Getting Top of Your Taxes

It’s tax season! Whether you have only a personal return to worry about or that plus a business return, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind while getting your tax forms completed.

Here are some of those pointers to keep in mind.

1. Decide whether you need help.

For many people, completing one’s taxes may seem pretty straightforward. For others, it may look like a daunting process. If an individual has an incorporated business, such as an S corporation or partnership, and multiple qualified deductions on their return, then a professional’s help is probably best.

2. Don’t forget to fund your retirement fund.

There are multiple financial vehicles available to save for retirement, whether it is a Traditional IRA, SEP-IRA, or Keogh Plan, to name a few. In most instances, money contributed towards retirement is a legitimate way to reduce one’s taxable income on paper.

3. Stay organized.

If you have deductions to keep track of, or if your income is cash, you should stay on top of it. This is possible to do manually, and if your situation is more complicated, you can sign up for programs to help you automate it.

4. Keep in mind the tax deadline.

Tax season typically begins on January 15th, with the IRS beginning to accept personal returns through April 15th. Business returns, particularly with S corporation and partnership returns, are due on March 15th. It’s important to file on time to avoid late penalties and fees.

5. Decide whether you want to itemize or take the standard deduction.

An individual is eligible to take a $12,400 standard deduction off their taxes. However, itemizing expenses, which entail taking deductions for qualified personal expenses, such as mortgage interest and charitable deductions, may yield greater tax savings.

Keep in mind the tax deadline

6. Consider the home office deduction.

Those who have a dedicated office area in their home for work might be worth considering the operating expense of that area for a tax deduction.

7. Remember to include any dependents on your tax return.

If one has any children or adult dependents, it’s important to remember to note this on one’s tax return. Doing so allows for certain tax credits to reduce one’s taxable income.

8. Consider setting up a taxpayer account and filing online.

If one uses self-help tax software, such as TurboTax or TaxAct, tax filing, payment, or refunds are automated online. If one is employing a professional to complete their return, then electronic filing may be set up by that professional on one’s behalf. Otherwise, one can create an account online directly with the IRS for quicker and more efficient filing.

9. Make sure you are filing all the appropriate forms.

If one uses self-help software to file a personal return, all the necessary documents should be included as part of the paid package. If one is filing directly with the IRS, with no middle party to help facilitate the process, it’s important to be careful to point the proper forms and double-check that all necessary documents are filed. For business returns and more complicated personal returns, it’s best to consult a professional to ensure that all the appropriate paperwork is filed.

10. Consider hiring your children (and paying them).

If one has a business, no matter how formal or informal it is, hiring a family is advantageous for both you and them. Any salaries paid to the family are tax-deductible. Retirement contributions and health benefits are also tax-deductible expenses for the family that is the employer.

11. Keep healthy.

If you are self-employed, the entirety of your health insurance is tax-deductible, as is even your dental insurance. If you are employed and purchase health insurance with a high deductible, opening a health savings account or a flexible savings account and using it can help you offset some of the monies spent on taxes.

12. Buy supplies for work.

If you are employed and purchase supplies relevant to your work, this may be deductible. If you are self-employed and make large purchases pertinent to your work, the cost may be deductible in full.

13. Make timely payments, if needs be.

Though many individuals may expect a tax refund from the IRS, some may wish to pay additional monies with their tax filing. Whether it be via an unincorporated status as a 1099 contractor, an LLC, or a corporation, those who are self–employed are expected to make quarterly payments throughout the year by the IRS. Suppose you are wondering when LLC Taxes are due in 2020. In that case, the IRS enables one to register on their website for quarterly estimated tax payments: January 15th, April 15th, June 17th, and September 16th.

Conclusion

Taxes are an unpleasant obligation for all of us who live in the United States. Even those of us who live outside of the United States and are citizens of the United States, staying abreast of tax filing with the IRS is an indisputable legal obligation. To make this obligation run smoother, there are a few pointers to consider. Though it’s not exhaustive, the above list is pretty thorough and a good start.

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