Serving customers by communicating through email is one of the most common channels for customer support today, as well as the generally preferred method of companies. While it is a great way to answer questions and solve issues, the nature of email requires a degree of strategy to be sure that your customers come away satisfied with the experience.
Probably the most helpful skill for a CSR to have when utilizing email support is the ability to resolve someone’s issue in a single response.
It’s Not Always Practical
One-response email solutions can be tough, and sometimes they are just not practical or even possible. For one thing, we all know that the customer sending you the request might not understand what the problem is, how to write the request clearly, or they may not include sufficient information.
In addition, solving their problem might require their active interaction to troubleshoot the issue, such as a request that requires involved technical support. These are all factors that can prolong the support case; however, a majority of email requests can probably be solved in 1-2 responses.
Condense Information Rather than Splitting Information
Probably the easiest way to unnecessarily prolong an email support case is to split your responses into multiple responses, when you could just kill all the birds with one stone.
Instead of sending a 1st email to the customer with a greeting, then a 2nd email with potential solutions, and then a 3rd email letting them know it’s been resolved—why not include all of the above in the same message? The key is to do everything that you possibly can to solve the customer’s problem, or answer their question, before you respond.
That way, you can send a single message that greets them, explains what you did or what they need to do, and informs them that it’s solved. Obviously, this applies mainly to technical inquiries; quick questions and general information requests can be solved even faster.
Why is a One-Response Solution Necessary?
It’s for (2) primary reasons:
The idea is that, since email support doesn’t lend itself to instant, real time communication, you have to pack in as much information as possible to that first response. Email support is a great asset to CSR’s because it gives them a little more time to formulate a response, while freeing them up to handle other cases in the meantime.
Concentrate on Accuracy
The final point to remember about customer support through email is to be as accurate as possible. Don’t make approximations, and definitely don’t make assumptions. Make sure you understand the request completely before responding to avoid confusion as much as possible.
Then, when you provide an answer, it’s important to not only make the customer feel satisfied with the solution, but that the solution you provide answers the issue for good. That’s how you make sure they won’t need to come back with another support request, which demands further time and resources.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.