From Flickr Artist xlibber
We all know the power of words. They can build up great empires and cause immense pain. In the world of online support, your words are your lifeline.
Most of my interactions with customers are text based. Emails make up 95% of that with calls or live chats filling in the rest. That gives me hundreds of chances a day to get it right (or wrong) with my choice of words.
Let’s break it down and see a few scenarios. Here’s the three big places that are easy to get right – your opening, saying your sorry, and your closing.
If your support tool isn’t pulling in your customers’ names, chance to one that does immediately. It’s just the difference between
Hi! vs Hi Chase!
but it makes a ton of difference. People have a name – use it. It goes a long way in showing that you know who they are and that you’re there to help them personally.
2) Saying Sorry
You’re in support – that means most of the people that contact you will have some sort of problem going on. Something’s broke and you need to help fix it. I mean really, when’s the last time you called your cell phone company just chat?
Try these on for size.
I apologize for the inconvenience that this problem has caused you. We’re determining the cause of that problem and will let you know when we have more information.
I’m so sorry for that trouble! I’ve got one of our programmers taking a look right now to see what happened. I’ll let you know what exactly’s going on as soon as I have an update from him!
You’ve fixed the problem and saved the day. So let’s end the email with an upbeat line or two.
If you have any other problems, just let us know.
If you have any other questions, just let me know and I’ll be happy to help. And have an awesome Tuesday!
Short and sweet but it lets your customer know you’re always there for them. *Queue that song from Friends.*
If you’re in support, you’re a writer. So write clear and concise. You owe that to your customers.
Carolin Geissler says
One thing about the opening: We have customers that ‘share’ an account, so to speak. So the person that ordered the product and whose name is in our database is not the same person that will write to us. So, even though we are using a system that automatically pulls the name from the user’s file, I always make sure to double-check if that’s the person that signed the email, too.
Chase Clemons says
Absolutely right Carolin! Don’t always trust that database name exclusively. Checking the signature makes sure you’ve got the right name. Plus, they might go by a shortened version of their name or such. It might be William in the database but Will on the email.
Thanks for pointing that out!
Carolin Geissler says
Yeah, I’ve just had it happen to me, where they used the default sender name in my email address which just said “CG” instead of the same I signed with, which was my full name. Actually, that entire support thing was and continues to be a perfect example for support gone wrong.