Digital & Social Media

Nailing Your Customer Service E-Mail Strategy

A new study says 66% of companies ignore customer service e-mails. Here’s how to get on track.

According to a new study, 66% of companies are ignoring their customer service e-mails. In an age where customers embrace the convenience of sending a quick e-mail with a question or issues, they also expect a prompt response. You can’t afford to let this critical channel fail to deliver on the customer experience. Here’s a closer look at ensuring you’re nailing e-mail customer support each and every time.

Create an automated acknowledgment e-mail: One of the most frustrating situations customers face when using e-mail for customer service is being unsure of whether their message has been received. While it might be a few hours before a customer service rep picks up a message, an automated acknowledgment can take care of that issue. Simply send a message that lets the sender know their request has been received and a general guideline for when they can expect a response.

Set customer service e-mail response hours: When are your customer service e-mails being monitored? Set specific hours and make that policy and information available to your customers. How often will the in-box be monitored? Create clear expectations for both your customers and your team. Include turnaround times. Do you respond to incoming messages within a couple of hours or are a few business days the norm? Setting a policy that works for your company—and enforcing it—will go a long way toward delighting your customers.

Use a ticketing system: How do you know if a message has been responded to? With a ticketing system, it’s possible to immediately determine whether a customer service agent has responded to an e-mail and find out what the status is. For example, has the inquiry been resolved, or is your team waiting for more information? With a ticketing system, a real-time status update is always just a dashboard away.

Audit your account periodically: Have a manager who is assigned to oversee customer service. One element of that should be periodically auditing your account to ensure that customers are being responded to quickly, efficiently, and helpfully. Regular manager audits will help maintain quality control while also ensuring policies are being followed.

Emphasize reading the message: Many companies default to templates for e-mail responses, asking for more information. However, in many cases, the customer has already provided the details being requested—and there are few things more infuriating to a customer than having to refer back to their original request while waiting for a response. Coach your customer service reps to fully review messages before responding, and hopefully eliminate an unnecessary round of back-and-forth from the conversation.

Don’t lose customers or harm your reputation by failing to deliver on customer service e-mails. Spend the time needed to monitor, respond to, and resolve customer issues through this critical digital channel.