Customer service is a key element in any kind of business, whether B2C (business-to-consumer) or B2B (business-to-business). Any enterprise looking to retain customer loyalty and maintain or even boost sales must provide optimal customer service to its patrons.
Now, we’ve all probably read an article, or taken a course, or listened to a lecture or a podcast, or generally come across some informational piece that offered us tips on how to provide customer service like a pro; maybe even more specific guidelines like how to communicate effectively in customer service. But how many of these theoretical tips have actually proved useful to you in practice?
In this post, we will be sharing 12 practical tips for writing satisfying customer service responses so that your clients stay happy in all engagements with your business, increasing the likelihood of them remaining loyal and your business gaining more and more patronage.
1. Responses Should Always Be Swift
Why are swift customer service responses important?
Customers are highly sensitive to how fast their messages or complaints are responded to, even if it’s just an auto-response letting them know that an agent will reach out to them soon. Even after dispatching auto-responses, it is twice as important that a customer service agent quickly reaches out to customers to provide them with the information they require or assist them in solving any issues that they are experiencing.
The speed of your customer service responses lets your customers know that you care for their plights and are dedicated to providing great customer experiences to them. This will make them more willing to trust your business and keep working with you or patronizing your product or service, and that’s what customer loyalty is all about.
2. Stick with a Tone
Every business is different. Some industries, such as the beauty industry, thrive on establishing more personal and casual relationships with clients. Conversely, other industries favor a more formal approach to client relationships, such as the banking industry.
You must examine your business type as well as your client type (do you cater to small clients or contract with larger clients or businesses?). Doing this will enable you to determine what kind of tone, either formal or casual, you should stick with in your customer service responses.
Note: A recent support report revealed that customers are less likely to trust customer service communication that is too formal. A moderately friendly (and always polite) tone will oftentimes help to guarantee customer satisfaction during interactions.
3. No Errors
One big rule in excellent customer service writing is that your emails or messages must be free of spelling errors and errors in grammar. Customers are always doubtful of customer service reps that do not write well, and errors such as these always constitute a great show of unprofessionalism.
For an extra dose of assurance that your grammar is impeccable, you can use a grammar check or spellcheck tool to vet your message before sending it out. If it’s a very long letter or proposal, you can seek the help of a colleague or team leader as a second helping eye so that you can be 100% certain that your writing is completely error-free. If your company has standardized messaging formats, you can also make use of them, as those are usually infallible.
4. Be Empathetic
Even over digital conversations, empathy has a way of putting customers at ease and making them feel less like they are speaking to a robot and more like they are speaking to a person. Thus, you need to show empathy to a customer’s circumstances by letting them know that you understand whatever is they are saying, trying to say, or experiencing, and that their words and/or experiences are valid.
Phrases such as “I understand…” or “I am here to assist you with…” are good ways to show empathy when writing to customers.
5. Stay Positive
In any kind of communication with customers, it is important to always stay positive, even when customers are making demands that may be unreasonable. This is also in line with being empathetic. Being positive in your writing and responses can even help to propel an angry client to be calmer and kinder in their back and forth with you. It can also oftentimes turn negative feedback into a more positive review.
Good examples of positive writing include: “I am happy to be of help to you”; “Thank you for reaching out to us on this”; “I will get back to you as soon as possible”; etc.
6. Be Comprehensible
Besides being understanding and empathetic when writing, you must also be clear and concise enough in your writing so that customers find it easy to understand you. Avoid being vague in your sentences and be specific; go straight to the point. If you sound unclear or elusive in your writing, some customers may pick up on that and become suspicious of your business.
Helpy is a self-hosted and on-demand customer support helpdesk software that enables you to give your customers the best customer service experiences. With Helpy, you can interact easily and comprehensively with thousands of customers of all languages! You’ll never have an issue facilitating understanding in your customer service communications ever again.
7. Be Strategic
As a professional customer service agent, you must foresee and prepare for any issues or problems that customers may raise in the course of doing business with your company or enterprise. Many businesses have standard MOs for certain issues that may arise in a customer’s experience, thus you must familiarize yourself with such MOs to enable you to respond strategically when a customer with an issue reaches out.
Customers like to get swift solutions to their problems, so being strategic with the right tools and responses will enable you to provide this. A good idea would also be to have the strategy of forwarding customer issues to the appropriate team in your company that will handle them.
8. Carry Customers Along
The essence of communication is to keep both sides updated on all necessary pieces of information. Therefore, it is important to carry customers along through all processes that are ongoing or completed and progress that has been made towards resolving any issues they have raised. Also, providing ways for clients to easily keep in touch with you will go a long way toward building loyalty and maintaining positive relationships with them.
An excellent customer service helpdesk is a brilliant way to maintain stellar communication with your clients. With Helpy, not only will your client communications become much easier and effective, but the maximum privacy and security of both you and your customers’ information are also 100% guaranteed! Customers communicate better and are more willing to cooperate with businesses when there is trust. Helpy enables you to establish that trust in your clients as you provide them with premium customer service and support. For more information on Helpy’s features and services, click here to visit our website.
9. The Customer Service Magic Word: I’m so sorry…
If an error has been made on the part of the business or company, apologizing sincerely is a good way to manage the situation. Remember to be empathetic, stay positive regardless of how emotional the customer may get, and provide easy, strategic, and comprehensible solutions to the problem at hand.
Service mishaps occur all the time, and while nobody ever intends them, it is still your duty as a customer service agent to do everything necessary to appease an angry customer. Stay collected, always apologize first (this shows that you acknowledge the mistake on the part of the company and are not being self-righteous—which is something that can escalate the situation to become even worse), never take anything that a customer says or claims personal, remain empathetic throughout the interaction, and provide a concrete solution or at least the promise of one to the aggrieved customer.
10. Offer Incentives
If your company has made a mistake, another good way to respond to and remedy the situation would be to offer the customer an incentive so that you do not lose the client entirely after their negative experience. For instance, you can offer the customer free products, exclusive discounts, or coupons. These are good incentives that can help you retain a customer even after they’ve had a bad experience.
11. Ensure Customer Satisfaction Before Ending Communication
Once a customer’s request has been fully responded to or their issue has been resolved, you must ensure that they have been completely satisfied in all regards before ending communication with them. Ask customers if there is anything else you can help them with even after resolving problems to guarantee that they have been satisfied 100%.
12. Build Your Customer Support Skills
Any customer support manager or representative must consistently improve their customer support skills and work on their ability to address customer questions, concerns, and complaints effectively and expeditiously. This generally helps in writing satisfying customer service responses because it all boils down to achieving full customer satisfaction in the end.