Tips for Better Email Support
Think email is “Old School”? Think again. Social, text, live chat and advanced self-service are creating a lot of buzz in contact centers these days, but now is not the time to forget email. It’s time to make it better. Many customers still prefer to email customer support. Phone remains number one, but ignoring email as a customer support channel could be a major mistake. In fact, Forrester research indicates email is still the third most widely used form of communication among online adults.
Email can meet the new world of customer expectations as long as contact centers are willing to keep an open mind and take a can-do approach. Here are three tips to creating better email customer support:
Ramp Up The Speed
We live in an age of instant gratification. Customers want help and they want it now. So how can the contact center deliver? Following are some ways to improve your email response time:
- Hire more people
- Improve your email software
- Route emails
- Improve your template library
- Beef up your self-service or web content
- Train agents in critical reading
- Trust agents to free-text
Can’t implement all seven of these steps in your contact center? Try focusing on one or two of these and imagine the impact.
Have a Conversation
Think about how you communicate with a company via social media, and think about how you communicate with your friends during a face-to-face conversation. More than likely, the tone is friendly and conversational. Why should email be any different? If you wouldn’t say it in person…don”t say it in an email.
Keep it real, and show customers that there’s a human handling their issue…not a robot. Email isn\’t the place for corporate jargon or insincere promises; it’s a place to build trust.
Promote Self-Service Options
Our call center clients often ask, “how do I encourage my customers to use self-service?” Email offers the perfect opportunity to do this without seeming to push your customer off to another channel. Gently point customers in the right direction by suggesting they visit your website to do specific tasks or include links to your online knowledge base or self-service portal in the agent email signature.
And speaking of the email signature—make sure it includes the name and location of the agent. Again, customers want to know they’re speaking with a human who can effectively solve their problem.
If you are ready to consider email customer support, contact Worldwide Call Centers today at 719.368.8393 to discuss your situation and explore the email support outsourcing options available from the US and Canada to Eastern Europe, Asia or Latin America.