Customers these days are very demanding. With their need for speed, they expect a quicker resolution to their queries. Canned responses or reply templates are a blessing to your customer service department. They solve common customer queries in a timely manner and could be a lifeline for newbies. Be wary, though. They can also turn on you in the snap of a finger. There is hardly anything more discouraging for a customer than to receive emotionless email templates from a company they trust.
Getting an obviously prewritten text in reply to your inquiry, whether a simple question or a complaint is always frustrating, isn’t it? As a business owner, you definitely don’t want to make your clients feel underappreciated and eventually cause them to switch to your competitor’s solution. That is the reason why creating as personalized email responses as possible — is in your best interests. The devil is in the detail.
But let’s not bury the good old templates too quickly. Using them can save you lots of time and nerves in particular situations. A good example is when the product is not tech-complicated and doesn’t require lots of explanation. In such cases, customers tend to have similar questions/complaints and using already prepared templates makes it much easier for support agents to handle those kinds of situations.
Here are four tips to ensure your canned responses are executed in a way that is relevant, responsive and trustworthy — and most importantly, that they resonate with customers.
Make them feel like they’re talking to a real person
Remember that an email is still a form of interaction between people. Therefore, it requires a certain level of an acquaintance from all members of the conversation. Just take a look at this wonderful example of a customer support email from a Zingerman Mail Order company:
What’s great about this example, is that even though it obviously looks like a template – a customer can yet see a personal approach and knows that he is talking to real people, not an anonymous support rep. More than that, it makes a customer feel more appreciated when he sees the whole crew is handling his inquiry. It’s a nice little touch.
Always use the customer’s name and your own. This may sound silly, but it makes perfect sense. Using the customer’s name in an email conversation will show that you’re invested in their situation as an individual. They won’t feel like another numbered ticket to be dealt with and dispatched. It will make the customer trust you more.
Leave some space for creativity
Email templates imply a high level of formalization. However, it is in your best interest to leave some room for customization of your template for each particular situation. It would be great if you applied some creativity to the “Hello” and “Goodbye” parts of your letter, leaving everything else up for the situation to affect.
Do not forget to greet a client by his name and include an ice-breaker at the beginning, something like “Hope you’ve already got the chance to enjoy your morning coffee”. It will immediately set a bit more informal tone to the conversation. Another thing worth mentioning – the subject line of your email.
If for example, you need to leave the office for any reason – this cannot be an excuse for putting your clients “on hold”. Therefore creating an auto-response email for the time you will be away – is a must. However, you can always use some creativity and decrease the stress level of your customers due to your absence. Check out this example of how an auto-response email can be both helpful and witty.
You can rest assured that even the most disappointed customer will melt a bit, having received a message like this.
Never hesitate to say “Thank you”
A happy customer is a loyal customer. There is no better way to make them feel your concern than to show your gratitude by sending a simple, yet personal “Thank You” letter. You can also get additional gain by rising your marketing metrics as such letters are known to be twice as engaging as general marketing emails, according to HubSpot. Definitely, Rick from Matthews Effects learned this lesson as his “Thank you” letter makes you want to use the services his company offers at least once again.
Use dynamic content
This is yet another great way to automatize the reply process while working with the customers. Using dynamic content in your email templates allows you to add another level of customization to it. Take a look at the example below – depending on what kind of pet the person is the owner of, the program automatically sends away the proper type of email, making it look personalized.
The art of communication with clients is no easy one to master, that’s for sure. Using email templates to talk to your customers is a great way to save yourself some time and show them your gratitude. Just remember, that the first rule of using templates is for your customers to never be able to guess, that your responses are actually prewritten. Hopefully, these tips will be of great help to ensure that.