July 27, 2020
Top-notch customer service is vital to the success of any business. It is one of the best ways to improve customer retention and create loyal brand ambassadors who will buy from you for years to come.
Reacting quickly and attentively will impress your customers and keep them coming back for more.
Online customer service is just as, if not more important, as in-store service. Customers expect instantaneous communication and to have their problems fixed on the first exchange.
Failure to exceed a customer’s expectations could cause them to abandon your brand in droves. That’s why a complete customer service strategy is essential to your success – and without a plan, you may be doomed to fail.
Email is one of the many tools at your disposal, it’s also one of the most effective. It’s simple, effective and gives your customers the freedom to reach you at any time.
What’s more, is that you can talk to your customers as well. By reaching out to your customers at specific points in their customer journey, you can encourage an open line of communication. This shows that you value their business and opinions which can create a lasting consumer relationship. If this isn’t a regular part of your marketing strategy, it should be.
Want to craft the perfect customer service email? This article will highlight the six essential steps that go into writing a perfect email response to keep your customers satisfied. After, we’ll tell you when to communicate to ensure they’ll have the ultimate email experience.
There are six essential steps you’ll need to follow if you want to impress your customers via email. When you solve a customer’s problem, the right way, you’ll have a customer for life. Do it the wrong way, and they may shop elsewhere.
There is one thing though that must stay top of mind every step of the way.
You have to empathize with the customer’s issue and show a legitimate desire to help them. Demonstrating that you, as a company, see customers as more than a dollar sign is vital.
Without empathy, customer service emails can fall flat. Remember, it’s hard to convey tone through text, so you have to pay careful attention to your wording.
As we go through these steps, be sure to keep empathy in mind.
Your greeting sets the tone for the entire email. It should be warm and inviting. Never just jump into the heart of the problem without first saying hello. If you don’t, the email may seem cold and insincere.
You’d never just approach someone and start talking without a proper greeting, would you? Think of customer service emails like a conversation you’re having with a friend.
After saying hello, use their name. It gives a personalized touch and the impression that this is not just a generic email you sent out to everyone.
Personalized customer service helps to alleviate customer churn. Every customer wants to feel valued, so show them that they matter.
Plus, it’s simple. All you need to do is this:
“Hi, (Customer’s Name)”
Always be appreciative when a customer reaches out, even if they weren’t particularly friendly. Show them you value their feedback and are taking the issue at hand seriously.
“We hear you, and thanks so much for letting us know. We value your feedback, as it helps us to improve every day. Please leave this with me and I will get back to you with a solution shortly.”
When you receive an email with a problem, you may want to offer a solution immediately. Sometimes, however, it is better to take a step back and restate, in your own words, what the issue seems to be. This will get you and your customers on the same page.
“I’d be happy to help. Just wanted to make sure I understand the problem first. It sounds like (issue) is causing problems.”
Once you’ve determined the problem, it’s time to give a solution. Be sure to offer as complete of a solution as you can.
If your company has an online knowledge base, be sure to link there. Be proactive whenever possible. Show that you are not only handling the issue, but giving them a way to help themselves in the future. It makes for a complete customer service experience.
After you’ve resolved their issue, thank them again for reaching out. You can never be too gracious when dealing with a customer and making them feel valued.
If your solution hasn’t resolved the issue, make sure that the customer has an open line of communication back to you.
“Thanks again for reaching out. If you have any other questions or need further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.”
You don’t have to wait for customers to reach out to you with an issue to send them an email. There are several instances where you should be reaching out to ensure that they will keep coming back for more.
Follow up emails are a perfect touchpoint for new customers who have just made their first purchase with your business.
Remember, closing a sale is not the end of the customer lifecycle. You also have to retain the customer.
When reaching out with a welcome email, make sure that you express gratitude to the customer for their patronage.
“Hi, (Customer’s Name)! Thank you so much for becoming a valued member of the (Company Name) family! We’re thrilled to have you here, and we hope that you’re enjoying (Product or Service).
Next, ask them if there’s anything else you can do to help. The customer may be experiencing issues with your product or service, and sometimes, instead of reaching out, they just find another company. Let them know you’re here to help.
“I wanted to ensure that you’re enjoying (Product or Service) and offer any assistance if you’re experiencing issues or have any lingering questions.”
It’s also a chance to give them an exclusive offer as a customer to drive future purchases.
“As a new valued member of the (Company Name) family, we wanted to welcome you with an exclusive offer to help you get the most out of your next purchase.”
Why should you do all of this?
For starters, it establishes a sense of brand loyalty in the customer by showing that you are attentive and that you care about their experience.
It’s an initiative like this that drives your retention rate, which is the backbone of profitability. You want to build long-term relationships with the people who are already buying from you.
Consider for a moment that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. That makes customer retention efforts extremely worthwhile.
Gratitude helps to generate a repeat purchase. According to TD Bank, 77% of consumers appreciate a show of gratitude.
You should routinely reach out to your existing customers to ask them for feedback. Asking for reviews and feedback works on more than one level.
Reviews can be posted on your website or product pages and go a long way towards establishing trust with prospective customers. They also help you gather information about what is and isn’t working within your company.
Polling your customers for feedback through email is a great way to solve problems you might not have known existed.
“Hi (Customer’s Name), As a valued (Company Name) member, we value your opinion. We wanted to take this opportunity to reach out and see if you’re having any issues, or would like to provide feedback that we can use to improve our service going forward.”
You want reviews on your site because it enhances social proof. By seeing the success stories of their peers, prospective customers will trust in the value of your service.
Reviews are almost always better than company messaging for customer acquisition, as prospects trust them more.
Reviews can also be turned into user-generated content to feature on product pages that will drive conversions.
The addition of 50 or more reviews of a product has been shown to improve ecommerce conversion rates by 4.6%.
On top of that, 52% of worldwide shoppers believe that companies should take action on the feedback provided by their customers. Reaching out to your customers via email for feedback shows a willingness to do just that.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes for a second. You’re having an issue with a product or service but instead of bringing it to the attention of the company, you just decide to look for a new one that fits better.
But then, the company reaches out to you instead. They ask for feedback in your court and you can easily tell them what’s going on.
The company acknowledges the problem and fixes it! Now, you can buy from them again, knowing that if there’s a problem, they’ll find a solution.
It’s an incredible way to build customer trust and create customer loyalty. You could even save sales that you didn’t even know were in jeopardy.
You should make sure that you’re reaching out to customers and letting them know that their lives outside of transactions matter to you.
Customers appreciate an acknowledgment of their special milestones. This marketing strategy can include things like birthdays, anniversaries, or even the anniversary of their first purchase with the company. Little moments like this can mean a lot to a customer.
Make sure that when you’re onboarding new customers, you gather as much information about them as possible.
Say you wanted to send them an email for their birthday. You can tag on a special promotion as a birthday gift.
“Happy Birthday, (Customer Name)! All of your friends here at (Company Name) want to wish you the happiest of birthdays and hope that it is an exceptional one! To celebrate, we wanted to offer you a special birthday gift. We’re giving you one free (Product Name), redeemable through the next month.”
Sephora, a makeup retailer, gives all of its customers a free product on their birthday as an exclusive marketing gift.
The restaurant chain Denny’s once ran a marketing promotion where customers could get a free Grand Slam breakfast on their birthdays.
AMC movie theaters give free popcorn and soda to Stubs members for their birthday month as well.
You can also let your customers know about company milestones. Some companies, like New York Sports Clubs, have taken to special marketing promotions to commemorate the anniversary of their company.
“Hi, (Customer’s Name) We wanted to reach out to let you know that (Company Name) is celebrating a very special anniversary! It’s (Company Name’s) birthday this month, and we’re reaching out to all of our valued customers to offer them a personalized gift in commemoration of the occasion.”
Why should you do this?
Everyone likes to be acknowledged, and customers will be appreciative of the gift. It also is a sure-fire way to bring them back onto your site.
Initiatives like this can promote repeat sales, which is invaluable for your revenue.
Customer service, both reactive and proactive, is the cornerstone of customer retention. By reaching out with a follow-up email, acknowledging special occasions, gathering feedback, or responding to customer issues, you can ensure that your company is serving its audience to the best of its ability, creating happy repeat buyers.
Those loyal customers will continue to stick around for years to come, confident that your company values their presence and appreciates their business.
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