Replying to a customer’s email is both easy and instant, but what it isn’t necessarily is EFFECTIVE!
Technology has come a long way since I was a kid. Instead of hiring a staff of customer service agents to answer hundreds of daily phone calls, most small to medium sized businesses make use of email to handle the steady stream of inquiries and concerns. This saves money and time, but what if often doesn’t save is customers!
Are your email replies frustrating your customers?
Many customer emails are being answered hastily and that makes for frustrated customers. Frustrated customers have a nasty habit of not hiring or buying from the companies that feed their frustrations…and they often tell others about their difficult experience!
Some emails are allowed to sit in the inbox long after the customer has decided to shop elsewhere. Some emails are answered without having been thoroughly read and are sent out with only one of the customer’s three issues being addressed. And many emails are poorly worded leaving the customer confused.
I’m a business owner too, so I get that you’re busy. I’m busy too, but I’m here to tell you that, if you don’t take an appropriate amount of time to reply to customer emails, it will only cost you more time and quite possibly, your sale (or worse, your company’s reputation)!
Here are a few tips for responding to emails:
1. Take the time to read the email carefully.
Make a mental note (or write down) all the issues that need addressing and make sure you answer all the issues presented to you.
2. Read between the lines.
If you notice that the wording used suggests a misconception your customer/client might have, address that before your communication goes back and forth. Remember, you know much more about your product/service than does your customer.
3. Take the time to proofread before hitting send.
Make sure your answers are clear. There is nothing more frustrating than receiving a confusing email that leaves you with more questions than you had when you sent in your email. Also make sure to check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. A badly written email, even if it is understood, sets a poor image in your customer’s mind.
Don’t be fooled by the ease of technology. Taking the time to respond to your customer’s emails up front saves time in the long run. You’ll also present a better business image to your customers!
“Prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
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