The email was born over 50 years ago.
Not that you didn’t already know that.
But one would expect that it should have been made redundant by the up rise in other flashy communication channels.
You and I know that that’s not the case.
In fact, email is currently the second most used channel as far as customer service is concerned.
According to Contact Babel, 37% of customers prefer to send an email than put a call through. It is the most preferred channel for communicating complex and urgent issues.
As a brand, it would be a mistake to ignore email in favour of other channels. That’s because you are more likely to cripple your customer experience, and eventually, your revenue.
Another reason why neglecting email is a terrible idea is because it cuts across all age groups. A Forrester report shows that it has a 96% penetration rate.
That’s a huge percentage, if you ask me.
And so, neglecting email will cause you to lose out on a huge market.
This brings me to the focus of this post. Customer service agents are overwhelmed because of the increase in the adoption of email by younger customers, .
This results in poor customer service in most brands.
And so, how can your brand stand out from the pack? How can your email customer service be better than your competitions’?
We have 4 simple but profound tips that will help you achieve this. Here they are:
Furnish Your Agents With Knowledge
Information is power.
To provide speedy, consistent, and reliable answers to queries, your agents need the right information.
Trust me, your customers know when customer agents don’t have the right answer to their enquiries. And this leads to frustrations to both your customers and your agents.
And so, empower your agent with information. This will make them more confident and better able to serve your customers.
Create a central information base for your customer agents. And be sure you update the platform regularly to ensure that all your agents are duly informed.
Furthermore, you want to make the platform a place your customer agents can provide feedback on challenges/lapses they encounter daily.
They should also be able ask new question posed by customers on the platform and get quick answers to them. This will help you improve the information database, making it more robust and useful.
Keep Email Open And Easy To Access By Customers
For some companies, the best way to increase profits is to cut cost. Not that it’s a terrible idea, but it’s not always the best.
In a bid to cut down cost, some brands may turn of email in favour of other communication channels.
This may help reduce cost, but only in the short term. In the long run, customers will switch to more expensive channels, or worse, take their business elsewhere.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with cutting costs, but turning email off permanently may hurt you in the near future.
The best way to go about this is to leave multiple channels open. This will help to ease up the pressure on your email agents. As well as provide different communication options for your customers to choose from.
Update Your Customers Regularly
For customer sometimes sending an email to a brand is like send a radio signal into space. This is because they are not sure if they’ll get a response tomorrow or in the next decade.
This is one of the leading causes of dissatisfaction and customer churn.
In fact, one study found that only 46% of brands let their customers know that their message has been received.
The same study reported that only 28% of companies tell their customers when to expect an answer.
As a result, customers may end up sending multiple follow-up messages in a bid to get a response. When you do this, you make it stressful for your customers to communicate with you.
And guess what will happen if they find out that your competitors respond faster?
To set this straight, have an email prompt that replies automatically telling customers that their message has been received. Moreover, it should also inform your customers when they should expect a reply.
Be sure to keep your word and reply when you said you would.
Equip Your Customer Agents With Answer Templates
Customers need speedy and accurate replies to their email queries. And answer templates are more or less ready-made responses.
Templates can be used as FAQs to answer every day questions, thus, freeing your agents to handle more pressing queries.
You can route certain questions to agents that specialize in the area where the query is directed. In addition, you could also give suggested answers to specific queries to your agents. You can achieve these using artificial intelligence and text analytics algorithms.
Ultimately, this helps your agents provide rapid responses, leaving your customers feeling valued and boosting your reputation in their minds.
The major aim of these 4 tips is to help your agents provide quick responses to your customer emails. And also to help improve the overall productivity of your customer service team.
Email will continue to be the preferred channel for communicating with brands for the foreseeable future.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to put these 4 tips to work and make your customer service better than your competitors’.POSTED ON February 8, 2020