5 Ingredients of an Exceptional Support Email
1. Convenience: making it easy for the customer to read and understand
Value your customer’s time and make the email as easy as possible for them to read the email. You can do this by:
Example: When I wanted to cancel my subscription with Elevate, not only was I given immediate assistance, they also went above on beyond to give me clear instructions on how I can go about it.
2. Anticipation: predicting and answering follow up questions
Understand the end goal of a customer based on their questions and help them achieve that. For example, if a customer wants to know more about your return policy, they are probably worried about buying something that may not be right for them. You can use this opportunity to help them pick the right product that will not require a return.
Go above and beyond your job description in the strictest sense and take the initiative to give useful tips and suggestions. Anticipation decreases the time taken to resolve issues and increases customer’s satisfaction.
Example: When a friend faced trouble with his Twilio account because he hit the maximum number of projects a user can create, Twilio gave an immediate short-term solution by increasing the project limit. But they also anticipated that he could hit the new limit soon and gave him an alternate method to add more projects.
3. Simplicity: Losing the jargons in your email
Example: A simple way to understand why it is important to communicate in the customer’s language can be seen in this image. An okay email burdens the customer with information they don’t care about. But an exceptional email addresses the customer’s main concern in simple words.
4. Personality: Showing who you are
Usually, companies set the voice and tone for support communications. But there is no harm in showing your personality in the email even as you are following the guidelines. For example, instead of closing with your default email signature, you could sign off with your picture or a fun GIF. Customers are more likely to remember the interaction and you when you show who you are.
Example: It’s easy to stick to a conversational tone when a support conversation is positive. But even in a tricky situation when the customer was unhappy, a support champion from Zapier was able to maintain the tone and his personality.
5. Sincerity: Being truthful, no matter what
Express only your true emotions and personality. Never say things in your email that you do not mean. This is the reason why over-apologizing and throwing company-fed responses at people put customers off. So as much as possible, be true in your emails.
Example: Being sincere when you have a negative news is harder and necessary compared to when you have a positive news to share with the customer. That’s why this email from the Typeform support team is exceptional.
In addition to all the ingredients I just mentioned, you can find ways to go the extra mile in your email. If you are too swamped to take great care while writing every email, how about making every tenth email special? As any customer who has ever had a support email brighten their day would tell you, it is worth every effort you put in.
What are some of the exceptional support email interactions you’ve had? Let us know in the comments section.