Customer service is vital for each and every business regardless of the products and services it sells. Keeping your customers satisfied is a 24/7 job that is carried out by all departments of the company but the employees who communicate directly with them are the ones that bear the highest responsibility.
While older generations prefer to pick up the phone and clear any issues while talking to a company representative, Millennials and Generation Y prefer written communication. No matter if you exchange e-mails, chat or use social media, your writing skills are of paramount importance if you want to please your customers.
There are several ways to improve your writing skills such as attending courses on efficient customer communication, drawing inspiration from specialized blogs writing on topics in your industry field or relying on the experience of authors working in specialized sites such as Handmade Writing and WritingsGuru, who definitely know how to produce great content.
In order to polish your writing skills, however, it is necessary to correctly identify them. If you want to provide the best customer experience, here are the areas that you need to focus on:
It might be strange to you but critical reading is one of the most important skills that you need to develop in order to improve your writing. In many occasions, the written text does not provide that many details and additional information that we tend to think. Therefore, it is important to read carefully and understand what the customer really needs in order to be able to provide the right response. Chats and e-mail messages are often written without any editing so critical reading is a must for customer representatives who want to communicate effectively.
Make sure that any message you write is direct to the point. Customers do not have time to read lengthy texts full of fluff. Therefore, you need to provide concise answers to the questions and issues raised by the customer while also taking into account their specific preferences. Based on the customer profile that you have – age, family status, preferred goods or way of communication, you should write a message that contains the details that would appeal to the customer. Millennials, for example, are influenced by reviews and feedback, so if you want to sell a product your written message shall include such examples. Baby boomers are keen on details, so describe the product or the solution to their problem in details but keep straight to the point and do not add unnecessary information.
Make sure that the content of your message is accurate. Do not contradict yourself and do not give information that is different from what is already stated on your company website, for example. It is also important to use the brand voice in all your written texts – no matter if it is a chat, e-mail or a message sent via the channels of social media. If your brand uses a language that is more informal and friendlier, stick to it rather than trying to sound too official.
It is a challenge to express your emotions in writing but certainly not impossible. While using emoticons in professional communication is certainly not advisable, certain key phrases can be used in written communication to show empathy. If you are dealing with annoyed or angry customers, it is a good idea to show your understanding of their concerns and then offer a solution.
- I can see your point.
- You are right.
- That sounds difficult.
- I do understand what you mean, etc.
Show your empathy and make your written text sound more personal.
It is also a good idea to avoid a stereotypical view of consumers, as Deloitte suggests. The approach focuses on segmentation that can make marketing content more efficient. It can be successfully used to develop the writing skills of customer representatives and facilitate communication with customers at each stage – from initial contact to follow-up communication, giving feedback and attending to customer needs, questions and issues.
Writing to persuade
A very important skill is to learn to write persuasively. If a customer is asking a question about a certain product or service and you feel their hesitation on whether to buy it or not. This skill can be of great help. You need to persuade the customer into purchasing it without making it too obvious. You can do it by asking the right questions so that you can lead them to the idea how well this product answers their needs. It is also important what channel of communication you are going to use. Sending a marketing e-mail on Monday, for example, is going to be more successful as then it has the highest chance of being open according to Email Marketing Statistics.
Mixing templates with free text
Having access to high-quality prewritten content is a great idea and template e-mails or chat responses can come quite handy. Customers, however, are not happy with receiving standard responses and would prefer communicating with a human being and not someone who sounds like a chatbot. Hence, it is a good idea to learn how to use the great parts of a template but mix it with the relevant free text. This writing skill will help you personalize the messages you send to your customers and show that you do care about their specific problem and your readiness to assist them in finding a solution.
Writing precisely and correctly
Last but not least, you should create content that is free of grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. It is ok to use tools such as Grammarly that help you eliminate such mistakes. Writing correctly should be a non-negotiable part of the customer policy of each company and agent should have the opportunity to refresh their skills whenever needed.
Writing precisely is also vital in making the customer satisfied. Here are a few tricks that can help polish this skill:
- Identify and accurately repeat the customer’s question or need thereby showing your understanding of the issue.
- Use short and simple sentences following the subject-verb-object structure. Better split a longer sentence into two as thus it will be clearer what your point is.
- Choose concrete words over abstract ones and avoid jargon or too specific terminology that might not be understood by the customer. Your aim is not to humiliate them or make them feel how unfamiliar they are with the process but on the contrary – to calm them down and provide an easy solution to their problem.
The content will fail to hit its target if the basics – the comas, word spelling or word order, are not properly assembled. This makes writing precisely and correctly one of the most important skills to be trained among customer representatives.
Training your agents to use these 7 writing skills in their communication is critical to keeping your customers happy. Content can make or break your business, so make sure that your representatives are always in line with your brand requirements about any written form of communication.