Customer Service Training Tips: How to Communicate Successfully Using Email

When you consider the myriad alternatives to email including Slack, Teams, texting, and chat, among others, it’s easy to think that email is an old-school, obsolete communication channel. In fact, the total volume of email increased by 7% in 2021 (GlobeNewswire) and more than half of the world’s population uses email. (PitchFunnel). In other words, email is relevant, important, and widely used. That’s precisely why Compassionate Geek includes instruction on email best practices in our customer service training.

11 Email Best Practices

  1. Use a descriptive and specific subject line that will help you and the other person identify this particular email conversation in the future. Many support ticketing systems automatically add a ticket number. If yours doesn’t, consider adding a ticket number manually.
  2. Personalize your response by including the user’s name. Avoid generic greetings such as “Dear User” or “Dear Client”.
  3. One of the most important customer service training topics with email is this: Re-read the sender’s original email to ensure that you’re answering all of their questions and haven’t inadvertently overlooked any of the issues in the email. (Have you ever experienced the frustration of receiving only a partial response to an inquiry and having to send another email requesting answers to questions that were ignored from your first email?)
  4. Never assume that the customer or user has a particular level of knowledge. It is much better to be too thorough than to omit necessary steps because you assume the person receiving your email already knows something.
  5. Anticipate related issues that the user or customer might have and include links to documentation pages or, if necessary, steps for the recipient to follow if they encounter any related issues.
  6. Use bullet-points instead of long paragraphs. Bullet-lists are easier to skim and read. It’s easy to miss interior points buried in lengthy paragraphs.
  7. Number any step-by-step instructions. Test them to ensure you haven’t omitted any steps or made false assumptions about how the steps should work.
  8. Show professionalism by using proper grammar. Avoid the use of texting shortcuts (they’re fine for personal use, but have no place in business).
  9. Additionally, show professionalism by proofreading for meaning, spelling, grammar, and mechanical errors such as repeated keystrokes or incorrect spelling corrections (just get in the habit of re-reading every email completely before hitting the send button).
  10. Use emoticons to express or to clarify emotions (but be careful about their overuse). Also be sensitive as to who will be reading your email. You probably wouldn’t, for example, put a smiley face in an email to the CEO or other C-level executives of your company!
  11. Ensure your contact information is included in every email. Automated signature features in most email programs make this easy. Include your name, phone number, email address, office hours, and appropriate links such as your company or department website, support pages, and any work-related social media sites such as LinkedIn.

Email Best Practices Matter

Your customer service training program, whether you conduct it yourself or choose Compassionate Geek customer service training, must include tips on email best practices. That’s how you can ensure your team is communicating professionally and effectively with your customers.

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