While most emails are direct and to the point, it's still important that we take time to build rapport with the customer. That rapport will go a long way towards retaining that customer for the long-term.
- First impressions matter. You don't want to be that person with the limp handshake, and you don't want to be the new intern who doesn't own an iron and wears rumpled shirts to work every day. You want to be the person who makes a good first impression every time. So let's see how to build rapport by writing a sincere opening and closing sentence in your email. This rapport or feeling of connection helps customers understand that you really want to help them, and they'll read your emails more closely if you build rapport right from the start.
The trick to writing a great opening sentence is to free text half of it. That means that while you may use the same templated sentence to start every email, you'll write much of the rest of it from scratch. Here's how this works. Instead of just writing thank you for contacting us, add a few words of free text that briefly mention what the customer wrote about. Thank you for contacting us about the problems you are having logging in to your account.
Or thank you for contacting us to let us know you love our new Pucker Up lipstick. Or we apologize for the delay in our response to your question about extending your timeshare rental in Orlando in January. When you free text half of your opening sentence, you demonstrate to the customer that you actually read their email and are answering them specifically. A customized opening sentence assures the customer that your reply isn't just a form letter.
You can use the same technique to write your closing and partially free text the last sentence. Or you can write a two-sentence closing in which one sentence is a template and the other is free text. You want to close your email in a sincere, specific way because it's your last shot at your customer's attention. Let's take a look at some examples. Please do not hesitate to contact us again about your auto loan or any other banking issue at CustomerService@GlobeBank.com or 800-555-4567.
Or please feel free to contact us for further assistance with your new dishwasher or any other issues. How about, we sincerely appreciate your business and hope you enjoy your extended timeshare rental in Orlando in January. Just remember, before you free text part of your opening and closing sentences, you may need to check with your manager first. Some organizations require agents to use a templated opening or closing sentence without changing it.
Be sure to talk to your manager before personalizing any templates. So, first impressions and last impressions matter. You don't want to be the person with the limp handshake, and you certainly don't want to be the customer service agent who starts and ends each email in the same old, boring way.
- Reading emails carefully
- Anticipating follow-up questions
- Answering all of the customer's questions
- Handling difficult questions
- Explaining your process to the customer
- Paraphrasing the customer's situation
- Acknowledging the customer's feelings
- Apologizing when appropriate
- Avoiding clichéd language
- Demonstrating empathy and sincerity in your writing
- Building rapport