Building and maintaining a functional relationship with customers as well as ensuring that their ever evolving needs and expectations are met should be the focus of every business organization. When a customer gives a feedback, either positive or negative, it can be used as an avenue to build an effective relationship which could lead to the client becoming loyal to the organization’s brand. This is why responding to a customer’s email appropriately, especially when he/she in unsatisfied, is a vital skill to acquire in business.
When relating to your customers, understand that the focus should not necessarily be an attempt to provide the “perfect” product or service, but a customer care service that is legendary which is based on friendship with individual customer, treating each person’s concerns and complaints as the primary focus of the company. This is the reason why a customer would likely recommend a company (or its products or services) to other potential customers; a cheap and very effective publicity for the company.
There is a great advantage in one-on-one (face-to-face) communication when dealing with a customer’s complaint. However, in cases where this is not possible or an email response is what is required to reach the aggrieved client, there are specific points to put into consideration and basic ways by which this should be handled.
LISTEN TO THE VOICE BEHIND THE EMAIL
Effective communication skills are basic essentials in customer care services, and the crucial part of it is the art of listening, a task which requires patience. The first step before responding to a complaint via email is to understand what the consumer intends to communicate. It may also be helpful to restate the complaints in your response for the sake of clarity. Also, picking the key words that clearly reveal the customer’s expectations from an email helps to determine how to respond.
RESPONDING TO AN EMAIL PROMPTLY IS KEY
That enough shows the company puts the interest of the end-user at heart. It proves that the company truly views the client as priority.
Some words convey a courteous attitude more than others in every form of inter-personal communication experience. Choose both the right words and tone.
This shows that the customer’s concerns are also felt by the entire company. This can be communicated through the proper use of language and words. For example;
“I do understand the inconvenience you have been through”
Showing empathy has a way of helping to win the trust of the end-user in a communication experience. Use words like;
These have a way of communicating the desire to help the customer and shows that his/her complaints are not taken with levity.
Your email response should state clearly what you will do to resolve the issue. A vague response to an unsatisfied customer may worsen the customer’s relationship with the company.
BE REALISTIC AND HONEST IN DEALING WITH A COMPLAINT
This attitude can reflect in the email and create room for trust in the mind of the end-user. Even more, the fact that the company does not make empty or implausible promises strengthens this loyalty.
SOFTEN THE NEGATIVE CONTENT OF THE MAIL
There are ways to cushion the effects of the negative message in responding to an email from an unsatisfied end-user. To achieve this, it is important to be diplomatic and polite at the same time in your response, with a final note of assurance. For instance, instead of writing; “There will be a delay before the parcel arrives. Why not write; “There might be a slight delay. But we are in control of the situation”.
Anticipating a costumer’s objections and questions and addressing them while communicating through an email ensures that you cover every area which may arise in the mind of an end-user after receiving the mail. Once an end-user’s complaints are handled successfully, the chances that the company has acquired a loyal subscriber is high.
In cases where it is impossible to offer any assistance, proffer a solution by making reasonable suggestions.
Never fail to apologize, and never fail to appreciate a customer’s patronage. Ensure you communicate how valuable the business relationship means to the company because indeed, it means a lot.
SAMPLE EMAIL 1
We regret to inform you that there might be a slight delay before your order gets to you but we are definitely looking into this matter to resolve it and taking every necessary step to see to it this delay does not occur again. We apologize for the inconveniences caused by this delay. We realized the challenges your company must have been through in managing the crisis that occurred as a result. We value your patronage and look forward to a more fruitful relationship with your organization.
SAMPLE EMAIL 2
We agree that the new model of the brand of washing machine you purchased from our outlet does not have many features like many other models. We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused you.
Our aim is to provide variety of models from different price ranges for our customers to choose from. We encourage every customer to get an informative flier on all the products for sale and study the features highlighted for the product of their choice in those fliers.
We regret to inform you that we do not offer a refund for products purchased in good condition from the store.
We suggest you visit any local store that sells used machines. You may trade it in exchange for cash to purchase a new one.
Please do let us know when you come into the store again. Our manager will personally attend to you to ensure you go home with what will give you much satisfaction.
Thank you so much for making us aware of the difficulties you faced in the use of this product. We will forward your complaints to the manufacturers. We are sure they will look into this matter in the bid to satisfy more needs.
Thank you for your patronage.
Written by Teju Duru
Ayo Oyedotun is a professional blogger and freelance writer. He reads, writes and talks about business. You can follow him on Twitter @Ayo_Oyedotun[http://twitter.com/#!/Ayo_Oyedotun] or read Business Owners’ Bible[http://woculus.com/].