Increase Customer Retention With These 7 Tips on Customer Service Emails

Jun 18
Customer Service

People change jobs—that's inevitable—but great customer service will make your business relationship resilient and not dependent on a single person. You don't want just one person at a company to love your product, you want the whole company to love your product. That way if your single champion changes jobs, you're not at risk of losing the whole account!

The following 7 email tips are one way to improve customer retention and see an instant increase in the quality of customer service in your company.

1. Personalization

Think about a time you've been frustrated with a product and you reach out to customer service—you want to speak to a human on the other end of the screen. Getting a canned response rather than a personal email, is so frustrating and immediately zaps your faith in getting a solution anytime soon.

Dale Carnegie says "a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language" and it applies to emails too! Customers want to know that the person responding to their email is responding to them alone. You can easily convey this by including the person's name and specific insight into their unique problem. If you're in a business with customer profiles and history—even better! Use that knowledge to further personalize emails so customers know that you are the expert and are one step ahead of them!

For the record, canned messages aren't all bad. They simply have to be carefully chosen for recurring situations that are almost identical so customers get exactly what they need from them regardless of the canned nature. If something is coming up so frequently a canned message is needed, add it to your FAQ!


2. Check in Regularly & Follow Up

Customers don't always reach out when they have issues. Sometimes they try to figure it out and fail, and rather than ask customer service they just power through. If you regularly check in with customers (especially your bigger accounts) it reminds them that you are working for them. Plus, it shows them that your customer service process isn't a neverending thread of canned emails, but a person who proactively helps customers.

Similarly, you should always follow up with customers who reached out to customer service. Whether the issue was solved or not, you can follow up to remind the customer that you're still working on it, you closed the ticket or you are still waiting for additional information from them. This extra outreach is a subtle reminder that your company values their business and cares about their experience.


3. Proactively Communicate Problems Like Downtime or Data Breaches

Sometimes all you need to do to avoid a storm in your support inbox is to get ahead of any planned or sudden issues. Rather then panic when there's unplanned downtime or a breach, do what you would want someone to do for you—warn you! Send out a mass email letting everyone know:

  • what the issue is
  • what you are doing about it
  • estimated time until it's fixed
  • what customers can do to help (change passwords, log out, be patient, etc.)

4. Offer Perks & Discounts for Your Best Customers

The human race will always appreciate saving money. Of course you have your bottom line to think about, but sometimes offering perks and discounts to your top customers can earn you more in the long run. Customers want to be taken care of, especially if their spending a lot of money with you. Going above their expectations by sending care packages or offering unexpected discounts builds loyalty that competitors are unlikely to match.

In addition, try to offer specials for new customers or for newly upgraded customers throughout the year! It can provide a bump in new customers or remind customers why they love working with you in the first place.


5. Empower Customer Service Representatives

  • "Let me speak with my manager"
  • "Waiting on manager approval"
  • "You'll need to speak to a different department for this"
  • "I don't have the authority to that".

Those are all the words of employees in companies with terrible customer retention rates. They are the last person you want to speak with via email or phone.

Customer service representatives (and anyone in a customer-facing role) need to be empowered to make decisions in the moment. No micromanaging or a chain of command—give employees the power to help your customers remain customers. Empowering employees starts from the day they are hired. You should vet new hires accordingly, then thoroughly train them on everything they need to make immediatedecisions to serve customers.


6. Add in Brand Voice

If your company has an established brand voice that customer-facing employees are familiar with, keep it consistent through marketing emails and customer support. It may seem like a small detail, but your brand voice says a lot about your company and is an easy way to leave a lasting impression on customers.

Whether it's the consistent upbeat tone across all branding and emails or a funny line your CSRs use when they've found a solution, using brand voice in customer service emails is a small gesture that makes a big impact.

For an example of what we mean, subscribe to the toilet paper company Who Gives A Crap and you'll immediately see what we're talking about. :)


7. Always Offer to Get on a Phone or Video Call

Before the internet, getting on the phone was the quickest way to resolve an issue. Not anymore.

Multiple hour wait times, automated menus and constant "department transfers" are now the norm for calling customer support. These awful company-centric tactics are stress inducing and enough to make the most patient person drop a few curse words. Most people try to avoid this headache by going online to a support chat or email. When they get a response in under an hour they'll be dazzled, offer to call them directly rather than continue email and they will be blown away!

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