According to research, more than 92% of all internet users have an email ID. Another study indicates that over 49% of online buyers use email to reach out to businesses.
Email customer support has been the oldest yet most effective way to reach out to your potential and existing customers.
Today, many ecommerce businesses use this strategy to maintain communication with their target audience because all other forms of digital communication, including live chat, phone support, and chatbots, can be a big burden on a company's finances.
Whether you're a big setup or a startup, you can leverage the best email customer support strategies to clear your customer's doubts, answer their queries, and stay in touch with them to build trust.
But the issue is when you have to manage an infinite number of emails daily, it's easy to lose track and commit common ecommerce mistakes.
Although mistakes are part of the process, and it's seemingly unavoidable for businesses to commit the common ecommerce mistakes, it can cost them a lot - both in terms of money and time. Also, one negative interaction with a customer can result in businesses losing a potential long-term customer.
But it's not all bad news...
While correcting customer service mistakes isn't as easy as it may sound, it is definitely possible with the right set of strategies.
In this post, we're going to discuss some common customer service mistakes to avoid so that you can maintain positive relationships with your buyers and retain them for a longer period of time.
What Is Email Support?
There is not much difference between email customer support and the assistance you provide to your buyers using other means of communication.
The goal is also the same - to understand your target audience's needs and offer personalized solutions.
What sets email customer support apart from other customer service channels is it is much more affordable. Also, you can communicate with your customers at any time (which isn't possible when you only rely on a live chat support system).
Also, there are certain situations where you have no other option except to use email to reach out to your customers.
For example, when your customer sends an email to ask a query, it's better to respond through an email rather than a phone call. You may, however, include your contact details in an email and ask your customer to get in touch through a call if they have further queries.
You may also need to email your customers when the issue they have raised is too complicated. Email enables you to provide clear instructions to your customers in a written format or an attachment.
Why Email Support Is Critical For Your Business?
As mentioned above, email customer support is one of the most affordable channels that do not require businesses to invest extravagantly in hiring plenty of live support agents.
Although advancement in the digital communication sphere has overshadowed the use of email customer support to some extent, many businesses still use it as their major mode of communication.
The question is why businesses still use email customer service even though they have many other tech-driven and AI-fueled solutions accessible. The answer is simple - emails are more personalized than any other form of communication.
Yes, live chat is good too. But live chat agents have to handle many customers at a time. That is why most support agents try to keep their answers specific to save time.
The idea is the person on the receiving end gets to know that the email they have received is written for them and delivered by someone who truly cares about their preferences.
While there are many benefits of using email customer support for your ecommerce business, the most important ones are discussed down below.
Hiring a dedicated support team can cost businesses a lot of money. Also, you have to train your team to handle different customer queries.
Email, on the other hand, is an affordable way to communicate with your target audience. You can also keep track of all the conversations you had between you and your customers when you use email as a mode of communication.
It’s Quick And Easy
Email enables you to reach out to your potential and existing customers without worrying about different time zones. Unlike phone calls, for which you have to wait for someone to pick up the call, you can get your message across at any time, and the recipient can check and acknowledge that at their convenience.
Email support is always accessible. Anyone with a smartphone and an active internet connection can check their mail within a few seconds. This enables you to always stay in touch with your customers regardless of their location and availability.
When it comes to sharing personal or confidential information, there is no channel as secure as email. You don't have to rely on the old-school mail system and pay extra to deliver your important documents by hand.
Emails are already secure, and you can even encrypt data to add an extra layer of protection.
Personalization is what sets profitable businesses apart from unprofitable ones. The biggest advantage of using emails is that you can tailor content according to your customer’s needs.
Communicates At A Wider Scale
Email enables you to connect with many people at a time. Whether you want to announce a new product or need to send the same message to hundreds of customers, you can use email to inform everyone with a single click.
Essentials Of A Winning Customer Support Email
Use Proper Spelling And Grammar
Emails having plenty of spelling and grammar errors are less likely to convert.
Common grammar errors like mixing up here, here, there, there, could lead to confusion. So make sure you read your message twice before you send it to the final recipients.
Keep your message simple and to the point. Do not drag things because the average attention span of customers is already short
An email sent by a business should focus on 'You' rather than 'We'.
Create A Clear Subject Line
Your subject line should be engaging as it's the first thing customers see when they receive your email. Whether your recipient will open your email depends on how unique and attractive your subject line is.
Write honest and clear subject lines that give your recipients a reason to open your email.
Include An Option To Unsubscribe
To avoid your emails ending up in spam folders, only send emails to people who have officially subscribed to your email list. It is also essential to include an obvious unsubscribe route to let your recipients decide whether they want to continue receiving emails from your business.
Add relevant call-to-actions (CTAs) to your email copy that provides direction to your customers on where to go next. For instance, you can include a CTA 'Call now' or 'click here for more details to help your recipients know where they should click for further help.
Keep Branding Guidelines In Mind
Whether it's your marketing email or a simple reply to your customer query, keep your branding guidelines in mind. Be sure to follow your company's style guide to know which specific fonts and colors you can use to stay consistent with your branding available across different platforms.
Another common ecommerce mistake lots of businesses make is they include everything in their emails to make them look more authentic and professional.
You don't have to do that.
Do not add lots of attachments to prove your point either, as it may cause your email to end up in a spam folder.
Write a short and meaningful email with CTAs to show direction to your users where they should go next for detailed information.
Last but not least, proofread your email before you send it to any customer. Even better if you could ask someone else from the company to proofread it for you. After all, two heads are always better than one.
Top Eight Classic Email Customer Service Mistakes That You Need To Avoid
1. Not Segmenting Your List
Email is a permission-based channel that needs businesses to acquire consent before sending them out to their customers. But that doesn't mean you can send every message to every reader.
Each customer is different, and their needs and expectations also vary. One of the biggest customer service mistakes to avoid is sending out the same message to multiple customers.
To avoid this common ecommerce mistake, you should segment your email list based on different factors, including demographics, interests, and more.
The idea is to send messages to the people who're interested in receiving them.
2. Keeping Them Waiting
Another common customer service mistake to avoid is you should not take forever to respond to your customers. Once you get any query or a complaint through an email, you must respond to it as soon as possible.
Yes, you can have some time to think about the best possible response as emails do not trigger urgency like phone calls, but you must not hold your reply for too long as it may ruin your business repo and trust.
3. Using Templates/Pre-Prepared Answers
While canned responses can be helpful in certain cases, you should not depend on them for every interaction. Overusing pre-prepared responses will give an impression that you don't want to listen to your customer's needs.
4. Using Inappropriate Tone
Using the right tone can make or break a deal for your email support. Agents don't want to sound unprofessional, harsh, or arrogant, nor do they want to sound over-friendly.
Trying to become too personable makes them appear unprofessional, while trying to be too professional may give an impression that they’re uncooperative.
It isn't easy to use a tone that is a perfect blend of professionalism and friendliness. But once you get hold of the right tone, it will become easier for you to communicate effectively with your customers.
5. Not Listening To Your Customer’s Concerns
Not listening to your customer's concerns is another common ecommerce mistake you want to avoid at any cost. Even if you're not able to resolve your customer's problems for some reason, try to offer a better alternative.
Be clear about everything. Do not make fake promises and only commit things you know you'd be able to deliver.
6. Bombarding Your Readers
Do not bombard your reader's inboxes with your emails. Just because they have permitted you to send emails doesn't mean you overwhelm them with unnecessary messages and notifications.
As mentioned above, segment your email list and only send relevant messages your recipients will find value in.
Remember, your readers will always have a choice to unsubscribe. So, if you don't want to lose people on your email list, stick to ethics.
7. Poor Email Copy
There is nothing worse than an email copy full of typos, spelling, and grammar mistakes. When you send out an email to your customers, you want to put forward your best impression.
Poor email copy is a major turn-off and can cause people to unsubscribe from your email list in no time.
We have already discussed above how you can make your email copy look more professional and authentic. So follow the same guidelines, and you'll win customers not for a day or two but a lifetime.
8. Not Following Up
The most common ecommerce mistake online businesses make is they never follow up on emails they sent to their customers earlier.
You can create a simple survey form to ask your customers how their experience went with your email support team. They will remember this gesture forever, and you'll get a loyal customer who'll become your brand advocate in the future.