Provided by All Things Writing, LLC
When you think of customer service tools, what do you think of? Is it leading a soothing conversation to settle an irate customer? Or do you think more along the lines of a virtual help desk or chat applet? Well, of course, those are customer service tools, but there’s another one out there that most people don’t think about – writing. What you write and how you write it can destroy or improve the customer experience.
What you write
Everything you write is a form of customer service:
- Emails to colleagues, clients and vendors
- Social media posts
- Marketing materials
- Press releases
- Website content
- Truly everything!
All these forms of communication ultimately provide something to your customers. Emails and newsletters assist, problem solve and market. Social media posts can be used to directly address complaints and to educate. Marketing materials help educate and sell. Press releases and articles inform and educate. And your website offers information to visitors. You can see why it’s so important that your writing send the messages you’re striving for.
How you write it
While you may want your writing to say one thing, if it’s constructed poorly or full of mistakes, you may be sending an entirely different message. Imagine a quick, fragmented response to an email. Your recipient may think, “Wow. He was in a hurry and didn’t have much time for my issue,” or, “Boy, that was rude.”
Send a response full of typos, and the person on the other end will realize you didn’t care enough to check your work before hitting send.
And if you slap a generic message onto your website or marketing brochures, potential customers may notice the lack of pizazz and wonder if you’re really that invested in your business.
It’s essential to create professional communications so the message your customers receive is the one you’re trying to send.
Write the right message
Written communication with your customers and colleagues boils down to providing two main things: respect and attention. But just how do you show this in your writing?
- Always be polite and thorough to illustrate that the customer matters to you.
- Integrate other tools, such as empathy, into your writing. You can do this through word choice and placement.
- Write using business style grammar, punctuation and wording. In most cases, customer service communications are not the place for slang.
- Be concise, getting right to the point. This shows you’re respectful of your customer’s time.
- Write clearly — don’t use jargon or flowery language. Say what you mean in plain language.
- PROOFREAD! Never hit send before reading over your message. You’ll be amazed at everything you catch.
If writing doesn’t come easily for you, then you might be stressing out a bit right now. Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a perfect writer to provide the solutions your customers want and need. Just be a caring, careful one. Practice often, get feedback on your writing and/or have a pro lend a helping hand.
Now go forth and solve your customers’ problems, one written word at a time.
Serving private, government and nonprofit sectors, All Things Writing is a content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. They may be reached at [email protected].
“Your Words Mean Business” provides insights and tips to business owners, organizations and professionals seeking to better their performance and increase their bottom line through sharpening written communication skills.