Council Post: Customer Service Pros: 11 Tips To Ensure Clear Written Communication

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As much of customer service is now conducted through live chat or social media, ensuring your teams are properly trained on best practices for written communication is paramount to your success. When your staff can not only educate and serve your customers but also connect with them in a meaningful way, you’re much more likely to build a loyal following that will want to recommend you to their family and friends.

According to the members of Young Entrepreneur Council, keeping these 11 tips in mind when engaging with customers in a written format can help ensure your communication is clear, helpful and likely to earn you the trust and loyalty of your customers.

1. Keep Responses Short And Direct

Customer service professionals must fight the urge to respond in a way that sounds like their spoken voice, as it can lead to long sentences, over-politeness and tons of run-on sentences. In a world of hashtags and snappy slogans, it’s best to keep your message short and direct to avoid misunderstandings. Text that takes longer than 20 seconds to read may be overlooked and the main point may get lost. – Heather Francis, Elevate Funding

2. Repeat Customer Requests Back To Them

You should always repeat the customer’s request back to them. Adding a layer of clarity will allow the customer to make corrections if needed. If they have no corrections, you may proceed with understanding their concern correctly. Summarizing the conversation is also helpful. Multiple single sentences are sent in a row with chat messages, so say something like “To summarize your concern…” and then repeat it to the customer. – Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

3. Use Tools To Review Your Message

Don’t send anything without reading it and checking for ways it could be reasonably (or frankly, unreasonably) misunderstood. Support yourself with a spelling checker and editor tools. Writing was never a solo venture. It was always done in dialogue with editors. Use tools that help you be your own editor. If something is high stakes—an email to a shareholder, for example—send it to someone you trust. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

4. Learn From Past Interactions

Learn from the best practices of past interactions. These real-life examples of effective communication serve as a foundation for crafting clear messages and setting the right tone for various issues in future engagements. I highly recommend reviewing these examples with your team, as doing so will encourage collaborative learning and the development of improved communication strategies. – Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

5. Send Customers Detailed Guides And Articles

Putting together detailed help articles that you can send to customers to support more technical customer service requests can be useful for maintaining clear communication. Guides can help you provide faster responses (because you won’t need to type out a 10-step process every time) and give customers something to refer back to if the issue happens again. – Diana Goodwin, MarketBox

6. Use Plain Language

Avoid jargon and technical terms when communicating with your customers. Not everyone has the depth of knowledge to understand these words, and the last thing you want to do is make your customers feel dumb for asking something. Use plain language to explain concepts and ideas. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

7. Add Bullet Points To Break Up The Text

Long-form comments are hard to read and easy to misinterpret. Instead, make it simple for customers by spoon-feeding them the main points as bullets. This is also more likely to be a helpful resource for other fans and followers who need information that provides succinct answers and is easy to identify. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

8. Leverage The ‘BLUF’ Approach

To ensure clear and helpful written communication in customer service, you should use the “BLUF” (Bottom Line Up Front) approach. In this approach, you present the most important information or solution first, followed by any necessary details. This technique improves the clarity, efficiency and readability of your texts, making it easier for customers to take action based on your response. – Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

9. Standardize Your Processes

It’s essential that you come up with standard operating procedures and train your teams on those to streamline your communication. The problems may vary for different companies, and so do the solutions. So, identify the issues, brainstorm to find the best possible solutions and standardize your processes. This keeps loopholes at a bare minimum and helps ensure great customer service. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

10. Ensure You Have Real Humans On Standby

Make sure to have a live human available if you are using any chatbots. While chatbots can answer basic questions and address concerns rapidly, sometimes a customer has a specific question and would like to talk to a representative. Make sure to establish regular hours when representatives are available and respond to any weekend or holiday messages. – Duran Inci, Optimum7

11. Send A Record Of The Conversation Afterward

One way to ensure you’re effectively communicating with customers is to send a record of the conversation to their email addresses. Many consumers can feel like a representative wasn’t clear when they just don’t fully remember the conversation. An automated log of the interaction can clear up confusion and make it easier for customers to find value in your advice. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC



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