Written communication has greater chances of being misunderstood because of the absence of tone of voice.
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Electronic communications, especially when serving customers using chat, are difficult to handle because you only have written words and symbols to get your message understood the way you want. When using chat for providing service, you need to use more expressions of politeness than you normally do to make your intentions and mood obvious to the other person. In email communications, however, you have the luxury of reviewing and editing your message before sending to remove any errors or make improvements.
There are some factors that need to be kept in mind whenever providing customer service electronically, be it through any medium.
Be Extra Polite, Always
In any written communication, you need to keep in mind how your message will be read by the recipient. To remove any misunderstanding, use positive words, greeting and exclamation marks to show your good intentions, a happy mood, and respect for the other person. For instance, you may greet the other person “Hello, Becky! I hope you are well.” than “Hello. I hope you are well.” The first greeting sounds upbeat and personal while the latter seems automated and dull. Just the use of the first name of the person coupled with an exclamation mark did the trick here.
Using positives is another way to remove chances of misunderstanding. Even when refusing or not being able assist a customer, use positive language to refuse. You may rephrase a refusal: “I regret that the company is presently not in a position to do so. I hope you are the least inconvenienced by this. If you need any further assistance, I would be happy to be of help. We value your business and hope to see you again.” You may follow up to ensure that the customer is provided the best help possible, and is satisfied with the service. Even if the customer is unhappy by the refusal, your effort will act as a cushion.
Dealing with Accusations and Insults
Anonymity and distance lead some people on the Internet to freely abuse, insult and accuse others, many times without a reason. A customer service professional must prepare for bad behaviour from some customers and ready their response in advance.
The most effective method of dealing with threats, vulgarity, insults and false accusations is to stay calm. Never indulge by reacting to the attack. The customer is not talking in a professional capacity, but you are. Repeat your answer and stick to it. Stay rational and communicate to the customer the facts. Stay professional when it becomes impossible to be empathetic or polite. Remember that an abusive customer can only be abusive for so long.
Balance Personal and Professional
We, as people, like to communicate with other people, not with machines. Even though you might be dealing with many customers during a workday, a customer does not interact with the company on a regular basis. A little personal touch, such as warmth in your voice instead of a mechanical tone, can make a huge difference in the quality of customer service. While remaining professional in your mannerisms and choice of words, make your communications personal by remembering the names of loyal customers, asking after their health, being warm, etc. Customers highly appreciate companies that make an extra effort to keep their business.
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