Tips for Effective Email Management in Customer Service

Tips for Effective Email Management in Customer Service
Tips for Effective Email Management in Customer Service

With call centers becoming multi-channel in nature, and transforming themselves into contact centers, customers have started to prefer email as a digital channel of interaction. As per many reports, email is the second-most important channel (next to phone calls) used by the customers. In this scenario, it becomes essential for businesses to give the right attention to customers who prefer to email and communicate to them that it will not be a waste of time for them to resort to this mode of communication. Optimized email management practices enhance customer satisfaction, multiplies brand value and allows businesses to prioritize work while speeding up issue resolution.

To achieve this, contact centers need an effective email management process that can facilitate them in analyzing innumerable emails and unstructured communications. The process should then be optimized to meet various KPIs.

A well-planned email management strategy which focuses on quality and speed can speed up customer query response time and help mitigate operational charges. Below are a few points that businesses can consider for effective email management for customer service.

Tips for Customer Email Management for Enterprises

1. Start with a Contact Form:

The customer should be able to send the first mail through a contact form. A structured contact form is a useful way to ensure that all background information is collected from the customers, in the first instance. This not only ensures that issues can be resolved in a prompt manner, but also avoids the hassle of a series of email exchanges to get the required information, and saves an immense amount of time.

2. Categorize the Emails:

To expedite response time, it is wise to categorize emails as and when they are received. This way, the right email reaches the correct specialized agent, and one does not need to search for the relevant one through hundreds of mails. This can be done through multiple inboxes (technical issues, complaints, etc) or through keywords, tags and subjects. It is also a good practice to keep internal and external mails separate.

3. Make Response Emails Personal:

To ensure a good email experience for customers, it is always recommended to make emails personalized so that they do not feel that they are talking to a robot. Addressing the customer by name as opposed to a simple “Hi/ Hello”, picking up any exact phrase or line from the original email (sent by the customer) while sending a response, providing details of past purchase, etc., are proven means to provide a personal touch.

4. Provide FAQs Link:

Most customers want to help themselves rather than taking the effort of emailing queries. Thus, if there is a link of frequently asked questions (FAQs) somewhere in the website, customers can resolve simple issues at their end, making email management much easier.

5. Email Response within Two Hours:

Customers usually resort to emails because either there is no response or partial response to an issue. However, businesses which have realized this gap and work towards providing a prompt  and quality response, have experienced the benefits and power of emails in addressing customer queries. Such businesses have been able to respond to an email query within two hours, and they manage customer expectations by keeping them in the loop from the time they send an email (often through an auto-response mail) to the time they get the final resolution. This instils confidence in customers that their grievances are actually heard and an attempt will be made to resolve them as soon as possible.

6. Text Modules:

Sample text modules are a great way to increase productivity and efficiency of the contact center agents who are assigned to email management. Pre-defined content provides readymade replies/ responses that agents can use; thus, there is always a level of quality and consistency that is maintained. These modules can be easily integrated with the business transaction or be made a part of corporate written communication with the customers. Businesses can leverage options of predictive text modules that are a preferred choice of many contact center managers.

 7. Beyond Microsoft Outlook:

Email programs like Outlook are fine when dealing with personal communication but not enough when there is a need for cross-department communication or process-oriented tasks. A quality email management system ensures that emails are streamlined (especially those including long replies or series of mail exchanges) and that they are embedded in a workflow. This guarantees that someone will own the task and get it completed. If not, then the business can identify where the bottleneck occurred.

8. Monitor, Measure and Optimize Email Performance:

It is important to capture all relevant metrics to ensure that the email management is effective. This helps to assess the email responses and plan communication channels accordingly. The two most important metrics to monitor and capture are – how long an email has been sitting in the inbox before being opened, and how long did it take to close a customer issue. Apart from these, other reports such as number of emails responded to in a day/ hour, etc can also be captured to get deeper insights about email management in customer service.

9. Outsource Email Management:

Technology and automation enable companies to manage emails that require a standardized template response. Outsourcing to a specialist customer service provider, provides a means to answer each unique customer query that comes in, which requires a personalized response from the business. An expert contact center outsourcing services company will make the effort to learn about the business so that they can answer queries with confidence and as the voice of the brand. Scalability of resources assigned to email management is also possible, which will be of importance during a seasonal spike in business volume. Outsourcing will also free up internal resources of the enterprise for pursuit of mission-critical objectives and offers cost efficiencies as well.

Email interactions in contact centers are growing at a fast pace; however, there is a reluctance among customers to opt for this mode as response time and quality is not at par with, say, a phone call. According to Contact Babel’s US Contact Center Decision Makers‘ Guide 2014, only 30% of email inquiries are answered in less than one hour. Therefore, the need for effective email management is higher than ever before. A robust email management process, through a combination of technology, best practices and perhaps, outsourcing, has a direct impact on the contact center’s bottom line and the overall mission of the business.

Also Read Related Articles:

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1 Tips to Improve Email Customer Service Support
2 Boost Business Efficiency with Multi-Channel Customer Care Contact Center
3 Why a Multi-Channel Contact Center is Essential for Business

For more information on how Invensis Technologies will effectively manage your Email Customer Service requirement through our Contact Center Outsourcing Services, please contact our team on US +1-302-261-9036; UK +44-203-411-0183; AUS +61-3-8820-5183; IND +91-80-4115-5233; or write to us at sales {at} invensis {dot} net

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