I was fortunate enough, many years ago, that when email was introduced at a large client they gave me some guidelines on how to reply to people and how to send email. It was just the point when email was coming into common use – driven normally by a 56K modem and it’s associated chirping sounds. Emails tended to be answered within 24 hours – so they were faster than the post but not as fast as the expected realtime nature of email today.
Email etiquette when handling customer emails.The guideline list is long gone, but it became part of my normal use of email and I share what I can recall here to be sure that retailers dealing with volume emails due to selling on Amazon and ebay can benefit when answering the sack of email they receive on a daily basis.
The majority of emails received by retailers will fall into only a few categories, so a few pre drafted templates will come in handy. “Where’s my stuff” & “how do I return” are undoubtedly the most common emails to be able to handle efficiently.
But here is the lsit as best as I can remember from my 56k modem days…
1) Avoid the use of CAPITALS. There is no need to shout.
2) Avoid the use of exclamation marks! It looks like your poking the reader in the eye.
3) Reply in a timely manner, but never in haste – you just might say the wrong thing.
4) Please be polite, however, rude the customer may have been. Sharing your email with the world is only a click away.
5) Always make a balanced judgement. For instance a £5 refund (however much you think you are in the right) is much better than potentially causeing your reprutation to be damaged by Mr Irate of Turnbridge Wells.
6) Avoid jokes or humour – it seldom comes across as funny. If you really must make sure you mark it with a little smiley face 🙂
So in summary – don’t shout, don’t poke people in the eye, be timely, be polite, be balanced and avoid jokes. Should be easy ENOUGH!!!