Michele McGovern reports:
"Get ready to write! Customers will increasingly type, not call, in the coming years. While the majority of customers still plan on using the phone for critical issues, many more said they’ll use some sort of written communication to get help[,] found recent research published by Zendesk...To get ready for the increase in written communication, [frontline] service and sales reps will need to be more proficient at reading and writing...Most written messages don’t come with as much explanation as we might like. But enough information is often there if we know how to read it with a critical eye. Reps need to practice reading what customers say and discerning what those customers are actually asking. It can be a challenge because chat and email messages are often written quickly and without editing. So take time to regularly review common messages...Reps and customers often have to step away from the conversation (just like they would in a verbal exchange) to get information. Good chat writers make it clear to customers when they need to wait momentarily. Customers should never have to type, 'Are you still there?' Instead, when reps need time away from the conversation, they can say, 'Please give me a moment to check that,' or 'Please hold on for a minute while I look that up.'...[G]ood questioning during [a] chat or email session can generate the same results as a good conversation. Service pros want to mix matter-of-fact questions with open-ended questions to engage customers and uncover enough information to resolve the issue...It’s challenging to express emotions in written communication, especially fast forms such as chat. And emoticons can’t do what the spoken word can — nor should they be used in professional communications. But some key phrases can help show empathy in writing...Sometimes the best way professionals can build credibility with customers is by admitting they don’t know everything...If reps can’t solve it immediately with a solution they know is 100% right, they want to tell customers, 'Let me check on this. It might take...more than a few minutes, but I want to make sure I have the most updated information. Can I contact you again in 15 minutes?'...Reps should use template responses that were designed to most effectively resolve common issues. But they should also have the adaptability to move right into writing free text — because almost every customer question or issue is unique in some way...Chat and sometimes email are less formal than other forms of writing. But they’re still a professional exchange and should be treated as such. Standard, formal sentences aren’t necessary in a fast-paced chat, but proper spelling and punctuation is a must for clarity. Include spelling a[nd] grammar skill quizzes in training. Enable spelling and grammar checks, and encourage reps to use them."
Writing and editing can be pretty rigorous processes if you want to do them well, but that's what this page is here for. Check out the latest tips here.