How critical is email as part of a contact center solution?
Digital transformation, artificial intelligence, automation, and omnichannel communication. It’s fair to say that the opportunities to connect with customers have radically increased in the twenty-first century. While change is always good, one thing has remained a constant – Email is still the preferred channel for hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
If your cloud contact center solution doesn’t include Email alongside voice and digital channels, then you risk providing a sub-standard service to these people. This increases the chances that they will move to a competitor that is happy to deal with them on their preferred channel.
The right channel for the right message
While live chat, instant messaging and chatbots are great for people looking for instant answers, not everyone is a fan all of the time. Sometimes you just want to fire off a request and not have a conversation about it.
By only providing customer services through the latest digital channels, it’s possible to exclude customers who don’t have the right app, in the right place, at the right time. By contrast, email provides an easily accessible platform – available on any device with internet access, and that has minimal setup requirements.
Remember that even with chat apps and messaging platforms, an email address is usually required to verify the account and as a way of resetting forgotten or expired passwords.
Time to get the message right
It’s also important to think about how different customers like to interact. Some customers need more time to consider their questions and responses. For these people, email provides a more structured format to write a detailed and comprehensive explanation of exactly what their issue is.
Likewise for the agent, without the pressure of needing to provide an instant response, there’s more time to consider the answer and pull together any necessary resources. If a response needs to go for review by a line manager or group of peers, this may only be possible by email.
Easy access audit trails
When a customer finishes a call, or a live chat on a customer website, that’s the end of their interaction and in most cases the details of that chat are lost to the customer forever. Email by contrast provides a paper trail. It’s time-stamped, and any instructions or attachments can always be printed out or referred to by the customer when they need to.
Top 5 email tips
With all of that in mind, here’s our top tips to help improve your email communication and delight your customers:
- Personalization: It’s easy to ping off a template, but leave the automation to the chatbots. There’s no problem with using scripted responses, but drop in a sentence to show you really understand the customer; it’s the personal touches that’ll keep them coming back.
- Auto-respond: When customers contact you through email rather than a digital channel, they’re not expecting instant reactions, but set an auto-response to manage expectations. All it takes is a simple ‘Thanks for getting in touch, our agents are on the case, and we aim to reply within 24 hours.’ Better yet, overdeliver on that time and really delight your customers.
- Categorize queries: It’s all well and good using Email as a part of your customer service software, but in the interest of continuous improvement it’s important to understand what regular queries are coming in. This can be either through email subject lines or pre-filled categories on the web. Understanding repetitive queries helps to address them through FAQ’s or even an automated chatbot to help unburden your agents.
- Customer feedback: With such a rich forum for agents to gather detailed feedback and ask reciprocal questions, email can be a great way to collect NPS and customer CSAT scores.
- Take it beyond customer services: Your audience is already engaged and communicating on their channel of choice; use the opportunity to drive ROI for your marketing campaigns. Our drag and drop interface makes it simple for you to build stunning emails and a brand library of email templates. You can also import templates from other programs and comfortably preview the emails before hitting the send button.
Get started with Email in Conversations
See how our customer Unicef uses email alongside other messaging channels to maximize donor engagement.