In today’s highly competitive business world, winning brand loyalty is not only a primary goal, it’s mission critical –and that means consistently providing an exceptional customer experience. A big part of that is in your communications. Are they clear and concise? Can customers quickly understand what to do, or do your service letters launch into marketing messages before getting to the point? Is the tone friendly with plain language, or it is overly formal and laced with jargon?
These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself when assessing the impact of your customer letters and email. To help you create clear, effective communications that customers will appreciate, here are the first five of 10 best practices to apply to your writing:
1. Focus on the customer
Look at each communication through your customer’s eyes: is it more about them or your company? Too often, service communications begin with a marketing message or irrelevant detail that turns off existing customers. Focus on what’s important to your customers, what they need to know and do. This demonstrates that you really do put the customer first.
2. Create a positive tone
Think about how you’d act if a customer walked into your office. Make sure your written messages greet and treat your customers and clients with a similar friendliness and attention to their needs. For sensitive issues, use positive phrasing that’s reassuring (such as “to ensure ongoing service” instead of “to avoid cancellation”).
3. Use a subject line and state your purpose up front
To capture your customers’ attention, include a subject line that briefly summarizes what your communication is about. In your opening paragraph, get to the point quickly with important highlights. If your customers immediately understand why you’ve contacted them, they’re likely to keep reading and learn what you want them to know or do.
4. Include a clear call to action
Are you making it easy for customers to respond to your requests? Be sure to list clear, simple actions and deadlines in an easy-to-read format – such as bullets or numbered steps. Customers are more likely to respond if they know exactly what you want them to do.
5. Make it easy for customers to contact you
Your communication may raise questions or require a response, so it’s most helpful to provide clear contact information within your letter or email. Let customers know who to contact, how, and when –including days and office hours of contacts and call centers. Make it easy for customers to get help from you – they’ll appreciate that.
With messaging that’s clear, friendly, and customer-focused, you help ensure your customers feel understood, valued, and supported through every interaction with your company.
Stay tuned for our next five hot tips — 10 best practices for writing to customers – Part 2.