When replying to customers by email, chat, or speaking with them on the phone, always utilize these four principles in terms of your tone and style.
The tone and style of words convey knowledge, intent, understanding (empathy), and standing. All four work together to quickly help customers resolve concerns, while also curtailing unnecessary pushback from customers.
- Knowledge: Do we appear knowledgeable about our products and services, as well as our processes? Knowledgeable team members put customers at ease. Confidence is important.
- Intent: Are customers clear on our intentions? Have we been clear about timelines for resolution, on next steps, and what actions we expect of them? This is also part of being transparent.
- Understanding (Empathy): Do we show by our words that we truly understand what they are asking, that we are empathetic with their concerns, their timeframe, and their sense of urgency (even if exaggerated)? We can use words to help frame this understanding.
- Standing: Customers need to know they have reached someone who can handle their concern or query. A key part of this is taking ownership of a concern and being accountable for its handling, as well as seeing it to completion.