Noreply@ Emails Are Dumb

photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordoncooper/14272455652
photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/jordoncooper/14272455652

Imagine if you had a store and on the front door you placed a sign stating, “We’re not open for business.” You wouldn’t expect many people to come to your door, much less people to come back and see you again. Yet that’s exactly what your company does when you place a “noreply@” email address in an email that you send to customers. You’re missing an opportunity to communicate with people who could tell you valuable things about your business.

“Noreply@YourCompany.com” tells me that you don’t really care about customers. That email address tells me that you don’t read your email. And it tells me that replies to that email are going into silent oblivion. Yes, you say – it’s hard to answer all of those pesky emails – I agree. It’s a lot of potential responses. But most people never think to let you know what they are feeling when you put up a virtual Do Not Enter sign.

Here’s another thought. Why not start by having a “PleaseTalkToUs@” email alias tied to your emails that you send? Or “WeLoveToHearFromYou@” or “YourThoughtsMatter@”? It’s just an alias – you can keep the “noreply@” hidden somewhere if there is someone grumpy at your company who just doesn’t want to read email.

But consider the value of having the first time someone hears from your company be a personal touch, like “love@” or “WeLoveCustomers@” and see how the emails change from “Get Me Off Of This List” to “I’d love to tell you something important about your product, and I just need someone to listen.” It all starts with being mindful about the face you show to customers. Start with a smile and see what happens.

The 5 “A”s of Customer Service

What makes a repeatable Customer Service model?

The last time you found a broken customer service process (probably, as a frustrated customer), did any one part of the conversation or interaction really stick out?

Customer service is tricky, because trying to explain to someone how to do it well is a combination of process (what are you doing; and how are you doing it; and what are the order of the steps) and feel (how are you feeling; how are you assessing what and how the customer is feeling; and how do you react inituitively.) It’s easy to get it wrong, yet most people easily identify when customer service is doing right by the customer.

In this presentation, I tried to make a simple model that can be adapted to many different customer service situations. It’s not a call flow model (but it could be used for one); and it’s not a multi-channel guide that helps you when customers are contacting you in multiple places at once. But it should give you a pretty good idea of what to do when people contact you to make them feel heard; to accurately capture the issue; and to allow the organization to adjust and change in response to the customer’s suggestion.

The “A” are as follows:

  1. Acknowledge – let the customer know you’ve heard them
  2. Apologize (if necessary) – offer a sincere apology if necessary
  3. Answer (and ask) – offer a potential solution, ask for more information, and restate the issue
  4. Analyze – determine the root cause if the initial solution didn’t resolve the issue
  5. Adjust – based on what you’ve learned, propose changes
I hope you find this model useful – here’s a presentation sharing the ideas in a bit more depth – and I’d love to hear your comments as well.

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