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A Support Team’s Guide to Better Emails

Have you ever had “just one of those weeks”?

When nothing seems to be going your way, and you feel a bit like you’re
chasing your own tail just trying to keep up with your day to day activities.

Well, last week was “one of those weeks” for the Noko Team.

But thanks to some awesome advice from customer support guru Chase Clemons, we were able quickly answer your Noko support questions, AND continue our work on some sweet new features like the next version of the Noko API and our upcoming mobile web app for all you iPhone, Android and Windows Phone users (there’s a lot more where those features came from, but we can’t give away all of our secrets!).

Now, you’re probably wondering two things.

  1. Who is this mastermind Chase Clemons you speak of?
  2. And, How did you manage to stay on top of your Customer Support needs AND keep developing amazing features?

Chase Clemons is a support super hero—he works on the support team at 37Signals  and is the guy behind SupportOps. If you’ve never heard of it and you’re running or are on a support team, you should absolutely check it out!

We know that, like us, that many of you have small support teams of your own.

And just like us, you’ve probably experienced your eyes bulging out of your skull at the sight of an obscene number of support emails at least once or twice. It may be an influx of new customers from an article on that high profile blog, a bug that slipped through your tests, or maybe you’re just back from that vacation where you wanted to work but found the beach more appealing.

Today, we’re going to share with you a little gift SupportOps gave us that helped us through “one of those weeks” and kept us on track to getting you some cool features. 🙂

Here are four tips and tricks we learned from “A Brief Guide to a Better Email”, which helped us a ton during “one of those weeks”.

1.)  When you’re answering a customer’s question, be sure to explain in a way they can understand. 

  • If you’re explaining something technical stay away from complicated wording.  A phrase you’re very familiar with like, “clear your cache”, may be hard for you customer to understand.
  • Consider including steps for how to handle difficult issues on your help site.  That way you can streamline your responses by linking to the answer.

2.)  Stay away from the words like “inconvenient”.

  • If a customer is not happy with something, it’s a not inconvenient, it’s a problem.
  • It’s not an “availability event”, it’s your customer unable to see and use their own data, causing loss of money, time and nerves. Don’t use technical sounding “Serious Business English”, as you’ll sound like a douche bag.
  • No one likes getting emails from a robot. So let your customers know you’re human by being personable and understanding.

3.)  You’re definitely going to see criticism from customers—and that’s a good thing!

  • Ask what the person liked and disliked about your product/service/or whatever it is you do.
  • Getting feedback is key to understanding how your customers use your product or service and you can learn a lot from what someone didn’t like.

4.)  If you’re a small biz, like we are, your support team IS your sales team.

  • Be excited and thankful when someone tells you they’re interested in your product.  A little excitement can go a long way.
  • Let that person know all of the ways they can reach you.  Sell yourself support team, you ROCK!

We found Chase’s “A Brief Guide to a Better Email” super helpful (Thanks Chase!), and we hope you’ll take a look at it and find it just as interesting as we did!

Let us know what you think of these support tips and tricks by emailing the Noko Support team, at [email protected]

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