Sometimes as part of my work I'm asked to mediate between customers and website owners in dispute. As such, I get to read e-mail correspondence between both parties and I'm often appalled at what I read.
One client wrote to company X to find out why it was taking them so long to apply a credit they owed to her credit card. The customer service agent for company X sent this reply:
We received your inquiry. Your refund will be credited to your account within 7 to 10 business days. If you had read our policy statement, you would know this. I hope this fully answers your question.
Regards, Company X
These days, a large volume of customer service communication is done by e-mail because it's so cheap and (potentially) fast. But one of drawbacks is that it's so easy to leave wrong impression, to say things in cyber space that you would never say over phone or face to face.
Here are a few tips you can use to improve your online customer relations.
· Be professional and polite, even in face of abusive language, outright lies or stupidity. This is not as easy as it sounds. But you can't win argument AND keep customer.
· Express concern and regret over difficulty customer is having, even if your company is not to blame.
· Be 100% sure you understand complaint/question before you answer it. If it isn't clear, then ask for more details. Above all, don't guess! Major turn off.