Customer touchpoint: email customer service

By Kim Proctor

If you are regular reader of this blog you know how rare it is to get great customer service via email (much to my disappointment). This is an opportunity, like any customer contact, to thrill customers with your business.

Here is another sad example of email customer service and the issue that you need to avoid here.

Thank you for contacting ThinkHost Customer Care. Your request has beenreceived and placed into the support queue. Your unique tracking numberfor this ticket is: [TH-173621-TH] Requests are answered in the order in which they are received. We usually respond within a few hours, but if you have not had a response after 24 hours please submit another ticket.

What this message tells me as a potential customer is:

a) Good - they have received my message.

b) Good - they manage emails as they come in.

c) Good - they usually respond within a few hours.

d) Bad - if they don't respond in a timely way, it is the responsibility of the customer to resubmit the issue. Hmm, so the fact that they don't respond makes it your problem and you have to remember when you submitted the email and then try it again 24 hours and just hope they decide to respond that time.

How can you avoid this pitfall?

View email customer service as an opportunity to offer your customers terrific and timely responses and support. It is so rare you will surely knock their socks off and get some word of mouth. If it ever happened to me I'd proclaim it from the rooftop (like the time that Liberty Mutual gave me excellent email customer service).

And please just respond within 24 hours or less to emails. And don't make customers have to take a second action to get help. One email should be enough.


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