Sales Dissected: Writing Technical Support Templates

October 14, 2011 | 
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Responding to technical support questions can be the most tedious, yet important job on the marketing side of any company. Customer service can make or break a company’s reputation. Taking the time to work with customers’ problems demonstrates the company’s value of each customer. More importantly, customers will be more willing to spread the word about your product if you take the time to fix their problems.

It is probable that when one person has a question about your product, many other customers will also have that same question in the future.  Instead of always writing a new email message for every repeated problem, customer support representatives should use templates to save time answering common questions.  Every company has its own product development obstacles; however, a few small tips will make every response to technical support requests easier on you, the employee, and more enjoyable for your customers:

1. Respond Quickly

The more a customer waits the more impatient he gets. Creating these templates will cut down the response time for the customer support employee, since most of the language is already in place. The employee only has to customize the message and send it out.

2. Use Foresight

Every new product has a few kinks here and there. The trick is to foresee where the problem areas will be so you can have the templates ready to go when problems arise. Since you already have the majority message written, responding to technical problems becomes fast and easy.

Work with your development team to identify the weak points of the product. Once you know the pitfalls, create a template for each one to send out when responding to customers’ requests.

In other instances, performing product maintenance will also cause problems on the customer side. Alert your customers before the system may go down so no one panics. You also will have minimal questions and complaints during maintenance.

3. Maintain Your Personality

Technical support emails can sometimes sound as if a computer wrote them! Write your emails with your personality to show customers they’re talking to an actual human being, not a computer. Use the customer’s name to make the email seem more personalized even though it’s a template you use.

4. Clarify the Terminology

Your attempts to help the customer can completely derail if you are assigning different meanings to terms. Define all your company’s terms in the template so you know that you and your customer will be on the same page when discussing his problem. Your customer probably doesn’t have a working knowledge of your product so ensuring that you’re both talking on the same terms will diffuse a lot of the anger a customer might feel.

5. Respect the Customer

Never look at the problem as the customer’s fault. Blaming the customer only makes them more frustrated and puts them on a defensive front. Once in a defensive mood, the customer will not be willing to work with you and will get even more frustrated about the whole process. Start the email with an apology over causing confusion. Do not make the tone condescending by reassuring the customer that others have had that problem as well.

6. Encourage Your Customer

Remember, your customer is frustrated. They probably spent hours trying to troubleshoot the problem before contacting you. Giving them encouragement to try to solve the problem again with your advice will give them the fuel they need to continue working through the problem. Encouragement will take the customer out of his defensive mood and will open him up to the idea of working with you.

Leave the customer amazed by your company’s customer service. An experience with your company will make customers that much more loyal to you, and more apt to spread your message to their friends and family.

How do you write technical support emails? Sound off in the comments!

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