Even if your job isn’t directly related to customer service, chances are you spend at least part of your day communicating with clients. Whether you’re answering questions, fulfilling requests, or addressing complaints, it adds up. If you work in customer service, of course, customer service writing comprises most (if not all) of your work.
That’s why sharp writing skills are crucial. But it’s a complex task. Let’s talk about exactly why improving your customer service writing skills matters—and how to do it.
The importance of customer service writing skills
In a recent survey, one-third of the respondents said they would stop buying a brand after just one bad customer service experience. Customers need clear, concise, and informative answers to their questions. Without that, they’ll lose trust in your brand, and you’ll lose their business. And that’s not all:
- Chat services are increasingly popular: Chat services, a more recent innovation, offer a quick way to contact customer service. This convenience, however, comes with a complication. Your team has to answer messages quickly. Using tools like text snippets can help them keep their response times short without sacrificing the quality of their writing.
- Gen Z-ers and Millennials are more likely to use digital means to connect with customer service teams: They favor methods like chat services, email, and social media over calling customer service lines. All of those require that companies use clear, excellent writing. Evolve with your customers and adjust your customer service methods accordingly.
- Customers have high expectations of customer service teams: Customer expectations are at a record high, according to a Salesforce survey. People expect their answers to be delivered quickly, professionally, and correctly. A personal touch matters, too: Salesforce found that 66% of the respondents valued companies that seemed to understand and respond to their individual needs.
- Tone is critical to customer service: Meeting customers’ needs is more complicated without the nuances of in-person conversations. Without body language or facial expressions, readers have to decipher the tone of written text. Word choice, phrasing, and even punctuation impact how your audience perceives your message.
Customer service communication is an art. Without the right support, you could unintentionally offend a customer—making them less likely to engage with your brand again. Hitting the right tone takes practice, experience, and help. A tool like Grammarly’s tone detector will guide you as you learn to leave customers feeling heard and satisfied.
6 tips to improve customer service writing
1 Use the right tools: Stress can make any job more difficult, and customer service is no exception. Luckily, you can relieve some of your team’s stress. Grammarly Business has everything they need to check sentences for clarity, tone, flow, grammar, and spelling. It even allows you to save text snippets to make emails and chats easier, all while keeping them on-brand.
2 Offer regular training: Your staff needs regular training to sharpen their communication skills regardless of their experience. Training is a great way to make sure everyone, veterans and new hires alike, is on the same page.
3 Encourage questions: Without body language or vocal cues, it’s harder to gauge how a customer feels and what their primary concerns are. So make sure your team knows that it’s OK to ask customers for clarification or information! Again, it’s much easier to ask early instead of correcting a misunderstanding later.
4 Keep it simple: You don’t have to resort to one-word answers, but try to keep your communications with customers simple. Remember, they reached out to your team to solve a problem, and it’s your job to help them find the answer.
To keep your brand language concise and consistent, give your team an easily accessible online company style guide. Grammarly’s style guide feature is customizable, allowing you to adjust your guidelines quickly and simply if they evolve.
5 Don’t forget formatting: Occasionally, your team will encounter a complex issue that requires a longer answer. Make sure they’re prepared. If people can’t read your writing easily, they might not read it at all. Don’t bury the necessary information in the middle of a paragraph. Instead, bring it to the top of the message and break it into smaller chunks. (Bulleted or numbered lists are especially helpful in these cases!)
6 Tailor your writing to your medium: Your team may be expected to write in different media (email, chat, social), and team members need to understand differences and challenges of tone and style in each.
For example, emails don’t demand an immediate response and tend to be longer and more formal than chats, where real-time, shorter, more casual conversation is the norm.
Each medium has its advantages, of course. For example, emails allow for longer, more informative responses; chats are efficient and preferred by many customers (they have a 73% satisfaction level), and customers are more likely to engage with companies who have a solid social media presence.
You can’t provide good service without good communication. With these tips, you and your team will be on the road to keeping your customers happy and loyal.
Boosting writing skills with Grammarly Business
Customer service can be stressful and demanding for customer service teams and customers alike. By improving your team’s customer service writing skills, you can help both sides. With these tips and support from Grammarly Business, you and your team will be on your way to clear, concise, on-brand, and mistake-free communication. Here’s how Grammarly Business can help you:
- Boosts your efficiency by minimizing tedious, repetitive tasks with snippets.
- Keeps your customer service team on the same page with a company style guide.
- Maintains a consistent, business-wide brand voice with a tone detector and team-wide brand tones profile.
- Helps you measure and understand how your team’s writing has improved over time using a sophisticated analytics tool.
Grammarly is an AI-driven communication assistant tailored to helping organizations like yours improve and maintain expert customer service writing skills. To learn more, contact us or get started with Grammarly Business today.