A case study by General Electric Informational Services found that using clearer language in user manuals lead to 125 fewer customer calls a month. It saved GE between $22,000 and $375,000 a year for each customer who used the simplified manual. Well, customers have had enough frustrating experience with cold “scripted” customer service. The same applies when you’re resolving support ticket.
Plain language doesn’t mean dumbing down
Customers tolerate such response only in case of downtimes. You should inform clients about the issues and assure them that you’re taking steps to fix it.
Informing them eases the burden of dealing with every customer who calls in about the issue. And it significantly reduces ticket numbers.
Even then, the language we use must sound human. Using plain language comes handy in any situation. But be careful—it doesn’t mean responding to your customers as if they were a bunch of five-year-olds.
Follow what Ginny Redish advices:
“It’s not a matter of dumbing down, it’s a matter of meeting people where they are and saving people’s time.”
For example, avoid saying, “We are currently experiencing issues with the system. Sorry for any inconvenience caused. You will be notified when the downtime gets fixed. We appreciate your patience.” Instead, say something in this spirit, “Oops! Something went wrong with the system. We understand this puts you in an awkward situation. We’re doing our best to resolve the issue and will let you know as soon as our dedicated team fixes it. Thank you for hanging in there with us while we get things right.”
One tip: read both out loud and see how getting one or the other feels. The second—plain notification—makes you feel better about the problem, doesn’t it?
When resolving a support ticket, always put yourself in your customer’s shoes
Stick to the same principle when you’re updating or drafting your knowledge base. Keep these wise words in mind, “The customer isn’t stupid.”—David Ogilvy. The best advice here would be to put yourself in the shoes of your reader.
Writing it based on the most frequent customer requests also helps. Use screenshots or GIFs to instruct users. Don’t forget to make them as easy to follow as possible and include descriptions. Next, make sure searching in your knowledge base works well. Add a FAQ section for impatient customers (after all, who isn’t?). Finally, ask someone who hasn’t had any experience with your product to review your knowledge base. It might give you some useful comments on how plain is your language.
Being empathic hasn’t killed anyone–especially when resolving a support ticket:
Be empathic; your customer doesn’t have the information you do. Don’t forget they contact you to deal with their frustration using your product.
Show empathy by saying you’re truly sorry and make your customers feel like they’re having all your attention until you fix their issue. How to do that? Imagine you’re talking to a family member about a problem they’ve been having and use a similar approach. It’ll surprise you to see how using plain language increases customer loyalty.
Let’s wrap up with some links to help you check readability. And our favourite: Hemingway Editor—helps you get rid of long winded sentences, common mistakes, passive voice and adverbs, and also provides you with a reading score.
It’ll surprise you to see how using plain language when dealing with a support ticket increases customer loyalty.
If you already know their name, don’t ask them any other identification details.
Finally, there’s one essential thing you should never make them do to keep your CSAT and NPS scores high: If you already know their name, don’t ask them any other identification details. Rather search them yourself and just verify with the customer.