Our aim has always been to be the internet’s favorite printer. To that end, we respond quickly and effectively to our customers to help them be as successful as possible.
Although we can’t plan for every scenario in customer service, we use principles to give our team a framework for replying to customers. They are:
1. Avoid negatives
Avoid saying sorry, can’t, won’t, not able to, unfortunately and so on. People become adversarial when they read these words.
2. Avoid patronizing
Avoid saying anything that seems patronizing or insincere. Words like “sorry” and “appreciate” often seem insincere. Also, use exclamation points cautiously!
3. Be concise
Respond in the fewest words possible. Practice by editing your responses after you write them to see if any words can be omitted. Practice editing your responses to omit needless words.
4. Be comprehensive
Do not leave anything to wonder, but do not overwhelm the customer with needless information.
5. Ask coworkers for help
Practice replying to difficult conversations with help from coworkers.
6. Don’t respond when upset
Some customers are rude. Get help from a coworker or take a break if you're upset.
7. Use saved replies
Saved replies ensure consistency and we can report on their use to prioritize improvements.
8. Tailor saved replies to fit the conversation
Do not use saved replies exactly unless appropriate. Tailor replies to be clear and concise.
9. Research the situation
Retrieve all the facts surrounding a situation and craft your reply based on them.
10. Research the customer
Evaluate the customer's potential and tailor your response accordingly.
11. Use names
For example, don't say "Thanks! Credit added!" say "Thanks Brian! Credit added!"
12. Use screenshots to add clarity
Take & share annotated screenshots to add clarity to replies when sensible.
13. Offer solutions & alternatives
Use the information and experience you have to help customers discover the best possible option given the limits.
14. Develop FAQs when possible
When new questions are encountered create public FAQs to document the proper response and potentially deflect inquiries.
Of course, these principles don’t solve everything, but they lay a foundation for our team to build upon. To deliver outstanding service we also hire great people, relentlessly improve our training programs and collaborate with software development to devise elegant solutions to help customers.