Seth Godin’s post bits are free created quite a lot of activity inside our team. Following that post I analyzed close to 700 support emails to see whether the quality of support has taken a hit or not. Here are some of the points that i compiled through this exercise which i believe would be useful to anybody in this profession.

3 Tips for writing an effective customer support email

1)Read the last line again. Its human tendency to discuss the importance, background of a point in detail than the real point itself. So in most cases the last line of your customer’s mail might have the most important point s/he is trying to make. The text below is what a guy discussed in Seth’s post sent. See the text in bold.

Product Model: 2461 Serial : Comments: I have a Gigaphone 2461. After my 1 year old son pressed some of the buttons on the handset and base, I find that the phone is dialing in pulse mode. The manual shows a tone/pulse switch on the bottom of the base unit. My base unit has no tone/pulse switch. How can I switch the phone back to tone dialingmode?? Thanks!

2)Get the big picture. Read the mail again and again till you are convinced that you have understood the sender’s situation. Then prepare a list of things that you need to tell the sender starting with the response to his last line. If you think there’s an upselling or cross selling opportunity, include that too.

Following are some of the points that need to go into the mail- To switch back to tone dialing mode do xyz.

– Apologies for the insufficient info in the manual

– Upsell to latest model

3)Avoid greetings and start your reply with a direct answer for the question asked. Don’t be verbose, remember this is not a marketing bs bulk mailer, it’s a response to someone in trouble. Ensure that your first line addresses the need. 99% of customer support emails end with a question – how can i do it? is it this or that?. Its your duty to answer that first. Then follow that information with other points that you gathered in point 2 above. This is what i would have written to Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, To switch back to tone dialing, hold down the SELECT button for couple of seconds. The display on the base unit will read PU indicating pulse dialing. Now press and hold SELECT to change it to TN (Tone dialing).I appreciate that you sought the help of the manual before contacting us. Not many do that, and we sincerely love anybody who does that! Thanks. But I am truly sorry that the manual didn’t have sufficient information to help you. I will ensure that the manuals are updated for our newer shipments.Note – If you are planning to upgrade to a 5.8GHz model checkout and put in the code JSVT234 for a 20% discount.


Dev Anand