Your customers need to be able to communicate with you—whether they have product-related questions, shipping questions or installation issues. Providing them with an easy-to-find e-mail link on your Web site is a good start. However, giving customers the means to send free-form customer service e-mails may actually slow down your ability to respond to their needs quickly and efficiently.
“Free-form e-mails are very difficult to handle,” says Greg Gianforte, CEO of Bozeman, Mont.-based customer experience management solutions provider RightNow Technologies. “You don’t know how to route them; you don’t have any classification information, and there’s no opportunity to provide additional assistance before e-mails [are] submitted.”
Instead, Gianforte recommends providing a link to a form with a few questions customers can answer to help classify the nature of their question. Classifying communications from the start will help you route problems to the right department and assist customers more quickly. For instance, if a customer query is related to a billing issue, the e-mail immediately can be routed to the accounting department.