Companies who monitor and coach their Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) on the phone, usually end up wanting to provide the same level of consistency with their e-mail communication. The structure of an e-mail assessment can be very similar to a phone assessment. You select a random, statistically valid sample of e-mails from your team. You analyze the e-mail. You track the results and provide coaching to the team based on your analysis.
The frustration with e-mail is that it is a different medium of communication. The criteria you use to analyze an e-mail is completely different, and there is one huge question with which every business must grapple before they begin: "How formal do we want our e-mail correspondence to be?"
E-mail, by it’s nature, is an informal mode of communication. It was created for speed and efficiency (though the resulting speed and efficiency could, in certain circumstances, be debated). We want to use every customer contact to satisfy customers and build brand loyalty. Each company must decide how best to structure a consistent, professional e-mail contact without transforming e-mail into a formal business letter. You want to provide the customer with resolution while maintaining the integrity of your brand.
It’s usually good for a company to grapple with this question before they do anything else. It will become the cornerstone for future scale decisions.
- What do our customer’s expect from our e-mail communication? (a financial instution’s customer may have a different expectation than a B2B manufacturing facility)
- Do we reflect our mission, vision, and standards in a two sentence e-mail? How? (see the image with this post)
- What are we willing to put up with in terms of informality?
- What are our non-negotiable standards?