Make sure your customers receive the best possible service by running down a few quick questions:

Who is best-qualified to respond?

  • Remember that you might not be the right person to respond to a particular question. Re-assign it to a different team member, bring in someone else from the district, or give it to a different team.
  • Telling the customer “You’re talking to the wrong person!” doesn’t help that person. Do what you can to find the right match.

Does the response fully address all parts of the customer’s message?

  • Re-read the Dialogue a few times to be sure all questions or comments are addressed.
  • Organize the response to make sure your response is as clear as possible.

Does the response show respect for the customer?

  • Remember that your customers may not know all the same lingo — acronyms, abbreviations, and program names — that you do. Be sure to give clear explanations as needed.
  • Re-read your response to ensure the tone is respectful and informative and cannot be misinterpreted.

Are you making this as easy as possible for the customer?

  • If you think that the feedback is best handled over the phone, check to see if you have the customer’s phone number and take the first step by calling them. If you’re unable to reach them, follow-up with an email letting them know you reached out, and how they can follow-up.
  • If a customer asks a simple question, provide a complete answer – even if the information can be found on your website. The customer will appreciate that you made the extra effort.

Finally, does the response make the author and his or her organization look good?

  • Spell-check exists for a reason! Make sure that the customer’s name and other proper nouns are also spelled correctly.
  • Polite greetings and language make a difference. Even if your customer uses informal language, remember that you can still be friendly while keeping it classy. 🙂