Customers often make inquiries to be further enlightened about the need they seek to meet. In answering an email inquiry made by a customer, one of the things that should be paramount in the mind of a professional is that he or she is meeting a need for knowledge. Beyond meeting this need, it is important to lay a good foundation for building a good customer relationship. How you respond to an email will usually determine if the customer will proceed to build a relationship with your organization or not.
Crucial Things When Handling Email Enquiries from Clients
There are some things that are crucial when handling email inquiries made by clients;
Prompt response is important and speaks volume that you care about the need of the customer and that you value them and their time.
Be Certain By Restating …
For clarity, you may need to restate the inquiry being made in your email so as to ensure you are in line.
“We received an email regarding your inquiry about the sales of our new line of t-shirts and baseball cap”.
This way, you have stated the purpose of the mail, and you have also mentioned those items or products the customer is inquiring about without necessarily assuming. If the customer is not making inquiries about those products, you would have avoided a big misunderstanding this way.
In the case whereby the company or organization does not have the services or those products being enquired, do not hesitate to refer the customer if need be. This communicates that you have the customer’s interest at heart and could be a great foundation for other profitable business transaction that will be based on trust.
It is, however, important not to refer to a company or organization you have no relationship with. If you cannot guarantee the integrity, customer care services or excellence in services of an organization, do not refer the client to such. It is always preferable not to mention a specific company in this case when you do not know any that can deliver accordingly.
“There are some supermarkets in the suburb that make those goods available”
“We believe you will find the following items in a convenient store near your address”
In some cases, you may need to request permission to refer if you have good business relationship with other organization that could offer those products or services, especially when you can vouch for their integrity. You need to be aware that the integrity of your company is on the line when you refer in most cases.
“If you do not mind, we may refer you to some organizations that offer the services you requested for …”
Address The Points
Address clearly each point in the inquiry one after the other. You may need to highlight these points after reading and rereading the email. It is important to read more than once this type of email especially if the inquiries are about multiple services or more than one product.
Let The Pictures And Documents Speak
You may need to attach pictures (of products where necessary) and other relevant documents in cases whereby it’s crucial to do so.
Your response about an inquiry should not carry a note of persuasion. It is meant to give information. It is not an opportunity to market. However, it is important to give necessary information about the goods or services of inquired about. You may highlight the features of the products and not go beyond that to persuade the customer. It is unprofessional.
Your sole purpose of responding to the email is to meet the need of getting relevant information. Hopefully, the information you give may result in a business transaction. However, whether the inquiry leads to a business transaction or not, make sure you leave an impression in the mind of your client. The inquiry made was borne out of an impression.
It is great to build up on that first good impression.
Be Conscious Of Courtesy
Courtesy is required in a business email. Without sounding condescending, give the necessary information and explanation required. While some matters involving your line of work are easy and familiar to you, these may seem technical or unfamiliar to the potential client making inquiries.
Keep It Simple And Plain
If possible, avoid the use of technical terms as much as you can. The purpose of communication is defeated if the party being communicated to finds it difficult to understand. Use plain and simple language. The purpose of the email is to communicate and bring about understanding. This is easily achieved through the use of simple language.
Be Concise And Professional
There is no need to make the email a long read. Make a short and nice to read, making sure it is still professional.
Sample: Answering Customers’ Enquiries via Email
Thank you for your question about our new promos. The one you have specifically made inquiries about is the “Teddy bear sales – buy one get one free” We offer just one teddy bear to each child that purchases a teddy bear in our supermarkets within Lagos state. This offer continues to the end of the month of November 2016, by 12 noon to be precise. The supermarkets will not be extending the promo into the holiday because we have other special offers which are quite attractive and children can benefit from those as well…
This offer continues to the end of the month of November 2016, by 12 noon to be precise. The supermarkets will not be extending the promo into the holiday because we have other special offers which are quite attractive and children can benefit from those as well…
In the above mail, you have restated the promo the customer made inquiries about to ensure you did not misunderstand the client’s email. The information about the promo is written clearly and the time it ends. You have also stated clearly that the offers will not be extended to the holiday period where children may cry more for toys. This opportunity has also being used to make the customer excited and to keep him/her looking forward to something.
Edited by Kelechi Duru