Want a Better Customer Service Response? Write a Letter!

Ever write a customer service related email to “insert company here” only to receive a canned response like “Thank you for your feedback. At “insert company here” we strive to make your concerns a priority, but we’re sorry we can’t “do whatever you’re asking about””?

Your response was most likely a templated answer sent from a customer service rep.

Want to reach the person who can make a difference? Write an old fashioned letter.

First, let’s set the tone. This isn’t a guarantee that your request will be granted. It also doesn’t mean that all your forms of communication need to come from a letter. It simply means that a calmly written letter is more likely to be received and maybe discussed in a higher level staff or department head meeting. Here’s why:

Most companies don’t allocate the resources to their customer service reps to handle physical letters. I’m not saying all, but many don’t. Phone calls, online contact forms, and emails have replaced the standard contact means for a company. They stock their customer service departments to handle these forms of communication. Before the Internet was in wide use many did respond to letters.

The key people at companies who now handle letter responses are usually the managers or department heads. They do it simply because few customers send these and they’re not going to have a rep use their hours to respond. When a letter is received and read, many of them will work a little harder to respond to your inquiry because they know you went to the trouble to actually take a piece of paper, write or type down your thoughts, place it in an envelope, pay the postage, place a stamp, and then physically drop it into a box. Good managers will appreciate the value of your time. It means you really cared enough about your issue to calmly write a letter. During their weekly meetings, they’re more likely to pull your letter out and say “We received this recently, and they make some good points.” You’re most likely to receive a great response, if not the answer you’re looking for. To add even more class, hand write your thoughts. Just make sure it’s legible.

So buy those commemorative stamps and start writing a few letters.

-Thomas
thomas@thomasmiller.me