Ticket formatting is not a hard and fast rule. What works in one situation may not work in another. You can over-analyze formatting, don’t think about it too hard. These are suggestions, some more valuable and important than others, but email communication can be varied and should reflect your personality (within reason).


All of that being said, here is a general guide for communication:


  • Tone
    • Be empathetic - be understanding and sympathize with their frustration
    • Always be friendly, and grateful for their interest. They are showing interest of some kind, and that is always good. No matter the question, or the customer tone, we should always be friendly.
    • https://www.helpscout.net/blog/talking-to-customers-tone/
    • Be professional, but semi-formal. There is a great balance between being too formal so that customers think you’re an unfeeling robot, and being so informal that businesses are turned off. Don’t use ultra formal language or wording, and don’t use too much slang.
    • Find the balance of friendly and informal enough to let empathy shine through, but professional enough for someone to feel comfortable discussing business with you.
    • Remember, your tone will determine company personality for most customers. It’s not the website, or the app wording, it will be the real people they talk to. Don’t be a robot, but act like you’ve been in a professional setting before.

  • Formatting  
    • We don’t necessarily want to follow a specific formatting method, as it can cause a robotic feeling in responses and squelch individual personality. However, there are a few points that should be included-
    • Avoid wall of text emails - if giving steps, make sure they’re clearly separated from the other steps. Break up paragraphs and space them out
    • Be personal - Always give a name. This may seem obvious, but make responses personal, so that you are an agent with a name, not just part of a support machine. Your response should never be from a ‘Product’ or ‘iOS Team’ or ‘Support Team’.
    • Conclude with offer of any more assistance they might need, leaving the door open for more communication if they need it.

  • Be concise
    • Include a summary statement of the solution you are offering
    • Keep instructions ordered, simple, and easy to follow
    • Include enough information to be clear, but not so much as to be confusing.

  • Be informed
    • If the request isn’t clear, ask for clarification. Sending a response you aren’t sure addresses their question only results in customer frustration and time wasted in more back and forth emails.
    • If the request needs more information, for example a URL to investigate a trouble ticket, go ahead and ask for it. Don’t waste time investigating before you have the necessary information to know where to look.

  • Provide resources
    • Whenever possible provide customers with a link to a help document or blog post that explains their issue/question in more detail
    • This has tremendous value as it will decrease response time, and decrease the number of that customer's future tickets as well
    • By being aware of the documentation we provide, a customer can get his questions answered, and share the resource with his staff.

  • Know when to quit
    • Not every customer issue has a solution. Sometimes the best option for the customer isn’t a workaround, it is an alternative.
    • Customers appreciate honesty and being upfront. Offering a workaround as an attempt to keep them can end in customer frustration and lower expectation of renewal
    • Customer success includes knowing when to put customer interests first and offer them a better option.
    • https://www.kayako.com/blog/fire-wrong-customers/

  • Using Canned Responses
    • Canned responses are great, and awesome ways to save time. However, they can easily be misused
    • Don’t use a canned response as the only text in most emails. Sometimes (for example, in a blank email response) it is fine. Usually, you should include something to personalize the message.
    • Continually review them. If you find yourself frequently editing a canned response, permanently update it.

  • Notes and Cautions
    • Always be patient. Remember, users are usually frustrated with their issue/app, not you personally.
    • However, nothing compels you to put up with abuse, verbal or otherwise, from anyone. Regardless of how important the person thinks they are, or how much money they represent, nothing gives them the right to be rude or abusive. 
    • Often, being honest and direct with users can be very effective. Don't be fake or show fake enthusiasm. Be yourself. If someone is being a jerk, sometimes the best policy is to ask them to stop. Directly. Don't be a jerk back, but it's ok to ask them to calm down, or put it in perspective.