Whether it’s within your online help desk or in emails, when it comes to providing information for your customers, there’s one hard and fast rule – make it short and sweet.  Or, as my mother always says, “Keep It Simple, Shapiro.” 

You may have a tendency to be verbose in person – who doesn’t like to talk? – but your customers want answers, not anecdotes.  Over-explaining a simple task can make your instructions lost in translation.

Example:  Those little tags in your clothes that tell you how to launder them.  “Wash cold with like colors” and “Dry clean only” are direct and to the point.  But if I instead explained that when turning on your washing machine you should set the dial to cold and flip your shirt inside out, then pour 1 cup of detergent in with other clothes before shutting the door and switching the machine to start, it takes much more of your time and energy to find the key word – cold.

Plus, when’s the last time you sat down and read a full license agreement when downloading to the latest version of iTunes or Quicktime?  Most of us don’t have that kind of time on our hands, so you’ve got to assume your customers don’t either.

Channel your inner Santa

He’s jolly, he’s well-liked and he’s got a list.  Whether you prefer bullets, indents or numbers, lists are a great way to organize information like FAQs or make instructions easier to follow.  You can also highlight key words and subjects and use headers (see above) so even the most tech-fearing people can quickly scan your customer support webpage or email to find the answers they need.

Another thing Santa’s got going for him?  He checks his list twice.  It’s probably a good idea for you to emulate this quality as well to ensure that anything you’re posting to your online help desk or emailing to your customers is accurate. 

Of course, Santa’s nothing without Mrs. Claus, so have another person check your work before publishing it live or creating an email template within FuseDesk.  The last thing you want to do is turn a customer off with wrong information, run-on sentences or a blatant misspelling that makes them question your intellijents.

Boxers or briefs?

No matter what your undergarment preference, brief is always the way to go when sending customer support communications.  But keep in mind that there is a thing as too little information – see our previous post for how not to respond to customers

Keep customer support communications the way you keep your room

Y’know, unless your room is messy.  Because what’s easier:  finding your keys when everything in your house has its own place or finding them amid mounds of dirty laundry and junk mail trails?  If you said A – ding ding ding!  You’re a winner and you clearly understand the concept of simplicity.  If you said B – I suggest you read this post again.