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The secret to delivering personalized support at scale

Buffer is well known for personalizing all their responses to customers. Because of that, the quality of their customer service is one of the best in the SaaS industry.
The thing is, it’s hard to do this at scale, and most support teams eventually stop all sorts of personalization as they reach a significant size.

At Gorgias, we’ve seen some of our users being very successful with a tactic that we'd like to share here.

Build a set of macros to respond to common customer requests

Note: a macro is a canned response to a common user problem. It can include tags that will be added to the ticket when you use the macro. Macros are generally a built-in feature of your help desk.

For most support teams, 80% of support requests are the same 40 questions which come over and over. As a result, make sure that you have a single macro for each of those cases.

The immediate benefit is that your agents will respond faster to common requests.

Here are a few pro tips to use macros:

  • Organize them in folders. This way, new hires will get up to speed much faster. A good structure for folders is to base it on issue type: information, order, bugs, delivery, payment, etc.
  • Keep macros short. You want to minimize the effort the customer needs to put in to solve their issue. A short explanation will always win over a wall of text.
  • Add a tag to each macro with the name of the issue type. At the end of the month, you’ll be able to see what the top customer issues are, by looking at the tag statistics.

Macro usage

Have a few snippets to personalize the response

Macros are good for productivity, but customers hate to receive a response which is only a macro. That’s where snippets come into play. Build a list of sentences that you can use to personalize each message.

Here are a few ideas for those:

  • Use customer events: Thanks for placing your first order with us, given you’ve been a customer for more than a year
  • Use the time of the week / year: Happy Friday, have a good week , happy holiday, merry Christmas
  • Use the name of the customer: Does this help, Alex?
  • Mention the customer's city: I've seen you're based in Vienna, I'd love to visit it!
  • Thank the customer for writing in: Thanks a ton for getting in touch

You can build a common list of snippets and share them with your team. Then, each agent will probably edit them or create their own to match their personal touch.

Pro tip: Add suggestions about how to use the product at the end of responses to customers. For example, at Gorgias, if someone asks about how to use name variables in Gorgias Templates, we’d suggest them to try using date variables: "Happy {{date '0' 'days' 'dddd'}}!".

You can use tools like your best friend Gorgias Templates (for Chrome), TextExpander (for Mac) or PhraseExpress (for Windows).

An example from Buffer

Buffer's customer support email

Do you have other tips to personalize responses to customers? We’d love to hear them!

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