Keep it simple.
The key thing with a standard copy and paste reply is that it covers the details the customer needs, clearly and concisely. There is a temptation to cover a few points in one reply, if those queries often come in together. However, telling someone about opening times and the café menu (for example) in the same response makes their single query feel unvalued.
Point to where they can get more/teach them to fish.
Most emails which can be solved with a copy and paste response use details available on your venue’s website. In standard replies include a hyperlink such as “For more details to help your plan your visit see here” which takes them directly to the visit information area of your website.
Let your staff be human.
At our venue each staff member who replies to email queries has compiled their own standard replies. Rather than a standard issue soulless business sounding response, the information is imparted, but the tone is more natural and conversational.
Acknowledge that the query is from a human.
Our replies always begin by name, and staff often briefly call-back to something personal mentioned in the query email.“…check the website for future details. Hope your son and friends will enjoy their visit.” This takes a couple of seconds, but recognises the importance of the customer’s experience, and shows someone paid attention.
Take time where time is needed.
Some queries may cross the standard response line, either because they are unusual, or require a lot of information. There is a temptation to doctor a standard response a bit, or staple two together. Remember; copy and paste responses save you time, so you can use that time to pay more attention to the other emails.
Consider if something is broken.
Staff who respond to customer queries should be encouraged to log what the queries are. This can indicate if event details aren’t clear, if information is too hard to find online, etc, and therefore if you need to fix an issue at source which will reduce these repeat queries.
Why do I bring this up? Getting it wrong.
I've had this on my mind as a large museum just replied to my query with a copy and paste response email. I complimented their recent tours in detail, and asked if a certain venue would be considered for a future guided tour. I was informed that:
If your venue doesn’t use copy and paste standard email replies they are well worth considering as a time saving way to present information consistently. If your venue does, it may be time to look at what you say, how you say it, and if that’s satisfying your visitors.
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