One of the first things I do when I start working with a new CRM or ticketing system (Parature, ZenDesk, FogBugz, etc) is create a short list of “scripts” that I can use to address common issues, or a template response for a task I might do many times.
I’ve recently started to use the Chrome extension PopChrom. It’s fully customizable and free. It allows me to easily paste in my pre-defined replies with minimal keystrokes. I’d be willing to bet that everyone who does this type of work has a similar system in place. It’s great and it works. However, there is a dark side to this: I believe automation builds mistrust and even the most personal of notes reads insincere when you’ve already received it in the past.
I’m currently using a CRM tool that shows earlier tickets from the current sender. When I see that I’ve contacted a sender in the past, I will often alter the note, even if just slightly. Of course, this is dependent on the content of the ticket and the issue that’s being addressed. Quite often, a “Thanks, we’ve received this” or a similarly brief greeting is right, but when it isn’t, I’ve found there’s great value in deviating from the “script”.
It adds a personal touch and humanizes you a bit. So often, online interactions get stripped down to little more than a cartoon avatar, your first name and an initial. From reading the grateful, positive replies I receive, I believe there’s great value in taking that extra second to “switch the script up”.
Photo by ScottSimpson on Flickr