One Simple Tip That Leads To Excellent Customer Service Skills

Excellent customer service skills

If you’re looking to improve your own or your employees’ email communication… this one tip is going to help you develop excellent customer service skills in your company starting today.

First, let me ask you a simple question…

Have you ever received an email that made you feel awesome?

I sometimes feel like the art of letter writing has been lost. And when I talk to people who have spent a lot of time in the corporate world, I understand why.

Simple Email Writing Tips to Improve Your Customer Service Skills #entrepreneur #womeninbiz

How Not To Write Your Emails

I’m about to share with you how to “give good email” but first I need to show you how not to write your emails.

After my husband quit his job, he was writing an email to our team and when I was reading it over, I cringed. “Why don’t you write like a real person?” I asked.

“Oh, I used the ‘idiot filter’ so it should have come out sounding nice.” he said.

“What’s the ‘idiot filter’?” I asked.

“Here’s how it works: you write a sentence, and then you add the words ‘you idiot’ at the end. If it sounds like the phrase ‘you idiot’ fits in with your sentence, then you need to rewrite the sentence because it’s going to come across the wrong way.

For example: “Hey, did you try plugging in the computer before you hit the on button, you idiot?” That sounds right, so we’d need to rewrite it.”

Wow. I had no idea that people were being taught this rule, and it explains a lot about all the bad customer service experiences we’ve all had with big companies!

So my first order of business was to help my husband re-learn how to write emails that are both encouraging, useful, and that make people feel great.

My goal was to make sure we all knew how to hone our email writing habits so we’d have excellent customer service skills, and build from there.

Excellent Customer Service Skills Start With 1 Rule For Writing Good Emails

The name for my rule? It’s called the “Hey, gorgeous filter”, and it’s way easier to use too!

You just start writing, and add “gorgeous” at the end of your sentence. If it feels out of place, then it’s time to rewrite your sentence so that saying gorgeous at the end feels natural.

No double negative stuff here. It should just flow!

In our computer example, it might sound like: “Hey, sometimes wires get unplugged or crossed, why don’t you check to see if your computer is properly plugged in and try the on button again, gorgeous.”

See? So much easier, and the person reading that email is going to feel taken care of, loved, and supported.

Another great way to give good email is to truly think of the other person who is going to be receiving it. Sometimes when we just have a name or an email address to go by, we can get snippier, or forget that we’re actually writing to a real human being with their own hopes, fears, and dreams.

And you never know what someone might be going through when they hit send on an email. I truly believe that if all used the “hey gorgeous filter”, there would be a lot more happy customers and fans, and a lot less frustrated people in the world.

By the way, this rule doesn’t just apply to email. It works in real life situations, on the phone, and when you’re writing sales copy too!

The most important thing you can do for someone is to come from a place of understanding.

Never make someone feel inferior when you can uplift them instead.

That’s my philosophy when it comes to interacting with people, and you’ll notice that I never make fun of or single out any of my readers…unlike some other marketers and business owners.

I also believe that how we treat people and teach others how to treat us really impacts the types of emails we get. So if you don’t want any snippy unhappy emails, don’t send any!

Be sure to pass this video along to your team members who are responsible for answering emails for you, and also to any fellow business owners who could benefit from giving great email too!

Now I’d LOVE to hear your comments. Have you ever heard of the “you idiot filter” or has it been used on you before? How did it make you feel, and how have you been able to shift sticky written communication issues for the better using the “hey gorgeous filter”?

49 Comments

  1. Maeri Howard on June 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

    So true, so true, so true! Well put and I think the “hey gorgeous” filter could be added to verbal delivery as well…”you might want to pick up that cup of coffee that you left on the coffee table in case it gets tipped over, gorgeous”….sounds so much better than “can you pick up your coffee cup please?”…..I am thinking of my lovely husband when I write this!



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

      YES! Totally applies in relationships and verbal communication, too. :) You’re on a roll Maeri!



    • Linda on June 4, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      I’m the opposite… I hate hearing “you might want to” in conjunction with something I haven’t done, someone else wants me to do, or haven’t thought of. I’d rather just get the plain-speaking “could you pick this up.”

      The whole “you might want to” when I clearly don’t want to (or didn’t notice) just rubs me up the wrong way.

      I suppose that tone and phrasing would make a lot of difference.



  2. Steve Szubert on June 4, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I find too, gorgeous, that shorter emails can communicate more.



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 11:12 am

      That’s a great point Steve, love the addition – short and sweet!



  3. Licia Morelli on June 4, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Nathalie,

    I absolutely LOVE the “Hey Gorgeous” filter twist – such a fun way to ensure that emails and conversations are coming from a happy place! Can’t help but smile even thinking about it!

    I recently offered free mini readings for newsletter subscribers and this was a keen example of “You never know where someone is coming from when they hit send on an email” – by using the “Hey gorgeous” (without knowing that’s what I was doing) I was able to make sure I was sending emails filled with love (and there were a ton!) – and the response was great. People were so appreciative of feeling heard. And I never felt overwhelmed when sending them.

    Thank you for sharing this today – love it!!!
    xoxo
    Licia Morelli



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Yay Licia!! So happy to hear that and I totally agree that people want to be heard. It’s amazing how it also shifted how you felt when writing, too.

      Way to go!



    • Linda on June 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      Yes, I can see that…sending out good vibes in advance. :)

      I like the gorgeous filter but I’d never heard of the idiot filter and it made me chuckle. But I think hey gorgeous is a lot more useful.



      • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 7:44 pm

        I hadn’t heard of it either – and I was a little surprised someone came up with it in the first place. ;)



  4. Amanda - RunToTheFinish on June 4, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Honestly I have now shared this everywhere I can think of! thank you, thank you, thank you for it! I had a poor experience this morning and this simply made me feel better and was a great reminder for how I want to ensure everyone feels when they interact with me.



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Yay Amanda!! So happy to hear that and thank you for sharing. Also, poo on the not so good experience, but glad it’s turning around. :)



  5. juliet erickson on June 4, 2014 at 11:28 am

    This is really great, Nathalie!



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Aww thanks Juliet! Always awesome to see you here :)



  6. Leesa on June 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

    OMG – I so needed this advice! Just yesterday I caught myself proof-reading a post in my “corporate scientist” voice (you know: factual, intellectual and cold)! Good thing I haven’t posted it before seeing this gem of a video. Merci Nathalie!



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Woohoo Leesa! I totally hear ya, it’s easy to slip back into the cool corporate voice. Glad this came just in time. :)



  7. Marleen Renders on June 4, 2014 at 11:41 am

    love love love it, gorgeous!

    I’m a customer service agent part time, starting my business on the side. This filter is great both in my job, business, and other communications both online and offline. Love the sweetness with which you did the video too.

    Thank you gorgeous!



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Yeaaaah Marleen!! So happy this is helpful in so many ways for you right now. :)



  8. Marta on June 4, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Thank you! I’ll feel gorgeous every time I get your newsletters, now! :)



  9. Barbs on June 4, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Hi Natalie
    Thanks, that’s a brilliant tip for tweaking emails.



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Woohoo – thanks so much for the comment Barbs! :)



  10. Holli Thompson on June 4, 2014 at 11:59 am

    This is adorable, and really helpful. HELLO GORGEOUS!



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Yay Holli! Always awesome to see you here, gorgeous :)



  11. Mera on June 4, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I love how simple this is. I’m always nervous about sending emails out, but I think this will definitely help me. Thanks for sharing.



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      Yay Mera! So simple and so effective, that’s the best right?



  12. Carrie on June 4, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I was literally laughing out loud at your husband’s cameo. ‘You idiot’ filter – priceless. I’d never thought about it until I watched this video, but I think I use a ‘smiley face’ filter. If each sentence doesn’t look like a smiley face would fit in at the end, I might need to re-write it! :)



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 4, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      Oooh I love the smiley face filter idea Carrie! That’s definitely me, too. And yay so happy you enjoyed my husband’s cameo. ;)



  13. Bernie on June 4, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    I just love this. I’ve been really struggling in emails with switching off my formal corporate voice and switching on my soft cuddly yoga teacher voice. I’m definitely going to try the “hey, gorgeous” filter!



  14. Nathalie on June 4, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I’m shaking my head laughing. Is the idiot rule for real? I assume so. Anyways, I really like what you suggest about writing emails. I like the “gorgeous filter.” Thanks again for great business advice!



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 5, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Surprisingly we didn’t make this “idiot rule” up at all. ;)



  15. Megan Evans on June 5, 2014 at 12:56 am

    I LOVED the “hey gorgeous” filter. I am often concerned about my tone in my emails, blog, social media, any written form, especially since I can feel obnoxious at times :) (that’s my “hey gorgeous” smiley). Thanks for sharing!



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 5, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Yes, it can be hard to communicate digitally when we’re used to in person eye contact, smiles, etc. :)



  16. Caroline Cain on June 5, 2014 at 5:58 am

    What a great idea! So simple and clearly effective. Look forward to checking out the idiots vs the gorgeous ones!



  17. claire stone on June 5, 2014 at 10:28 am

    What a great way to check that your email sounds good enough.

    I always just re-read as if it were to me – that way I know if I’m being nice enough because I’ll feel nice about it after reading it!

    Totally agree that you can either be kind and uplifting with your emails, or not, and what’s the point of adding extra downers to the world when it takes no extra time to be kind or sweet or funny?

    Brilliant post Nathalie – love the hubby’s cameo too!



    • Nathalie Lussier on June 5, 2014 at 11:50 am

      Totally agree that we have this ability, and it’s always nice to send out good vibes instead of bad ones. :)

      Thanks for your sweet words Claire!



  18. Niika on June 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Sweet words are moist, delicious, nutritious. Gorgeous! Whets the appetite for more and lubricates connection.
    Bitter words are drying, distancing and leave the reader/listener cold and hungry.
    I personally love to be ‘buttered up’ if someone wants to make a good connection with me, as long as the intent is genuine.
    Nathalie, thanks SO MUCH for this playful illustration of how our emotional intent ALWAYS shines through, even via the little black bits we peck out onto a screen!



  19. Caroline Frenette Intuitive Leadership Coach on June 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I love that you are “training your husband”, I should train my husband too! ROTFL
    XO



  20. Molly on June 6, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks for such a simple but POWERFUL strategy, Nathalie! Having worked in the clinical arena for the last 7 years, I’m finding really hard to return to my true writing voice. I tend to sound very sterile these days! Using the “Hey Gorgeous filter” is definitely going to point out those areas where I get a little too academic & jargony!

    Thanks again!

    Bless,
    Molly



  21. Stevie on June 9, 2014 at 5:03 am

    Hi Nathalie

    I must have this problem because although I love people and get a real buzz from doing things for others, more so than myself, I get few reply’s, so I am going to implement this right away – gorgeous.



  22. Michelle Arsenault on June 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Totally agree!I always go out of my way to be friendly in emails (ahem…now – it honestly wasn’t always the case) and I usually get a very positive reaction back plus, people seem to be quicker to respond and much more helpful – besides, why not be nice? You feel better about yourself and you never know when you are making someone’s day! I find this rule also applies on Twitter, Facebook etc. Isn’t there a saying about how people may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you make them feel? It doesn’t just make great business sense – it makes great people sense too. Right, gorgeous;-)



  23. Missy Cooke on June 18, 2014 at 6:37 am

    One good thing I learned working in the corporate world is how to (and not to) respond to people, especially via email.

    So many employees would get bogged down in inbox overload, but I found that if I just took an extra 1 or 2 minutes to fully answer the question in a loving way, people stopped emailing because they felt taken care of.

    I guess just like most things, when you put in the right time up front, you don’t have to spend the wrong time later.



  24. […] Lussier, founder of the 30 Day List Building Challenge, has two tips as far as giving good email. The first being, you should treat your clients nicely in each email. Don’t act like you have […]



  25. Becky Hadaway on September 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Yes, more politeness please! It’s like giving someone a side hug with your email. Makes them feel good and really doesn’t take any extra effort.



  26. Eleanore Strong on November 15, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Wow. Gotta say the “idiot filter” made me LOL. ;) Great tips!



  27. Danny-J on January 11, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    OMG!! The “you idiot” filter? LOL
    that was pretty funny.
    Never heard of this and this video seems like it should be common sense but I guess you’re right.. if hubby didn’t know, there has to be a lot of people who don’t!
    good call!



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  29. Robin Thiele on July 28, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Thank you for this useful tip that will help a lot of people. I struggle with sounding too formal in my emails. This will help me too.