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Session 102: How to Write Like a Human in an Age of Speed

Wednesday, April 10 at 10:15 AM

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Support organizations are being pressured to respond faster than ever to customers' emails. At the same time, they're expected to offer service in a growing list of other written channels, such as chat, Slack, and even social media. But can your support organization do it all? Can your agents write to customers in a "real" style, or must they rely on dry copy-and-paste templates to respond quickly enough? Join customer service writing expert Leslie O'Flahavan and service culture fanatic Jeff Toister to learn how to balance the demands of speed, automation, and humanity in your written communication. Explore the latest research on customers' email response time expectations. Discover how to balance the need for speed with limited resources. Learn how to leverage tools like automation and templating while still delivering a personalized experience.

In this session, attendees will learn:

  • How customers' response time expectations are changing. Yes, they want to hear from you quicker than ever before, but how much quicker?
  • How much age group affects customers' response time expectations. Do Millennials expect a faster response than Boomers?
  • How to use templates when you respond to customers. Can you use these prewritten responses without coming across as insincere or uncaring?
  • How to write a better-than-average autoresponse. Can you create an automated reply that doesn't convince the customer you're just stalling for time.
  • How to offer self-service options in your responses without sounding like you're giving the customer the old brush-off.

Jeff Toister

Toister Performance Solutions, Inc.

Jeff Toister has authored three books, including the bestselling The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service. More than 140,000 people on six continents have taken his video-based training courses on LinkedIn Learning ( Jeff was named one of the top 30 customer service professionals in the world by Global Gurus; he was also named one of the top 25 customer experience influencers by Panviva. Feedspot has named his Inside Customer Service blog one of the top 50 customer service blogs on the planet. Jeff holds a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification from the Association for Talent Development.

Leslie O'Flahavan


Leslie O'Flahavan has helped thousands of people learn to write well for online readers. She's a problem-solver for all writing-related challenges, and she's delivered customized writing courses for customer service agents, social media managers, and support desk staff. Leslie helps organizations train their teams to write excellent emails, measure the quality of their emails to customers, and rewrite and maintain their entire library of canned answers. Recently, she completed a complete overhaul of customer service writing for a global airline's domestic and international contact centers. Leslie is a author of three courses: "Technical Writing: How to Write a Quickstart Guide," "How to Write Customer Service Email," and "Customer Service: Writing for Social Media." Leslie is also the coauthor of Clear, Correct, Concise E-Mail: A Writing Workbook for Customer Service Agents.