"A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.", Michael LeBoeuf, the author of 'How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life', said. In this day and age, his wisdom is perhaps more accurate than ever.
Due to the rise of social media, companies have more customer touch points than ever before – and people have more opportunities to express their dissatisfaction and demand the service a paying customer deserves.
While handling several different customer support channels has proven to be challenging for brands big and small, one type of customer service has held its head as the go-to way for businesses to correspond with their customers. You guessed right, email. Due to this, keyboard-first customer service skills are always on-demand.
How to write a customer service email? What are the email customer service best practices? Where can I find customer service email examples? This blog post will answer all your questions and show you the fastest way to success using Flowrite:
Why is customer service important?
All of us have had good and bad customer service experiences – be it over email, on the phone, on social media, chat, or in person. These encounters stay with us, shaping our sentiment around the brand or organization that can last a long time.
When these experiences are negative, it's likely something we share with our wider network – a nightmare from the company's perspective for more than one reason. For example, over 61% of consumers would stop purchasing from a brand after just one negative experience. Any business should hate to have a customer feel this way about their brand. Particularly as it can be easily avoided – or even turned around into a positive interaction enhancing public image or creating referrals.
Since the dawn of trade, there has been customer service, "Customer is always right" as the evergreen ethos at the epicenter of the practice. As the trade, technology, and time have all advanced, so have customer service channels.
The invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell towards the end of the 19th century transformed the accessibility of companies worldwide, changing everything about how enterprises and customers would interact in modern times. Businesses embraced this opportunity to hear from their consumers, which led to the birth of call centers.
Eventually, email emerged as an increasingly convenient touchpoint for companies to service, support, and care for their customers.
Today customer service and customer support teams master a whole range of activities via email. They help people make correct and cost-effective use of products and get the most out of services.
The typical tasks include resolving complaints, answering feedback, offering guidance in planning and installing, troubleshooting, and assisting with upgrades and cancellations. Naturally, these efforts require the collaboration and expertise of many stakeholders in a company, resulting in an interaction with the client that answers their query, solves the problem, and puts their mind at ease.
Needles to say, these customer touchpoints are a valuable opportunity to exceed your customer's expectations.
Types of customer service – why is email (still) a useful customer service tool?
Despite the growing popularity of social media and live chats as customer support channels, most of these interactions are still happening over email. And no wonder, as the benefits of email support are many.
If you're not already convinced, here's a recap on the most important benefits of email customer service.
- Email is a proactive tool that gives you the time and privacy to address an upset customer.
- Customers value email as a safe space to express their issues.
- It's hard to find somebody who doesn't have an email account instead of many consumers out there without a social media presence.
As you're looking for tips on how to write a professional email to customers, the chances are you already grasp the important role of email in a customer correspondence.
If you're, however, someone not working in customer support or service per se, you should keep in mind that you are still a representative of the company. No matter what your job title is, the following best practices, tips, and examples will help you to navigate email correspondence with customers with the eyes of a customer support representative.
Customer service best practices
Our goal is to help you feel completely confident writing customer service emails by providing a clear and concise overview of the topic.
That's why we reviewed a number of publications and data-based reports on best customer service emails to pull together the essential guidelines and tips for you.
With these email customer service best practices, you'll learn how to write a good customer service email in no time.
1. Give it a human touch
There's nothing customers hate more than feeling like they're speaking to a robot. Even though they likely opened their email with "Dear customer service team", you should personalize your support email by making the interaction friendly from the outset. The best customer service email greetings address the recipient by their name. You can learn more about picking the proper salutation from our blog post on how to start a professional email.
2. Show empathy
The best email support is empathetic, so make sure you acknowledge how the customer is feeling. Regardless of how the issue came about, they felt strongly enough to get in touch, so pay respect to this early in your email reply. A simple "I understand how <the customer's feeling> that must be." will set you off to a good start.
3. Value their time
Sometimes you may not be the first touchpoint a customer has had on the journey with your company. Visibility on this is vital, as is having access to any previously logged customer correspondence. We all hate feeling as if we are repeating ourselves, so make sure to do everything within your power to be up to date on the customer relationship when offering email assistance. A good customer service email picks up the conversation right where it was left off the last time.
4. Remain positive
Yes, there's a problem, but now you're "Happy to help!". Sometimes you won't have all the answers, but a positive attitude goes a long way in establishing the interaction's mood. It can also help to increase the customer's confidence in your care. For example, instead of writing "Have you checked our FAQ?", try "I don't have the answer for that right now, but I can find out for you and get back to you in 2-3 hours."
5. Be consistent
Crossed wires can irritate an already frustrated customer, so do your research and always provide quality service. Being given conflicting advice or information in email assistance is confusing. Not to mention it makes you and the company look bad. Being consistent is the key in your email correspondence with customers but is crucial when someone emails you for help.
6. Keep the language clear and simple
Don't confuse the customer. Perhaps you're used to the latest technology or industry jargon, but you should always assume that they are not. Over-formalizing the support email can also confuse things, so be aware of your tone.
Simplify where possible and keep things to the point – while still being polite and friendly, of course. To master the customer service email etiquette, make sure to learn these 25 rules and tips.
7. Share resources to help even further
Redirecting to more comprehensive instructions can keep your customer support emails nice and clear. This can mean linking your blog posts, FAQs, or even a competitor's content if it's the most helpful resource. It is a great way to go above and beyond to help your customer without making your email way too long and complicated.
8. Use customer service email phrases
While you're on a roll, why not step up to the plate? Once you've resolved the first issue, don't be afraid to offer help for any other questions they may have. "Is there anything else I can help you with today?" is also a polite way to aim to close customer support email threads. You can find more customer service email phrases like this in our blog post on responding to customer complaints.
9. Show gratitude
Always remember to thank the customer! They've chosen to do business with you, took the time to get in touch, and cared enough to let you know about the issue. This is invaluable, organic feedback, so show your appreciation for it throughout your email. Giving thanks ensures your customer will feel truly valued by your company and increase customer satisfaction despite a bump in the road.
10. End your email with gusto
How do you end a customer service email? Summarize the problem or solution to make it 100% sure everything is clear for the customer. Adding additional questions or a personal touch to your email closing also goes a long way. If you are unsure about what email sign-off to use, check out our guide to end an email professionally.
Customer service email examples
The following customer service email examples bring our best practices into life.
If you feel that none of these samples couldn't have come from your keyboard, don't worry: Practice makes perfect when it comes to customer service email writing – and Flowrite is here to help.
The next time you think about how to write an email to a customer in a situation that challenges your customer service skills, you can draw inspiration from these customer service email response examples.
1. Apology email to customer sample
The best tool in a customer service professional's toolkit is a sincere apology. As the saying goes: "customer is always right," and thus it's crucial to learn how to apologize to a customer via email.
When you need to send an email apologizing to a customer, be sure to try this sample:
2. Email response to a customer enquiry
Timely response to customer support emails will make your customers feel acknowledged – even if you wouldn't be able to provide all the answers.
The key is to let them know that you're doing your best to help and provide information on when they should expect to hear from you. You can even go the extra mile by offering your assistance with other topics while they need to wait.
3. Thank you email to customer sample
A little thanks often can go a long way when it comes to forgetting a minor hiccup and driving customer loyalty. So, make sure to show your appreciation when answering to customer feedback.
Communicating that you're grateful for receiving it can turn a seemingly negative experience into a positive one.
4. Customer feature request response
Feature requests from customers come in many sizes and forms, and making users' wishes come true is not always possible. In these situations, honesty is the best policy.
Managing expectations and sharing some insightful information around your business's future is excellent customer service bar none. If you're having a hard time with this, saying no politely (but firmly) is a skill that can be learned.
5. Technical support email sample
If you receive an email asking for support in technical issues, you might need to get detailed with your troubleshooting tips. To find a solution, make sure to ask as in-depth questions as necessary to help the customer.
Acknowledge that your advice can be intimidating, build trust for your guidance, and make the customer feel that you're working together with them.
6. Refund email to customer sample
When a customer decides to leave you, it's often not you. It's them. There's no reason to be bitter over it. If you have a refund policy in place that allows them to get their money back, make the breakup process as painless as possible for the customer while being clear that you'll miss them.
Your response to the refund request should be as helpful as to any other customer support email and leave the door open to rekindle the customer relationship in the future.
How to deal with angry customers via email
Customer service professionals will inevitably (and unfortunately) almost without exception have to respond to frustrated customers, who might send angry emails.
These are some basic rules we've followed in our customer service jobs:
- Don't take it personal - At the end of the day, it's just work, and you cannot affect everything.
- Try to stay calm - Although a customer might be emotional or angry, the best thing you can do is stay calm and remain professional (although we admit, it's a bit unfair).
- Tell your manager or colleagues - You can always ask your manager or team for help (given you have time), and this outsider perspective can help tremendously.
- Have a laugh with colleagues - When it's done, you can have a cheeky laugh about embarrassing moments. Don't make fun of your customers, but don't be too serious.
- Forward feedback - Even angry customers can teach you something. They might often have the best ideas or improvement opportunities baked underneath their emotions. Let your product or development teams know about the ideas of your most passionate (in good or bad) customers!
Final thoughts on customer service email
According to a report, the cost of bad customer service is about $75 billion per year. That said, you should most definitely be in the clear after reading through this blog post.
However, when it comes to writing customer service emails, there's often more than you – or your team – has time to handle. That's where Flowrite comes in.
With Flowrite, you can turn short bullet points into ready-to-send customer support emails faster than ever. Start a free trial today!
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