Email has made our lives so much easier in immeasurable ways, yet it can still be tricky getting it right, as tone and intent can’t always be conveyed accurately in writing. People might misconstrue a short message as being curt or brusque, for example, when really all you’re doing is trying to save them time reading a long email!
That’s why, as a customer service professional, it’s important to get customer emails right. After all, you never want your email to be the one that goes viral in the wrong way and embarrasses your company or makes it look bad to the public when all you were trying to do was help.
Making sure you follow the right customer service protocols is half the battle; the other half is crafting perfect emails that won’t get lost in translation. This is where email templates can be a big help.
Email templates are great because not only do they save you time in replying to customer emails, they are also pre-worded in expert ways that convey the messages you need to get across, while also being clear, polite and sympathetic to the customer’s problem.
Now doesn’t that sound like a win-win?
Why Getting Customer Service Emails Right is Crucial
Writing customer service emails is all about navigating and solving difficult situations while remaining polite, respectful, and gracious under pressure.
It can be tricky to write clear, concise and well thought out emails in high-pressure situations while being mindful of time (the customer service ticketing queue moves quickly, after all!) but it’s crucial that it is done correctly.
A poorly worded email may not only lose the loyalty of a customer but can also create a negative opinion of your business in front of millions of customers (and potential customers) if it is posted on social media. Simply put, your business cannot afford to send poor customer emails.
That’s why it’s important to learn how to write good ones, and using templates is key for this.
How Emails Can be Misconstrued or ‘Lost in Translation’
Sometimes, it’s hard to convey what we really want to say over written forms of communication. Maybe the person writing the email is trying to be contrite, but their words come off to the reader as sounding disingenuous, or uncaring, even when that wasn’t their intention.
Unfortunately, because tone can’t always be clearly conveyed over email, this can cause misunderstandings. In order to err on the side of caution, the best thing you can do is to follow customer service best practices, along with using email templates that put these best practices into carefully worded emails.
A Checklist of Customer Service Email Tips
To create great customer service email templates, first, you need to make sure they all follow key customer service best practices.
Each customer email you write should:
- Address your customer by name. A person’s name is very important to them, so addressing that person by their name means your customer service email is more personalised and immediately makes the customer feel that you are truly responding to their unique issue, not just pasting a form letter. It should go without saying, but please make sure you spell their name correctly!
- Be clear on the customer’s issues and needs. Read clearly to make sure you truly understand what the customer is after. For example, do they want a refund, a replacement, or simply an acknowledgement of their problem? Is the customer frustrated? This may require a bit of subjectivity and reading between the lines, but you want to make sure you read clearly to ensure that you understand exactly what your customer is trying to tell you so that you can solve the problem efficiently.
- Make sure you have all the right information. Your response to your customer must be sent only once you completely understand the customer’s problem and the necessary solution. If you are missing any information, it’s better to ask someone else in the organisation before replying to the customer. After all, you don’t want to send incorrect responses or responses based on incomplete information.
- Show empathy. Every customer wants to feel heard and appreciated. They want to feel that the company cares about their experience and is doing something to remedy the issues they are experiencing. That’s why, even though you may always try to be efficient with email, it’s also important to make sure you write in ways that take the time to also show empathy.
- Exercise friendly professionalism. It’s a fine line between being empathetic and being overly familiar with customers. Make sure your tone is friendly, upbeat and solution-orientated but remember to keep a professional distance between yourself and the customer. You never want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.
6 Awesome Customer Service Email Templates
Now that we’ve gone over the importance of writing good customer service emails and the key customer service issues you’ll want to include in them, here are six examples of common scenarios where well-written customer service email templates can really come in handy, saving you time.
We’ve included some suggested email templates that you can use as a starting point for creating your own templates for each of these scenarios:
1. Discount Template
It’s not uncommon for customers to request discounts when things don’t go 100% right in a transaction or per their expectations. Discounts can certainly be a good way to satisfy customers and continue to build loyalty when things aren’t right.
That said, there are situations where being able to provide a customer discount based on a request is not always feasible or cost-effective for the business. Typically, this is when a customer has asked for a discount proactively, yet there’s no negative issue to mitigate.
In such a scenario, when a customer asks for a discount that is not possible for the company to provide, the following email response template can be useful:
Thank you so much for your business with [company name]!
We appreciate you contacting us to see what options we have available. At this time, we regret that we are unable to offer any discounts or special offers.
We use top-quality materials and superior design to deliver a product of great value to our customers and we hope you see this reflected in each product you receive.
Thanks again and we wish you the very best.
2. Request Template
Sometimes, customers will email you requesting a special design feature or customisation that your company does not offer. In these situations, you always want to make sure that customers understand that while you value their business, such requests are unfortunately not possible as per policy.
You want to be diplomatic when you send such replies, because you don’t want your customer feeling sheepish or brushed off for making their request, yet at the same time you must convey why it’s not possible to fulfill such a request:
Thank you for getting in touch and sharing your ideas with us! Unfortunately, we don’t have a way of doing this at the moment, but it’s something we are considering for the future.
We will be sure to take your feedback on board as we update our custom offerings moving forward.
Please make sure to stay on our mailing list, so that you can be the first to know should things change with regards to customisation or new features.
3. Help Template
Most commonly, you simply need a basic template that helps respond to your average help request. This is the type of situation where a customer is looking for a resolution to a problem and the template works to offer the customer reassurance, letting them know that the issue is on its way to being resolved.
This is the most basic sort of template, but you definitely need this one in your toolkit since this general query is frequent. Using a template to reply ensures that you keep your language professional and empathetic, while saving you time typing the same message over and over.
Thank you for getting in touch. I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve been having with [product/feature]. Our team is doing everything in our power to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. [List steps taken to resolve if necessary.]
To ensure we support you in the best possible way, we’ll just need a few bits of additional information from you. Could you please tell us [information]?
Meanwhile, here are a few actions you can take to help troubleshoot the problem [insert common troubleshooting steps here]. Please let us know if these help solve the problem; otherwise, we will be back in touch with a solution as quickly as we can.
4. Angry Customer Template
Angry customers can be a minefield! Before responding, it’s important not to take customer anger personally. This can certainly be a challenge for even the most experienced customer service professionals, and it helps to bear in mind that sometimes angry customer emails are sent in the heat of the moment, when emotions are high.
Other times, a customer may have simply had a bad day and is taking out their frustrations on customer service. Even if the customer’s grievances are warranted, anger should never influence your own response. You should always try to stay cool, collected, calm and professional in your responses:
Thank you for getting in touch with us at [company name]. First of all, let me just say how sorry we are to hear that you have had a poor experience.
We absolutely understand your concern and our team is reviewing the situation to determine how we can provide you with the best possible solution.
Please bear with us, and we will be in touch as soon as possible to resolve your concern.
You want to convert an angry customer into a satisfied customer and the best way to do that is through professionalism.
Let the customer know they are heard, empathise with them and promise a solution. Most people want to know they are being listened to and helped. If you can pull that off without getting drawn into an emotional exchange, you’re on the right track.
5. Faulty Product Template
Product issues can be serious for any company, especially if a safety element is in play. Therefore, it’s important to take customer messages about a faulty product very seriously and investigate each one to ensure that the fault isn’t a widespread problem that could lead to consumer danger.
As you investigate, you can use a template to let your customer know that you are taking their issues seriously:
Thank you for getting in touch to let us know about [issue]. We are sorry to hear you have had this experience with one of our products.
Please know that we take the utmost care in creating products that have been tested and trialled. As such, we take issues with our products very seriously. Can you please provide us with a few additional points of information [requested information, e.g., serial number, more info about the fault, etc]?
We are currently investigating this issue as a priority and will come back to you as soon as possible with a solution. In the meantime, please discontinue your use of the product.
When a customer has an issue with a faulty product, depending on the fault, it may be worth escalating the issue to management. Faulty products must be taken seriously and flagged to the relevant product departments to ensure that they don’t persist in future iterations of the product.
Meanwhile, when going back to the customer about recompense for the faulty product, it’s best to either send a replacement product or a refund.
6. Poor Service Template
Every business should have the highest levels of customer service training in place, but we are all human and undoubtedly, situations will occur when a customer feels that the service they’ve received has been substandard.
In these situations, you always want to apologise for the poor service and make it better by offering excellent service this time around:
Thank you for getting in touch. Customer satisfaction is very important to us and I’m very sorry to hear that we didn’t meet your expectations in this regard. We apologise for the problems you’ve encountered with our service and have arranged for a [refund/discount] to be applied to your account.
We certainly hope you’ll do business again with us in the future, and allow us to show you the great customer experience we are known for.
Displaying empathy, apologising and offering to refund their experience are the best ways you can close the situation respectfully, while hopefully mitigating customer churn and reputation damage.
Personalising your approach to customer service is important. Each customer issue is unique and as such, you’ll want to treat each one with the specified attention it deserves. This means that undoubtedly, you’ll want to personalise each email you send to a customer, and these templates should serve as good starting points.
You can go further by tailoring your own templates to include your company’s brand ‘voice’, ensuring its ethos comes across in every message, then tailoring down further to meet the needs of each unique customer query.
However, you choose to do it, working with templates is a great way to save time while providing a high standard of responsive, solid customer service.
eDesk’s eCommerce helpdesk software includes templates to deal with common customer queries in just two clicks. Book a demo or try it FREE for 14 days and see how eDesk can help you respond faster and create happier customers.