5 honest ways to write damn good customer service emails
10 minute read
An email is all about the words that you use, how you use them, and in what context you use them. Knowing how to draft a damn good customer service email can most often give you an edge over your competitors and improve your branding game.
Moreover, research has shown that 95% of customer service teams prefer emails to communicate with their customers. So, your team will need to know what the best ways to write a good email are.
But before we delve into further details, let us first understand what exactly is a customer service email.
What is a customer service email?
Customer service emails are responses to inquiries, suggestions, or complaints from customers. Customer service emails also form an important part of omnichannel customer service, where multiple communication channels are integrated to improve communication.
Emails are one of the types of customer service options available for your customers to communicate with you. But how exactly should you draft such emails in the most effective way possible?
In this article, we have listed five ways to draft customer service emails to ensure that your customers fall in love with your brand. Let us look at them one by one.
1.Be clear, transparent, and honest––not vague
Spend some time learning the most effective ways to communicate information to your customers with confidence and consistency.
You must maintain clarity, transparency, and consistency in communicating, especially over emails where you cannot hear a customer’s voice or see them texting live to gauge their tone. In this process, it's recommended to use a DMARC tool to prevent spoofing and spam and improve your customer experience with emails.
Let's break these down further, on-by-one.
Know when to use which phrases.
One way to communicate effectively is to know what kind of phrases should be used in different situations. For instance, it is always important to use positive language, even when you have to say “no.”
Instead of just saying in your email, “Sorry, this isn’t something I can help you with,” or, “We haven’t faced this issue before,” you can use phrases like, “I can understand what you must be facing. Let me check with my colleague/manager and get back to you” (suggest a specific timeline in which you will get back to them).
Create a template of phrases for reference.
To help your customer service reps understand what phrases they should use, you can create an outline for them to refer to.
For instance, Ritz Carlton employees often carry cards containing the kind of phrases to use/not to use in different situations. This can be a good example from which we can draw inspiration and create a similar catalogue for customer service reps to use while drafting emails.
Say things as it is without being too vague.
While it is important to speak empathetically, especially to handle unhappy customers, we must also remember not to be too diplomatic or vague.
“We will get back to you as soon as we can." This is one of the most frequent statements you will receive in a customer support email. This is as ambiguous as it can get. The customer asks for help and is looking for prompt assistance. The reader of your email may begin to doubt whether you even have a solution to provide when you say, "as soon as we can."
It is important to be clear about the time you might take to get back to them and communicate the same to them honestly. For instance, Let us assume that it is a complex issue and you think it could take more than 24 hours. You should communicate the same, thereby setting expectations of the customer at a level that you can meet.
It's crucial to give customers a satisfying customer experience. You want your customers to feel secure while doing business with you. Therefore, let them know you have a strategy and are more than willing to solve their problems.
Use simple and easy-to-understand language.
Instead of writing lengthy paragraphs, think about dividing things down into lists that are simple to read.
Make sure your punctuation, grammar, and spellings are flawless. Use a writing tool like Grammarly to find errors in your writing and make suggestions for corrections. Your emails will not only be quicker to write but also error-free and easy to read for your customers.
Here’s an example of an email template that is clear, honest, and not vague.
Hi [Customer Name],
I am (service rep name), and today I will assist you. Thanks for reaching out and letting us know about your issue in detail. Sorry to hear that you are facing this issue. This sounds like something that our product team can help you with.
I have escalated the issue to the product team, and they're currently looking into how we can resolve this. So far, this is what the product team has to say:
[explanation of the issue and what caused it].
We are trying our best to resolve your issue within the next 24 hours. If there are any changes to the timeline or any update from our side, we will communicate it to you by tomorrow. For your reference, this is the support ticket number.
In the meantime, let me know if there's anything else that you need assistance with.
(Service rep name)
2. Be timely and detailed in your response
When customers opt for emails as a mode of communication for customer service, they expect a detailed and timely response to their queries. Moreover, the time it takes for your team to respond or address a customer's issue can have a significant impact on the customer's experience.
Here’s how you can ensure that your customer service team gives a timely and detailed response.
Make it simple for your team members to locate the required solutions.
Your customers will always receive timely responses if you ensure that your customer care team members can respond or escalate to the right team members quickly.
There are a few simple ways to do this.
- First and foremost, a resource and knowledge base should be created for customer service reps to fall back upon to locate the appropriate solution. This will help them to explain the answers to customer queries in the emails in a more informed manner.
- Secondly, knowing when to escalate an issue and who to escalate it to is important. Your customer service rep should know to whom they should escalate a specific issue.
- Lastly, periodic training of your team members is also important to ensure that your customers know the kind of responses they should be drafting in various situations.
Answer all the questions asked by customer.
Making sure that every question a customer asks you in the email is answered clearly is one of the best things you can do to ensure customer satisfaction.
Read the original email a few times before responding to ensure you have covered all of their issues, especially when you realise the issue is complicated and there are multiple questions.
Hi [Customer Name]––I'm (Service rep name). Thank you for reaching out to us with such detailed questions. I am excited to help you get answers to all these questions!
I have numbered your questions and categorised them with my responses underneath each question.
1. Question 1
2. Question 2
3. Question 3
I hope I have been able to clarify all the questions but if I missed anything or if you have further questions, let me know!
(Service rep name)
Share relevant resources in the email.
One of the most useful things that you can attach in your emails being sent to a customer is relevant links to blog articles, videos, documentation, etc. It not only saves your staff time from repeatedly drafting the same response, but it also gives your customers the ability to discover information on their own the next time they need it.
Every time you send an email, make an effort to include supporting resources that are specific to the questions asked by the customer. Videos, links to other documents, and even instruction manuals regarding your products are all documentation examples.
If your organisation in new and a lot of resources are not available, consider recording screen casts explaining a particular solution or feature, and save it for future uses. Tools like Clip and Loom can be used to record your videos.
Similarly, think about making a reference document out of an email when you feel that it can be of help in the future for similar issues. This is especially true if the email is on a topic that you frequently write about or if it seems much more in-depth than the regular emails you send to customers.
3. Create consistency in your emails
Maintaining consistency between conversations is another thing you must do to improve your customer service and support emails.
For instance, if one member of your team responds to a question in an entirely different manner than another member does, it might look unprofessional, and customers might find your company unreliable, thereby eroding your brand image.
Follow some of these tips to be consistent in your emails.
Create a guide for customer service reps to follow.
To guarantee that consumers receive the same experience every time, create policies, tone and style guides, and saved replies. Every few months, review whatever you put in place to ensure it is still correct and relevant.
A style guide can contain design elements, including logos, trademarks, colours, and fonts. Copywriting standards include things like voice, tone, whether or not you include the CTA, how to include the CTA, etc. You can also utilize a font generator to establish unique and appealing fonts for your style guide.
Keeping these aspects constant will help in increasing customer awareness of your brand. Ensure that each email template adheres to these rules to prevent a breakdown in consistent branding.
Create standard email templates for every purpose.
As a company, you have to send out multiple emails. Having a standard template for each helps in maintaining consistency.
If it’s a thank you email post-purchase, it should have one kind of a standard template, and if it is a transactional email like an update on the shipping and orders placed, it should have a different template. But one thing to remember is that the template for a specific purpose should be the same. You can use email design tools such as Mailchimp for these purposes. You can easily choose the theme and also name your template using such tools. You can send out classified emails quickly and efficiently by using preset templates rather than starting from scratch every time.
4. Match the tone of your email writing with your customers
How would you feel if someone replied with a funny GIF when you sent them an email describing your problems?
Tone mismatches can make your customers dissatisfied with your service delivery. When a consumer contacts you, do your best to respond in a manner that closely resembles their own. Be sure to take note of the sentence structure, emoji and GIF usage, and even the use of exclamation marks.
Moreover, one of the major reasons why customers might stop doing business with you is feeling unheard or not understood. In such a scenario, knowing how to match the tone of your email text according to the customer’s needs is important.
It's crucial to think about your email's overall tone before you send it. To gain a true sense of how the tone might be perceived, don't only concentrate on what you want the tone to be; carefully review what you have written as if you were the recipient.
It might be really beneficial to read your message aloud when trying to gauge the tone.
5. Follow-up emails to check in with your customers
One of the best and most effective ways to first follow up with your consumers is to send a thoughtful, sincere email. These are the different ways in which you can follow up.
Post-purchase, make an effort to simply check in with your customers. They will feel that they are a part of your brand. As a result, they are more likely to shop with you again. They might even support you by spreading positive word-of-mouth about your company. In turn, this will help you to achieve crucial KPIs like improving customer retention rates and drawing in new customers through positive word of mouth. After all, happy customers share their positive experiences with at least 11 people on average.
Thank you for placing an order with us! We hope that our product meets and surpasses your expectations. We are always eager to serve our customers, who are like one big family to us, and now you are a part of this family too. Welcome onboard!
We have also attached a few relevant introductory resources for you to get going. Feel free to reach out to us via email, call, or live chat (mention any other source of communication your company offers).
(Attach email ID, contact number, etc. here)
Hope you continue to cherish our products and services and keep coming back to us for all your (specific needs that the product serves).
The Customer Success Team at [company]
Reaching out to customers if they haven’t responded
Reach out again to follow up when you have responded to a customer’s question, but they haven’t replied, especially if you requested additional details or input. This is particularly important if they get in touch with you regarding a bug or a product issue that still needs to be fixed.
Hello [Customer Name],
We really appreciate you taking out the time to write to us and reporting the bug in our (product name).
We were wondering if you had the time to go through our previous email, where we requested some additional details about the problem you found out. Our engineering team would be really grateful if you could help us with the information from your end.
Once again, we hope that you will continue being a valuable part of our fraternity and continue supporting us in the same manner.
(Customer service rep name)
Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they will come back. We have to be great every time or we lose them.
~ Kevin Stirtz
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