Working in customer service is a fast-paced environment. When you’re on the receiving end of hundreds or maybe thousands of emails a day, it can be tricky to keep track of everyone who gets in touch.
And yet, it’s all-important to acknowledge customer emails when they’ve sent them in. This becomes even more critical when the sender is submitting a complaint, as they want to know your business has received it.
Too many businesses leave customer emails to drift in the wind, missing valuable opportunities to reach out to customers by failing to confirm receipt.
Looking to understand if someone has read your email? See our guide on Gmail Read Receipts.
Sending them a message acknowledging receipt is a simple thing, but has significant returns for your business when it comes to customer satisfaction.
What is an acknowledgement receipt email?
A lot can go wrong with email. The sender may think they’re emailing your support team, but end up sending it to the wrong address. Their server may simply fail to deliver the email. Or in the worst case scenario, maybe your support team just misses the email altogether.
Confirming receipt of email is a common best practice of email customer service teams. An acknowledgement receipt email lets the sender know you have received their email and you are looking into it. It takes the pressure off your support agents to provide a response and gives them a little more time to look into the email.
An acknowledgement receipt of an email is short and sweet, and may direct your customers to further resources such as a knowledge base. It’s different from a customer service automated response because your reps are actually taking the time to craft this email.
Acknowledgement receipt emails open up the lines of communication between your business and its customers, confirming that your business has received the request.
Why confirming receipt of customer emails is important
Sets expectations for customers
If you don’t confirm the receipt of a customer email, the sender will have no idea that your team is looking into it. At best, they may email again to try to elicit a response, or at worst they’ll assume your business doesn’t care and take their business elsewhere. Some customers may be driven to leave bad reviews about your business.
It’s always better to respond to a customer email straight away rather than leaving them hanging.
It’s more polite
Just as you would in a business setting, it’s common politeness to acknowledge receipt of a customer email. It takes just a little time, but your relationship with your customer is improved and they’re likely to view your business more favorably.
Builds trust with customers
If you send your acknowledgement email in a timely manner, this fosters trust between the customer and the business because it shows you are readily available. Customers are reassured that your team is able to manage requests.
Takes responsibility for the interaction
To confirm receipt of customer emails means shifting the responsibility for the customer to communicate their request onto the business which is now taking action. Customers will feel less stressed about their issue knowing that someone is now taking care of it since you took the time to respond to them.
May help customers to resolve their query
When you direct your customer to further resources, they may be able to solve their problem independently. This saves time for your customer service team and raises customer satisfaction.
Taking the time to acknowledge receipt of an email is a good practice for any business engaged in customer service. It shows your business is really invested in every customer who emails in, no matter how trivial the query.
How to acknowledge receipt of customer emails
There’s a bit of an art to acknowledging receipt of customer emails. You don’t want to spend too much time on it as you’re simply letting the sender know that you received their email. The aim is to be polite and friendly, follow standard email etiquette, and make sure to thank your customer for their enquiry.
All confirmation emails will follow a similar structure although each should be tailored to the individual customer. The aim is to write like a human so customers know a real person is on the other end of the email, using a short phrase or two to get your point across.
Address your customer
In your acknowledgement email, it’s very important to address the sender by name so the email feels personalized. If your company is on the more formal side, use the customer’s title and their last name. If your company is a bit more casual, then using their first name should be fine.
Addressing your customer at the beginning of the email shows respect and that you know who they are. The customer feels more important to the business when you address them personally.
Confirm what you’ve received
Use the email body to restate back to your customer exactly what you’ve received from them so they know that you understand their request. Have a read through what your customer is asking and then rephrase it back to them, confirming that your business will start looking into it immediately.
Use this as an opportunity to also provide any further details the customer might need while your business processes their request.
Add further details
If your business has anything else to add, include this in the second paragraph of the message. This may be information regarding possible wait times, or asking for further information from the customer. You might want to include a link to your self-service resources to help your customer resolve their problem independently.
Thank the customer
As will all communication, it’s important to thank the customer for taking the time to email your business. After all, if your customer has a problem and they don’t think your business can solve it, they are going to start shopping elsewhere. Give them a genuine thank you for their enquiry to show your business appreciates their custom, and reassure them that your company is happy to help.
Sign off your email
You need to close your acknowledgement email appropriately in order to be polite. In a more formal message, you could say something like “yours sincerely” before signing your name. In a less formal email, you could substitute it for “best wishes”, “best regards” or “kind regards”. Customers want to know that their request has been received by a real person, so including your own name at the bottom of the email is essential.
Confirming receipt in Gmail
In Gmail, you can also ask the customer to confirm receipt of your message. In order to find out whether an email was opened, you can request a read receipt from the recipient. You simply compose an email as you normally would, and then in More options you select Request read receipt.
This approach works if you are using Gmail to respond to customer service emails in conjunction with Keeping. Keeping is customer support software that works right on top of Gmail to turn all your customer emails into support tickets. It lets your team work collaboratively on resolving tickets by assigning emails to individual support team members and letting you know when a ticket has been closed.
Acknowledgement of receipt template
Dear [Name], Thank you for getting in touch with [Company]. We are happy to hear from you and delighted to help. This email is just to confirm the receipt of your request regarding [state issue]. While we look into this, you could try searching our company knowledge base in case we already have an answer [insert link]. Our estimated time for getting back to you is 1-2 business days. In the meantime, if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to share them by hitting reply to this message. King regards, [Name]
Customers may resent having to contact support in the first place. It’s your job to make their service experience as pleasant and efficient as possible when you respond to their email.
Confirming receipt of customer emails is an important part of great customer service. It’s a small gesture that can have significant returns in terms of customer satisfaction and provides a better customer experience.
Customers who have email confirmation receipts are happier and more patient while your business looks into their issue.
When customers have an email acknowledgement from your business, they know their issue is being dealt with and there is nothing else they need to do. Apart from anything else, it’s common politeness to confirm receipt of an email so the customer is assured they have reached the right person.
When businesses confirm receipt of customer emails, this takes the sting out of having to contact customer support in the first place. Customers will be impressed with your polite and friendly service reps, and are more likely to shop again.
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