Are you struggling with writing customer service emails? Discover 6 tips that will help you instantly improve.
FACT: Email is still the primary form of communication mode in customer service. Both customers and the customer service department prefer email because it is easy to use, quick, and officially accepted.
This makes learning the art of writing customer service emails essential. A well-crafted email makes your customers feel valued, and they stick to your brand.
This article is here to help you do that. Read on further to learn why email in customer service is still relevant, what customer service email etiquette is, and get a glimpse of a few examples. Let’s begin!
Why email is still relevant in customer service
When we talk about customer service emails, there’s one question that may come up:
In the world of social media messaging, isn’t email just too old-fashioned? Well, no. If not anywhere else, email still holds an important place in customer service.
Here’s why customer service emails are still relevant:
Everyone has email
Some of your customers may not be on Facebook, while others may not use Twitter. But all of your customers will have an email account. And that is one of the biggest reasons why email is an excellent channel for customer service.
Moreover, people often find social media channels overwhelming and may log out for weeks. This is rarely going to happen with email. People also check email the most often, so reaching out to your busy customers is easier with email—compared to any other channel.
Email is cost-efficient
Think about it, deploying agents to take up customer calls will also be more expensive than having agents for email customer service. Another huge benefit of email customer service is that it is a cost efficient method of customer service. Even if you’re using an email help desk, the cost is usually affordable. The cost of sending emails is lower than providing chat support or phone support.
Email is available round the clock
Another reason why email is still relevant is because it is available round the clock. Your customers can email in with questions or issues anytime they’d like. This may not be the case with chat or phone support. It may be after hours when no one is available to staff the live chat system or the phone lines.
If your brand is all about providing round-the-clock support, email would be perfect for you. You’ll be able to answer emails throughout the day without having to worry about the system going down.
Writing customer service emails (Etiquette and best practices)
Before you dive deep into the world of customer service emails, here are some basic points on customer service email etiquette that you should follow:
Keep grammar and spelling in check.
It will look pretty embarrassing if there are spelling mistakes or incorrect grammar usage in your customer service emails. Proper grammar and accurate spelling are an integral part of customer service emails.
It also shows that you respect your customers. Not to mention, understanding your message is also easier when there are no grammatical errors. You can provide your agents with grammar-checking tools to ensure that the emails they are writing are free from such mistakes.
Use standard fonts and formatting.
You don’t want to make your customer’s eyes hurt. So, do not use any weird fonts or formatting styles. It’s best to stick to the classics and keep things simple. Even if you are a funky brand, keep the funk away from the font and formatting of your emails. Also, keep fonts the same with every email. It’s also a good idea not to bold or italicize multiple words in the same sentence.
Make sure to incorporate brand voice.
Your customer service emails should reflect your brand voice. If your company’s product sounds fun, but your emails are dry and dull, it would lead to an inconsistent customer experience. As a result, the customer would not know what to expect from you.
An excellent way to incorporate brand voice in your customer service emails is by building a customer success playbook. In this playbook, you can include instructions on how agents can use brand voice. You can also mention elements that reflect the brand voice. Your agents can then use these elements.
There is much technical jargon involved when it comes to customer service. Even if your agents are well-versed, your customers may not be. To keep your emails simple, you should avoid including jargon.
For example, a feedback email asking for a customer’s input on the first response time would only be helpful if they understand the first response time.
Using jargon would just be annoying, and understanding the jargon would only be an added task for your customers. A good rule of thumb is to draft your emails so that a fifth-grader can understand the contents of them.
Remember, your objective here is not to show your expertise but to simplify information for your customers as much as possible.
Proofread emails before sending
Proofreading is not just an etiquette for customer service emails but also a basic rule when writing anything. To avoid any hiccups in customer service, emails you must tell your agents to always proofread before hitting send on an email.
Proofreading emails does not mean the agents must spend hours on them. It could mean reading the email thoroughly before sending it. You could also prepare a proofreading checklist and provide your agents with it.
Here are some examples of what you can include in your proofreading checklist:
- Run customer service emails through Grammarly to fix any grammatical errors.
- Check the tone of the email and ensure that a positive tone is maintained.
- Read for clarity and to ensure all necessary information is included.
Consider your email’s tone.
The tone of your emails is a small yet crucial element shaping how your emails are received. There is no rule on what tone to use in customer service. You can start by defining yours.
For example, many companies may want to keep their tone simple and formal. In comparison, others may want to include humor and slang. Again, your tone depends on your brand.
To further personalize your emails, you can change the tone of your customer support over time. When your relationship with a customer is fresh, it is better to keep things formal. Over time, when the customer makes more purchases and becomes a regular customer, the tone of voice could be shifted to a more friendly side.
Whatever your tone may be, make sure your agents ensure that it is maintained throughout the email.
6 tips for writing better customer service emails
Personalize your customer service emails
Personalization goes a long way in building rapport and making the customer feel valued. Step one to personalizing is using your customer’s name in the emails. Behavior triggers are another way of including personalization in your customer service emails.
But personalization in customer service emails is not just limited to using names or sending behavioral emails. It also includes making your customers feel like they are talking to a human. Framing the conversation between two people helps with personalization as well. Here is an example of framing conversations between two people:
Simply including your customer representative’s name in the email adds that human touch and makes your customer feel more valued. Personalizing emails will be easier for your customer support agents when they have access to a customer’s history with your company.
Keep it simple
The simpler your customer service email is, the better it is. You don’t want your emails to look like bulky instruction manuals because your customers will not even bother reading them. Always remember that your aim is to provide quick and easy resolutions.
Many times customer service emails are messy and need to have instructions comprehensively and sequentially. That is always a bad customer service email.
An excellent way to write a simple yet effective customer service email is to ask the following questions:
- What does the customer need before starting the resolution?
- How can the customer get the solution? Is there a sequence of steps that need to be followed?
You can write the email depending on the answers to the following questions.
For example, start by listing the prerequisites required for the resolution process. Then mention the steps by which resolution can be achieved.
Convert negative messages into positive
At times you may have delivered negative news to your customers. However, it’s better not to be too blunt about it. Instead, you can convert negative messages into positive ones. Here’s an example of how you can do it:
Negative: Our systems will go down on 22 February 2023, which means you cannot use our application.
Positive: To ensure system maintenance, we will be shutting our systems on 22 February 2023. No worries though, we’ll be back soon, and you can continue crafting beautiful emails with us!
The message remains the same but the way it is delivered changes. It may look like little, but your customers will positively interpret messages only if they are framed similarly.
If you know how something feels, you are naturally more empathetic to another. So, teach your agents to practice putting themselves into the customer’s shoes before writing the email. Here’s what Teresa Lodato, the founder of Becoming Aware, has to say:
“If a client goes more in-depth about their issue or their frustration/feelings around the issue, it is important to respond by acknowledging how they are feeling while placing yourself in their shoes. To do this, train your team not immediately to reply to an email but to take a few moments first to become aware of what they imagine it would feel like to be the customer experiencing the issue. Then have your team think about what they would want to happen if they were in the client’s shoes.”
Start your emails with messages of empathy like “We understand your issue and apologize for the inconvenience caused” and not with “We are committed to providing the best service and value you as a customer.”
Here are other empathy phrases that can be used when writing customer service emails:
- “I hear you.”
- “I understand why you are frustrated about [the issue at hand].”
- “I completely agree with you.”
- “I am extremely sorry for the inconvenience you’ve had to face, and I am here to help.”
Make reading emails easier
Your customer service emails should be structured in such a way that reading through them is easy for your clients. Many times your customers may send in multiple questions in the same email. Instead of sending a long paragraph with answers, you could try structuring the email in such a way that each question is answered individually.
You can also use the SCRAP model to write emails in a logically structured manner that’s easy to follow and understand.
The acronym stands for situation, complication, resolution, action, and politeness. Here is what the scrap model is all about:
Thank customers for their email, empathize with them or apologize for the inconvenience.
Outline the problem to show you understand it.
Provide the complete solution they are seeking, along with any resources they will need.
Enlist the action your company will take or the one the customer should take.
End the email on a polite note. If need be, apologize again.
This model is just one example of structuring emails for better readability. You can create your models and circulate them amongst your agents. Finally, urge your staff to read emails from the client’s perspective to ensure they are understandable.
Leave no room for confusion
A great customer service email provides complete information (the customer will require that). You are responsible for writing the email to cover all the information your consumer would need, even if they have yet to ask for it formally.
This email by ConverKit is an excellent example of an email that provides complete information and provides no room for confusion:
As you can see, the email contains all information and even lets the customer know that they can email for any questions. This way the customer feels satisfied with the mail and is not left hanging to wonder about concerns you have not already addressed.
Customer service email examples
Before we end this piece, here are a few customer service email examples you can use for your reference.
Query response email
Greetings, [Customer Name] We appreciate you getting in touch. We value your interest in our company. This is to confirm that your request for [Topic] has been successfully received. The information needed is provided below: Mention any requested specifics, such as a pricing list or a list of product features. Call [Phone Number] if you require immediate assistance or if you have any other inquiries. Sincerely, [signature]
Hello, [Customer] Welcome to the team! We are overjoyed that you are joining [Company Name]. We have faith that our [product/service] will greatly simplify your life and assist you [Mention Benefits]. Here is a little introduction video that will assist you better understand how our product functions. [Link to Video] To get helpful advice and increase your expertise, you can always subscribe to our blogs or follow us on [Mention Social Media Channel]. Feel free to get in touch with me or our staff at any time if you have any questions or need assistance. We are always available to make your journey enjoyable. Thanks, [Name]
When you need more time for resolution
Greetings, [Customer Name] We sincerely apologize for any trouble [Mention Complaint] has given you. Although our business aims for 100% customer satisfaction, it is obvious that we have gone short in this case, and your displeasure is understandable. I want to let you know that your issue has been given high priority, and our team is now working to address it. When the problem is rectified, or within [XX Hours], I will get in touch with you to let you know. We value your endurance. Sincerely, [Signature]
When you need more answers
Greetings, [Customer Name] We appreciate you getting in touch. We will undoubtedly assist you with your issue. However, I need additional information from you before we start. When did you first experience this problem? Does the issue happen frequently, or just occasionally? What self-help remedies have you tried? The responses to these inquiries will enable me to delve further and provide a more specialized solution to your issue. Thanks, [Name]
Sending a follow up
Good day, [Customer Name] I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to follow up with you regarding the matter you had earlier brought up. I hope you were successful in fixing your problem after implementing the troubleshooting advice provided in the previous email. I hope you won't experience the same problem once more. I'd be pleased to help you if you require any extra assistance. Enjoy your day! [Name]
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