In this post you’re going to learn customer service email basics and best practices, and you’ll get 15 customer service email templates to use as you like.
This post includes:
- The 5 critical customer service email best practices
- 15 customer service email templates you can use
- Things to avoid in customer service emails
- Lots more!
So if you want to easily improve your customer service communication and get happier customers, this post is for you.
Let’s jump in.
A smart approach to text-based customer service is to cultivate a set of customer service email templates which you can use as the basis for your written customer communications.
That way, you won’t have to try to write a brand-new message from scratch, you can save time, and you can rely on a consistent set of responses—so you can measure how effective they are.
The trouble for most companies is developing those templates from scratch. That’s why I thought I’d spare you at least some of the effort; here I present you with the best customer service email templates I’ve found (and used myself), so you can use them as you see fit.
Customer Service Email Best Practices
Let’s start with some basic best practices you should apply to all your customer service emails, regardless of which template you’re using (or not using):
1. Reply quickly. Never underestimate the power of response time. Customers who get quick responses—even if they’re not ideal—are always happier than those who have to wait days before hearing back.
2. Apologize when necessary. An apology, even if it’s short and sweet, will instantly make the rest of your message easier to receive.
3. Remain concise, but offer more information. As long as you’re conveying the message you want to convey, shorter emails are better—but never hesitate to provide a handful of links or attachments with further reading for your customer to explore if they’re interested.
4. Make an offer. If the customer has an issue or isn’t happy, try to make things right. Sometimes, a freebie, a discount, or a refund is all it takes to smooth things over.
5. Make them feel heard. Perhaps most importantly, make sure your customer feels like you care about what they have to say. Make them feel heard, and make sure they feel invited to continue the conversation if they want.
Customer Service Email Templates
Now let’s get to the examples.
These customer service email templates are designed to address general steps of the customer service process, and will therefore need tweaked based on the types of products, services, and experiences you offer:
1. The welcome email.
Whenever someone starts working with your business for the first time or buys a product from you initially, it’s a good idea to send a welcome email. It sets a positive tone for the relationship, and makes the customer feel acknowledged. If your customer is going to have a dedicated account representative, this is a good time to introduce them.
Thanks for joining us! I just wanted to send you a warm welcome to the [brand] family.
My name is [name] and I’m going to be your account representative. If you have any questions, or if there’s anything you need to make your experience better, just hit Reply and I’ll do whatever I can to help.
In the meantime, feel free to check out the following links, which will introduce you to our core products and services, and make sure to follow us on [social media]!
2. A quick thank-you.
Thank-you emails are a great way to thank someone for making a purchase, paying a bill, or otherwise taking some action that benefits your business. It’s also wise to send out periodic thank-you emails to your longest-running and/or most loyal clients.
Thank you for your recent order! We’re thrilled to have you as a customer, and we hope your [product] is everything you needed it to be.
If there’s anything we can do to make your experience better, or if you have any standing questions or concerns, make sure to let us know! Otherwise, we hope [product] comes in handy, and we’ll look forward to talking with you soon.
3. “We’ll get back to you soon.”
If you’re collecting customer comments, questions, complaints, and other messages from your website, you may not have time (or people on staff) to answer emails immediately. That said, it’s still important to send some kind of acknowledgement to customers who submit a form or send a message through your site.
Something like this should work:
Thanks for your message. One of our talented team members is going to personally reply in 24 hours—but in the meantime, make sure you check out our website’s FAQ section to see if there’s anything answered there.
We’ll be in touch soon,
4. Responding to a compliment or praise.
It’s always nice when someone goes out of their way to compliment your product, or offer praise to the people who work for your company. If and when you receive these messages, it’s appropriate to offer a response.
Thank you for the compliment. We take great pride in offering solid products and exemplary customer service, but it’s only through customer feedback that we know for sure we’re doing things right.
We’ll be sure to pass on your positive feedback so we can keep making things better for all our customers, and if there’s ever anything you need, don’t hesitate to reach out.
5. Responding to a complaint or angry customer.
Unfortunately, those happy, complimentary emails probably aren’t going to be as popular as complaints from angry customers; that’s because when everything’s just right, there’s little reason to go out of your way to communicate with someone.
Regardless, how you handle your unhappiest customers can make or break your reputation, so tread carefully.
Here’s a good example of a template to handle a complaint:
I’m so sorry to hear you weren’t satisfied with your [product/latest experience]. I completely understand why you’re frustrated, and I’m eager to make things right.
[Option 1: If you’re interested, we’ll be happy to ship you out a brand new product, free of charge, and we’re also prepared to issue you a refund for your initial purchase.]
[Option 2: This is a technical issue that has affected many of our customers, and our development team is aware of it. We’re working hard, as we speak, to issue a patch that corrects it.]
[Option 3: Your negative experience is completely unacceptable, and we’re holding a staff meeting to reinforce our customer service standards so something like this doesn’t happen again.]
If there’s anything else we can do to make things right, just let us know.
We hope for the opportunity to serve you in the future.
Note that the core content of this message will need to change, based on the type of issue the customer is facing.
6. Getting more information.
Occasionally, you’ll get a message from a customer regarding a specific issue, or a question, but you won’t have enough information to give them a full response. In this case, you’ll need to prompt the sender for some additional information.
I’m [name] and I’d love to help answer your question. But before I can, there are a few bits of information I need to collect.
What’s the name and model number of the product you’re using? Is this the first time the issue has occurred? What were the circumstances of your experience with the issue?
Let me know the answers to these questions, and in the meantime, check out our FAQ pages for supplementary information.
7. Issuing a refund.
If you have a fully functional eCommerce platform, returns might be pretty seamless, but if you get a refund request you want to address for some reason, you can use a message to clear things up and get the process moving.
I noticed you’re issuing a refund request for [product/service]. I’m sorry to hear we weren’t able to meet your expectations, and I’ll get the refund process moving right away.
Is there something we could have done better? Or were there any features that the product was missing that would have been satisfactory? We’re always looking for customer feedback we can use to improve, so anything you can tell us is helpful.
I’m also enclosing instructions on how to return your product to us directly.
Thank you in advance!
8. Answering a question.
Answering customer questions is going to be highly variable, since there are so many different types of questions a customer could ask. However, this general framework should serve the majority of situations you encounter.
Thanks for reaching out. I believe I can answer your question.
If you’re looking for more information, or if you want to learn more, we have a series of guides on our website meant for educational purposes. Be sure to check them out.
Is that information helpful?
Let me know,
9. Addressing a customer who’s leaving.
If a customer has ended their subscription, or terminated their contract with you, you’ll get one last chance to win them back—or at least send them off on the best possible terms. In this cancellation email, you’ll want to do what you can to salvage the relationship, and end things right.
I’m sorry to hear that you’re leaving us. If you’re willing to provide us with some feedback, I’d love to know more about the reason for your departure. Is there something more we can do for you? Perhaps there’s another way for us to move forward, or work together in the future.
If not, I understand, and offer my apologies that we’re currently unable to serve your needs.
Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to ease your transition, or if there’s anything we can do to improve our own services.
10. Acknowledging a feature request.
If you have a mobile app or website, you might have customers asking for new features. Otherwise, they may request new products to keep in stock, new services to offer, or other expansions of your services. You can address these requests in a few different ways.
Here’s a good catch-all example:
We always love to hear ideas from our customers, so first, thanks for reaching out!
[Option 1: This is actually a feature we’ve been considering, so keep your eye out for an announcement in the near future! Great minds think alike.]
[Option 2: While we’d love to incorporate something like this into our business (and we still might in the future), right now we’re focused on other priorities. Still, we’d like to thank you for bringing it to our attention, and we’ll definitely keep it in mind.]
Thanks for your insight,
11. Issuing a reminder.
Occasionally, a customer will need to take action, like making a payment, submitting information, or updating their profile. If this is the case, a gentle reminder email is a practical necessity. Including “Reminder” in the subject line is a good additional measure to take.
I noticed you haven’t [taken action] yet. Just as a reminder, we need your submission by [date].
If you have any questions, or if there’s anything you need on our end, just reach out and let us know.
12. A handoff.
If you aren’t able to answer a customer’s question, or if you need to get a supervisor or higher-up involved, managing the transition is important; you don’t want to seem dismissive or uninterested in the customer’s concerns, and you need to reassure them you’re going to get them closer to their goal.
I understand your question/concern, but unfortunately, I don’t feel equipped to address it myself. I want to make sure you get a resolution, so I’m forwarding your email to our [position], [name]. They’re much more familiar with this kind of thing, and should be able to help you get what you need.
Let me know if you need anything else.
13. Requesting feedback.
There are many good trigger points that could spur you to ask a customer for feedback. You might wait a few days after they’ve received your product, then ask them what they think. Or you could reach out if they haven’t engaged with your brand in a while.
Either way, something like this works:
We love to hear from customers. It helps us understand how well we’re doing, and usually gives us feedback we can use to improve in the future.
Would you mind leaving us a review, or sending us your thoughts? Let us know how you’re liking [product], how satisfied you’ve been with your service thus far, and if there’s anything we can do to improve.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
14. A general check-in.
If your clients pay for monthly services, or otherwise consume your products passively, it’s a good idea to check in periodically with a general, open-ended message.
How are things going? We haven’t gotten to touch base in a while, and I just wanted to make sure you were happy with everything.
As always, I’ll be your account representative here, so feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns.
15. The follow up.
If you’ve recently answered a question or resolved a customer issue, it’s wise to send a quick follow-up to make sure you’ve satisfied the customer. If they walk away feeling like their needs weren’t addressed, you could lose them as a customer forever. But if you reach out a few days later, they may feel motivated to acknowledge their dissatisfaction.
I just wanted to follow up on our conversation about [nature of the issue]. On my end, it looks like we resolved your issue, but I wanted to make sure you were satisfied with the resolution.
Are you all set? Is there anything else I can help you with?
Make sure to let me know!
In addition to these examples, it’s a good idea to write up a handful of customer service email templates that are specific to your products or services.
For example, if you’ve created a mobile app, you’ll probably experience some common questions from your users; draft some emails that contain step-by-step instructions on how to navigate technical issues, and keep them on standby.
What to Avoid in Your Customer Service Email Templates
It’s important to note that customer service email templates alone aren’t enough to make your customer service strategy successful.
Templates have one major weakness, but you can make up for it if you know it’s there: they can be overly formulaic. In other words, every customer is different, with different wants and needs, a different perspective, and a different disposition.
If you try to use the same template for all of them, over and over, you’re not going to get the results you want. And in some cases, the generic nature of your template will make people feel like they’re talking to a robot.
The solution is to use customer service email templates as a guide—a framework that you can modify, extend, and transform to suit the occasion. Empower your customer service reps to take their own liberties with these templates, rather than simply spamming them out as needed. And for more help improving your customer service, be sure to check out this list of essential customer service skills, these customer service email best practices, these 77 customer service statistics, and our guide on how to use Gmail for customer service.
Additionally, it’s important to know that any customer service email strategy is inherently imperfect, and there are always opportunities for improvement. The only way to improve your approach over time is to measure your results (including response rates, average email response time, and customer satisfaction), experiment with different tactics, and make tweaks until you get closer to perfection.
Accordingly, if you want to make the most of these customer service email templates, you’ll need a tool that can help you analyze your email activity. That’s where EmailAnalytics comes in.
With EmailAnalytics, you’ll be able to tap into all your team members’ Gmail and G Suite accounts, measuring metrics like average email response time, top senders and recipients, average email thread length, and even your busiest times and days of the week. Sign up for a free trial today, and get a closer look at your team’s email activity.
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before exiting it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics, and co-host of the podcast The Entrepreneur Cast.