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10 sample customer service email templates

Email remains an important channel for companies to communicate with customers. Here are some email templates for customer service teams to use in common scenarios.

While customer service email isn't as trendy as video chat or as impressive as AI, it's a reliable, popular method companies use to provide a good customer experience.

Many customers choose email when they want help or to tell a company about an experience -- good or bad. They like being able to write an email any time and receive a detailed written response from the company -- one they can use to hold the company accountable if conflicts emerge.

Some experts predict that newer digital channels will be the death of customer service emails. However, email remains the go-to for many customers, according to Salesforce's 2020 survey reporting that 93% of the 12,000 consumers surveyed use the channel.

To handle the high volume of email, most companies create a library of email templates -- similar to form letters -- for customer service agents to use. Companies often expect customer service agents to customize these templates and respond to customers with personalized answers.

What is customer service email?

Customer service email is a long-standing communication channel that companies use to respond to customer questions, requests for help, feedback and complaints. Many companies have used it since the 1990s.

While customer service email's popularity may have diminished slightly as companies added social media, live chat and messaging channels, it competes with the telephone for most popular channel. For example, Zendesk's 2020 research found 66% of surveyed customers chose the phone to resolve an issue with a company, and 49% chose email.

Customer service email is an asynchronous communication channel, which means the customer and the company are responding at different times. Synchronous customer service communication channels include telephone and live chat. In these, the customer and the company communicate with each other at the same time and during the same customer service session.

Many companies have embraced customer service via email because it enables them to manage a large volume of customer outreach. Businesses don't have to answer emails in real time, as customer service agents can respond outside normal business hours, or during times when they are not receiving phone calls or conducting other time-sensitive tasks.

Customers may prefer to email companies when they need customer service for several reasons, including the following:

  • Email can be sent at any time. Unlike a phone call or chat, customers don't have to wait in a queue to ask questions or express concerns. They can send an email when it's convenient for them.
  • Express questions or concerns in detail. Customers can vent about why they're upset, give the specifics of their problem and ask a series of detailed questions.
  • Ability to send attachments or images. Attachments and images can help clarify communication, such as provide proof of a damaged product or give additional context for a question.
  • Consistent channel communication. A customer who purchases something online will receive a confirmation email from the company. It's easy for a customer to just hit "reply" when they need service.
  • Familiarity with email. Customers are comfortable with email as they often use it daily in their personal and professional lives.

Customer service email best practices

Best practices for customer service teams using email include the following:

Always respond to customer emails

When a customer sends an email with feedback, a customer service agent should always respond -- even if the feedback is unusual, already known or overly emotional. A customer service team should also have a plan for acting on customer feedback and sharing it with other departments.

Respond to customer emails promptly

Customers want quick responses to their emails, and businesses that take longer than a day to reply will frustrate them. Nearly 22% of surveyed customers expected a response to an email in less than an hour, according to the previously mentioned Zendesk survey.

Since a customer service team may not have the staff or resources to answer customers emails in less than an hour, here are some tips for answering as promptly as possible and managing customer expectations:

  • Send an autoresponder email. Immediately confirm the customer's email has been received. Let the customer know when they'll be provided with a specific answer to their question. Link to self-service options such as FAQs, user guides and videos.
  • Publish a promised response time. Customers dislike the uncertainty of waiting to receive a reply. Publish response times on the customer service page on the company website or anywhere else customers might find the customer service email address.

Answer customer questions completely

Sometimes customers email to ask simple questions, such as hours of operation. It's easy to give a complete answer to a question such as this. However, customers questions are often less cut-and-dry, and the task of responding completely is more complicated.

Answering customer questions completely includes the following three parts:

  • Read incoming customer email carefully. Notice what they're saying, what they're asking and how they're feeling.
  • Answer the questions the customer asked in the email. Look for sentences that begin with question words (who, what, where, when, why and how) or end with question marks.
  • Anticipate and answer questions the customer didn't know to ask. For example, if a customer emails their bank to ask, "Can I change the number on my savings account?" the answer from customer service will be, "No, you cannot change the number on an existing savings account." While this answer is correct, it's not complete. To write a complete response, consider the customer's ultimate goal and answer the question they didn't know to ask. In this case, the customer's goal is to get a new number for their savings account or disable the old number. If the customer thought ahead, they might have asked, "How do I get a new number for my savings account?" A customer service agent should also answer this (unasked) question for the customer by possibly saying, "The only way to get a new savings account number is to close the existing account and open a new one. Here's how to close your account ending in 1234 and open a new account." The agent should also include the appropriate links for the customer to close or open an account.

Customize the email template to provide a personalized response

An email template is a starting point for writing a personalized response to a customer. A customer service agent must always customize an email response to assure the customer that someone is taking their question, comment or complaint seriously.

The following tips explain how to personalize a response:

  • Omit any part of the template that's not needed. Reading off-topic information makes customers suspicious about the entire email.
  • Paraphrase the information the customer shared. For example, a customer emails the company saying, "Twice last week, I drove over to your Springfield store so I could return this vacuum. But the store wasn't open even though the sign on the door and your website said it would be open!" In their response, the agent should paraphrase the customer's information, and respond saying, "I'm so sorry you made multiple visits to our Springfield store only to find it wasn't open when it should be."
  • Use specifics. Greet the customer by name. Include the customer's account number, date of purchase, loyalty program status or location.
  • Empathize. Customize at least one sentence that empathizes with the customer's perspective, actions or emotions. Because every customer is different, most templates don't include a prewritten empathy sentence. Agents need to write this sentence differently for each customer. For example, an agent could write, "I understand why you need us to correct this invoicing error promptly," or "You're right. Our application process can be confusing, so please let me show you the quickest way to begin."

Don't use the email template if it doesn't answer the question or will hurt the relationship

While an email template makes it easier to respond quickly and concisely to customers, there are instances where a scripted response isn't appropriate. Customers with questions or concerns might need more personalized or detailed answers than a template can provide. With this in mind, it's important to evaluate each customer email and craft an understanding and helpful response to maintain a positive relationship. A template should not be used if it does the following:

  • Doesn't answer the question. Even if the company has a large library of customer service email templates, customers will still send questions or complaints for which a customer service agent doesn't have a template. Don't use a vaguely relevant template. For example, an email template for, "How to calculate shipping costs," shouldn't be used to reply to a customer's inquiry about international shipping if that template only explains how to calculate domestic shipping. Instead, customize a response.
  • Hurts the relationship. When a customer is feeling disregarded or disrespected by the company, don't use a template. A scripted answer will only make the customer feel worse. Instead, customize a sincere, empathetic and tailored response. The last thing an emotional, unhappy customer wants to read is a copy-and-paste email.

10 customer service email templates

The following templates cover common customer service situations. Each template uses brackets to identify the places where a customer service agent should customize their response. To help customize, these templates include placeholders, prompts and optional sections.

  • Placeholders. Simple placeholders are for pieces of information, such as an account number or a date. A placeholder looks like this: [account number].
  • Prompts. Prompts indicate where an agent should customize a sentence or part of a sentence. A prompt looks like this: [situation/product that made the customer angry].
  • Optional section. Some templates include optional paragraphs or bulleted lists.

1. Response to an angry customer

Hello [Name],

Thank you for letting us know about [situation/product that made the customer angry]. We're truly sorry we let you down.

[Optional section]

Here are the steps we'll take to make this situation right:

  • Coach [our employee about how to complete this process properly, etc.]
  • Train [our front desk staff on our new check-in procedures, etc.]
  • Research [your account history and correct this invoicing error, etc.]
  • Update [our procedures for onboarding new clients, correcting invoice errors, etc.]
  • Fix [the broken link in our customer portal, our lobby kiosks, etc.]
  • Follow up [on your tech support ticket, etc.]

[Optional section]

As a goodwill gesture, we're sending you a [coupon code, discount offer, voucher, etc.]. We hope you'll give us another try!

If you have any questions, please reply to this email or call our Customer Service Team at 1-800-123-4567. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

2. Response to a happy customer

Hello [Name],

Thanks so much for letting us know about [situation/product/staff member that made the customer happy]! I'll share your feedback with [the staff member's manager, the product development team, etc.]. Thanks for being a fan and for taking the time to email us about your experience.

[Optional section: Where words are underlined, add hyperlinks]

Because you had a great experience with [our product, service, staff member, etc.], I thought you might like to know about other ways to connect:

  • Join us on [date] for [event]
  • Follow us on social media [Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn]
  • Subscribe to our newsletter for special offers and discounts
  • Watch our YouTube videos about [topic]

If you have questions, please reply to this email or call our customer service team at 1-800-123-4567. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

3. Response to a customer's request for a refund

Hello [Name],

We're following up on your request for a refund for [product name, subscription fee, etc.]. Given [the delivery delay, your unhappiness with the product, our error in sending you the wrong product, etc.], we will certainly refund your payment of [$000]. We will issue this refund to your credit card ending in [XXXX]. You should see this refund on your credit card statement within 7 to 10 business days.

[Optional section]

We're truly sorry we let you down. As a goodwill gesture, we're sending you a [coupon code, discount offer, voucher, etc.]. We hope you'll give us another try!

If you have any questions, please reply to this email or call our customer service team at 1-800-123-4567. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

4. Follow-up to an unresponsive customer

Hello [Name],

I'm checking in again about [our request for your mailing address, to schedule a virtual demo of our product, for you to provide updated information about your life insurance policy beneficiary, etc.]. We need this information, so we can [outcome]. Could you reply to this email and include this information by [date or timeframe, e.g., end of the week, end of the day, tomorrow, etc.]? Thank you very much.

[Optional section]

We do realize this [process, request, etc.] can be [time-consuming, detailed, overwhelming, etc.], so we'd be glad to help you complete it. Please let me know if you'd like to [schedule a call, schedule a meeting, share your desktop, etc.]. I'm glad to help!

If you have any questions, please reply to this email or call our customer service team at 1-800-123-4567. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

5. Checking in with a customer

Hello [Name],

I hope all is well with you and your team at [company]. I'm checking in with you today to follow up on [topic]. It's been [a while, X days, weeks, months, etc.] since we discussed this, and I don't want [this issue, this opportunity, your request, etc.] to fall off your radar or mine!

[Optional section. Delete the bullets if one is used]

  • Would you like to schedule a call? If so, please let me know about a convenient date and time.
  • Did you have any additional questions about [insert topic or product]? I'd be glad to talk through them with you, whenever it's convenient.

To reach me directly, please email me at [email protected] or call my direct line: 1-800-111-2222. You can also reply to this email or call our customer service team at 1-800-123-4567. All our agents have access to your account information and can help you. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

6. Response to an inquiry from a customer

Hello [Name],

Thanks for contacting us about [paraphrase the customer's inquiry]. I'm glad to provide the [information, details, answers, specifications, etc.] you requested. [Insert the answer to the customer's question here. Include hyperlinks, images or attachments, if needed.]

[Optional section: Where words are underlined, add hyperlinks]

If you'd like additional information about [topic of inquiry], please take a look at:

  • Our online catalog, where you can search for [topic of inquiry]
  • Our [FAQs], where you can learn more about [topic of inquiry]
  • Our social media channels, including [link to Twitter, Instagram, etc.]
  • Our newsletter, which provides tips and offers related to [topic of inquiry]

To reach me directly, please email me at [email protected] or call my direct line: 1-800-111-2222. You can also reply to this email or call our customer service team at 1-800-123-4567. All our agents have access to your account information and can help you. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

7. Response to customer's request for technical support

Hello [Name],

Thanks for your question about [paraphrase the customer's request for technical support]. We're glad to help! From the description you provided, I believe the issue is [explain the situation or why the problem is happening]. Here's what we'll need to do to get you up and running with [product or process]:

[List the steps agent will take or wants the customer to take. The steps listed here are just placeholders.]

  1. Log in to your account at _______________
  2. Check the following settings: _______________
  3. Download_______________

[Optional section: Where words are underlined, add hyperlinks.]

For future reference, here are links to other [name of product or process] resources:

  • [FAQs], where you can search on [term] to learn more about [technical topic]
  • [Documentation, user guide], which provides detailed information on [technical topic]
  • [Video, diagram], which takes you through [process], step by step

If you have any additional questions, please reply to this email or call our customer service team at 1-800-123-4567. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

8. Response refusing a customer's request for a discount

Hello [Name],

Thanks for contacting us to request a discount on [product, fee, membership, subscription, etc.]. We're sorry, but we're not offering that type of discount [on that product, this month, for Starter Package customers, etc.]

[Optional section. Where words are underlined, add hyperlinks.]

I do understand why you reached out to ask about this, so here are some ways you can take advantage of one of our upcoming [offers or discounts]:

  • Subscribe to our newsletter where we share news about special offers.
  • Join [name], our loyalty program. [Name] customers are eligible for discounts and other deals.
  • Contact your account manager, [Name], directly. [He/She] may be able to provide discounts in the future.

If you have any questions, please reply to this email or call our customer service team at 1-800-123-4567. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

9. Welcoming a new customer

Hello [Name],

Welcome to [product name, service, subscription, etc.]! Thanks so much for [buying, joining, subscribing, signing-up for, etc.] We're looking forward to [helping you with X, supporting your X efforts, providing you with X], so you can [outcome of using our product, service, subscription, etc.].

[Optional section: Where words are underlined, add hyperlinks]

We offer lots of ways to connect:

  • Join us on [date] for [event]
  • Follow us on social media [Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn]
  • Subscribe to our newsletter for special offers and discounts
  • Watch our YouTube videos about [topic]

We're here to help! If you have any questions, please reply to this email or call our customer service team at 1-800-123-4567. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

10. Autoresponder confirming receipt of customer's incoming email

Hello,

Thanks for contacting our customer service team. This email is to let you know we've received your email, and we will reply to you directly within 24 hours.

[Optional section: Where words are underlined, add hyperlinks.]

You may also want to take a look at some of our online help resources:

  • [FAQs], where you can search by keywords or product names
  • [Documentation, user guide], which provides detailed how-to information
  • [Video, diagram], which take you through the process, step by step

If you have any additional questions, please send an email to [email protected] or call our customer service team at 1-800-123-4567. We're available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CST.

Sincerely,
Chris Smith, customer service agent

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