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5 customer service email templates your team will use every day

5 customer service email templates your team will use every day

9
min read

Customer service teams face the dueling challenges of scaling communication while also maintaining a personal touch with each and every interaction. 

Most customer service teams measure success by the response time of each ticket as well as the customer satisfaction for each response. Trying to optimize for both of these metrics can feel like a zero sum game, but you don’t have to sacrifice customer satisfaction as you scale your support operations.

Effective email templates make it possible to improve your customer service emails by increasing response time and satisfying your customers with a personalized interaction. The key is to create high-performing and customizable email templates that your customer service team can use to respond to the most common customer questions and issues. 

A good customer service email template includes: 

  • A personable voice and tone
  • Personalization for the customer’s name and specific question or issue
  • Helpful resources
  • A solution to their issue, or a request for clarifying information
  • A clear list of next steps if applicable

Start improving your customer service emails with our 5 customizable templates.

You can also jump to: 

  • <a href="#managing-templates" class="anchor-link">Tips on managing your team's email template library</a>
  • <a href="#snippets" class="anchor-link">How to create free email templates in Gmail</a>

5 customer service email templates to implement on your support team today.

These 5 customer service email templates will get you started with some of the most common responses your team likely faces.

  1. <a href="#first-response" class="anchor-link">Automated first response email</a>
  2. <a href="#common-question" class="anchor-link">Answer a common question</a>
  3. <a href="#known-issue" class="anchor-link">Known issue - working on the problem</a>
  4. <a href="#more-info" class="anchor-link">Request more information about the issue</a>
  5. <a href="#handoff" class="anchor-link">Handoff to another team member</a>

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div  id="first-response" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

1. Automated first response email

The automated first response email acknowledges that your team received an inquiry and assures the customer that you’ll be responding in a timely manner. 

Although it is clearly an automated message, it gives the customer peace of mind that their email was sent to the correct address and that there’s a procedure in place to provide support. It’s also a great way to provide resources that may help the customer resolve their own issue while they’re waiting. 

This email is endlessly customizable as an opportunity to share your brand’s voice - you could add a little humor, keep it casual, remain polite and formal… whatever best describes your brand and sets the tone for your intended customer service experience. 

Here’s an example to work off of:


Hi,
Thanks for reaching out. This is an automated message to let you know we received your message, but a real human will be in touch as soon as possible. 
Our business hours are {business_hours} and we typically reply within {turnaround_time}. If you don’t see a reply within that time frame, please check your spam folder or search for a message from {support_email_address}. 
In the meantime, we also offer resources that may help in our {link_to_knowledge_base}.

Talk to you soon,
{your_business}

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div  id="common-question" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

2. Explain a common question

When dealing with a problem that occurs regularly, customer service agents most often know the solution by heart. 

We understand they’d like to say, “Just turn it off and on again, duh” but the customer is likely facing confusion and may be coming from a place of frustration. You’ll need to channel some empathy, even if it’s your thousandth time explaining this fix. A good email template will help you do just that.

All the elements of a good customer service email still apply:

  • Empathize with the customer
  • Ask for any clarifying information, if applicable
  • Suggest the most likely solution
  • Lay out the next steps if it doesn’t work

Use this example template to get started:

Hi [first name], 
Thank you for contacting us. I’m sorry to hear you couldn’t log into your account. Not being able to access your data is always frustrating. Let’s fix that! 
Since you created an account very recently, let’s start at square one: Have you tried refreshing your browser? Most of the time, that does the trick. 
If it doesn’t, please let us know, and we’ll go through a few more troubleshooting steps. We'll make sure you can access your account ASAP. 
Thanks again for contacting us. We’re always happy to help. 
Best, 
[your name]

Using this format, you can create email templates for each common question or issue.

This should be a living list of templates that grows and adapts as your team encounters new commonly asked questions and launches new products or services.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div  id="known-issue" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

3. Known issue - working on the problem

This is used when a customer is contacting you about an ongoing issue. The template requires: 

  • Acknowledging the issue
  • Apologizing
  • Explaining the issue

On top of the apology and explanation, the customer service agent must also tell the customer what they can expect moving forward. 

You may use this template as a general guide for any issues your customers experience, and update it for each specific issue.

For example, if your website is down, fill in the blanks for the template accordingly and add it as a snippet for your customer service team. The next time something happens - maybe a shipment got delayed - you can use the same template but update the variables accordingly and share with your team. This way you can direct how your company responds to each situation and each customer service representative only needs to apply the snippet and hit send.

Hi [first name], 

Thank you for contacting us about [the problem]. We understand this issue has caused you [consequence], and we would like to apologize for the inconvenience. 

Our [system/software] is currently experiencing issues because of [explanation]. Our team is currently in the process of [implementing the solution].

Here is what you can expect moving forward: [action 1], [action 2], [action 3]. You can expect us to contact you again in the next [time frame]. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Best, 

[your name]

If you have a status page or another place you log updates about ongoing issues, direct customers toward it in your email. The more proactive you can be about how to find information about issue resolution, the less inquiries your support team will have to field.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div  id="more-info" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

4. Request more information about an issue

Let’s be honest, when a frustrated customer writes in about an issue, they’re not always making the most sense. Any customer service representative can probably recall an all-caps email they received that said little more than “IT’S NOT WORKING!!!!”

Customer service agents often need to ask clarifying questions and learn more about the customer or issue in order to solve it. This could mean you need to know: 

  • An order number
  • A certain date
  • Steps taken to reproduce a bug
  • What the customer is seeing or experiencing in more detail

Having a template to quickly request this information can help your support team solve issues and resolve tickets more quickly, increasing customer satisfaction along the way.

In your reply, you should: 

  • Apologize
  • Request further information
  • Offer possible explanations

Your email should look something like this: 

Hi [first name], 
We are sorry to hear you are having issues with [product/service]. We’ll do everything in our power to solve the problem ASAP. 
Before we can do so, I have a few questions about [problem]. I was hoping you could offer some further information. 
If I understand correctly, you have experienced [possible explanation #1]. Is that correct? If possible, could you please include a screenshot or photo of [issue] so I can take a closer look?
Thank you for your patience, and look forward to hearing from you. 
Best, 
[your name]

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div  id="handoff" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

5. Handoff to another team member

You might expect to use this template when dealing with an angry customer demanding to speak to the manager. 

That’s not always the case. 

Customer service agents can also utilize it when they don’t have the knowledge or the authority to make a decision. For example, a customer wants to negotiate their pricing and needs to speak with a sales representative to do so.

Here’s a handy template for this situation:

Hi [first name], 
Thank you for reaching out about [problem]. We’d be happy to discuss [customer request].
I’m going to loop in [team member’s name], who is best suited to help you with this request.
You can expect [team member’s name] to contact you within the next [time frame]. In the meantime, please let me know if I can continue to help you with any [technical/order/service] support.
Thank you for your patience. 
Best, 
[your name]

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div  id="managing-templates" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

Shared vs. individual email templates for customer service teams

If your customer service team isn’t already using email templates, creating a few for the 5 common scenarios above is a quick and impactful way to improve your team’s performance. But as your team scales and the number of templates increases, you’ll need to find a way to maintain the quality of your templates.

Generally, customer service teams manage their email templates in two ways. 

  1. Customer service representatives each create and maintain their own library of email templates. The benefits of this is that each person can add their own personal touch to their templates, and they can quickly adapt templates based on what’s working or not working with their customers.
  1. A customer service team will have a library of shared templates that are managed by a designated member(s) of the team. This allows you to update how the team responds to certain situations without needing to train each employee. For example, if a supply chain issue is causing delays for your company, you can edit the shared snippet with new information each week to pass on the most relevant updates to your customers. Similarly, if a link to a resource changes, you only have to update it in the shared snippet and you can rest assured that your customer service reps will all be using the new resource.

Shared snippets allow you to train employees faster and have confidence in the quality of their interactions as you scale your team, while individual snippets give reps more ability to use personal voice and problem solving in their interactions.

Typically, a customer service team will want to use a combination of the shared snippets and individual snippets. It’s important for some snippets to be consistent across the entire team, like a response to a major issue. But in other areas, you can allow your customer service representatives to add their own voice and problem solving skills.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div  id="snippets" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

Create shared and individual customer service email templates in Gmail for free

Streak allows you to create both shared and individual email snippets in Gmail with our free browser extension.

To create your first snippet with Streak: 

  1. Install the free browser extension for your Chrome or Safari browser
  2. Compose a new email in Gmail
  3. Click the Snippets icon in the compose window toolbar
  4. Create a snippet from your current email draft, or click “Manage snippets” to create a new snippet
  5. Name your snippet 
  6. Give your snippet a Shortcut Code (e.g. faq/password-reset )
  7. Share the snippet to a Pipeline
  8. click Create to save your snippet to Streak.

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