Customer service emails provide an excellent opportunity to engage directly with your customers. How well you manage and execute customer service emails can affect how customers view you and impact sales and ROI. Manage customer service emails efficiently and watch customer satisfaction scores soar. When customers are happy, they tend to spend more while singing your praises.

What are customer service emails?

Customer service emails are email responses to customers who want to resolve an issue, have a question answered or deliver a complaint.

Most customers prefer email communication to resolve an issue or get a direct answer to a question or complaint. Fortunately, for customers, social media is also available as an option if attempts at email communication fail. However, it is not a good day for your brand or business if users are taking to social media to air their complaints and frustrations.

Avoid negative brand attention by prioritising customer service emails, ensuring your customers enjoy their email interactions with your staff. Instead of social media complaints, you may receive positive reviews that ultimately benefit your brand reputation.

Why are they important?

Customer service emails are important because they are an extension of your business and provide a direct line of communication with your valued customers.

Customers expect quick and effective responses to customer service emails in our ‘always-on’ economy. The average response time to answer a customer service email is 12 hours. By this time, many customers have become frustrated and will consider switching to a more responsive competitor.

According to Forbes, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. A great customer experience includes receiving timely responses to queries and requests. Customers expect customer service agents to prioritise their requests, be friendly and help them solve their problems.

This can be a tall order when you have limited staff and demanding customers. Without a customer service email management tool, customer service teams are left to resolve customer queries on the fly. This strategy is bound to result in emails being answered well past the suitable timeframe or missed entirely.

Types of customer service emails

Customer service agents deal with myriad queries, complaints, and responses daily. Knowing how to effectively respond to each customer service email type means your team is prepared to send quick, friendly and effective customer service emails in return.

1. Customer complaints

No company is perfect. Mistakes will be made. Customers will complain. Knowing how to deal effectively with dissatisfied customers is essential. This customer service email interaction is an opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into an impressed one. Are you able to offer solutions? Perhaps a voucher will make up for an unexpected error. Whatever you decide to do, do it quickly and efficiently. An unhappy customer who is kept waiting is likely to turn to other channels that are more public and potentially damaging to your brand. Keeping customer complaints to email allows you to minimise damage and resolve the issue quickly.

2. Request for information

A customer may contact you requesting more information about your product or service. Customers may fill out a web contact form, download a brochure or reach out via email or social media channels. In this instance, the customer has explicitly requested to engage with you. It is important to honour that and get back to them quickly.

Speed here matters. This customer is what we would call a hot lead. They have made an effort to reach out, so ensure you do the same. Respond quickly to acknowledge receipt of the request. Now the customer knows their email is important to you, and they can expect a response timeously.

3. Technical support

Customers often need support with a product or feature. If you have a customer who needs step-by-step help to perform a simple task, you must assess the situation to be clear about what they require. It is no use sending a quick response if the response does not satisfy their need for support.

Keep in mind that when customers reach out for support, they may already feel frustrated. Aim to keep them calm and ensure them you are here to help. Having step-by-step instructions for the most received requests will help your customer support team satisfy customers quickly and efficiently.

Examples of “good” customer service emails

Good customer service emails answer all the customer’s questions rapidly and efficiently. It is recommended that you set up customer service email templates that your team has easy access to. This ensures all communication across individual customer service agents is consistent while reducing time to reply.

Do you want to read some customer service email templates? Head over to our Customer Service Emails Response Templates blog to read more.

Tips on how to write customer service emails

1. Be human

It is important that customers feel that they are interacting with a person who cares about their request and is committed to helping them solve their query. No customer wants to receive a standard bland response that does not actually assist. On the flip side they also do not want to receive an overly technical email filled with jargon and company acronyms.

According to The 2017 State of Personalization Report 71% of customers express some level of frustration due to an impersonal customer experience. Ensure your emails contain language that feels natural and is easy for the customer to understand. Ask questions and reassure them that you are here to help.

2. Be quick

Nowadays customers expect a response within an hour or less. Many companies are still falling short of this benchmark with only 36% of companies replying to incoming customer queries within an hour. This leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Measuring and improving your time to reply is essential al to building a successful customer service email strategy. You don’t need to necessarily resolve the customer’s issue in your first reply. So long as the customer knows you are attending to their problem, you will at least put them at ease that you are not about to ignore your loyal customers or their concerns.

Example 1 :

Hello [visitor name],

Thank you so much for getting in touch! We want to confirm that we received your request for information regarding our services. We will contact you within [x] hours with a comprehensive response.

However, do not hesitate to call our helpline [phone number] if you require immediate assistance.

The [company name] team

Do you want to learn more about improving email response times? Read Tips to improve email response times

3. Answer all the questions

When answering customer service emails, your response must answer all the customer’s questions. Take the time to carefully read through the customer’s entire email to ascertain all their questions. If your customer service team has all the necessary templates and information, it should be easy for them to respond with all the required information. Should you be uncertain about anything from the customer, get clarification.

Example 2 :

Hi [Customer Name],

Thank you for your email. We are ready and happy to help you.

However, I do not quite follow your request for help with [x]. Is there any chance you could provide a screenshot and offer a bit more detail? That would be super helpful.

I will do my best to help as quickly as possible.

Many thanks,
[Cusomer Service Agent’s Name]

Taking the time to answer the initial customer service query thoroughly ensures there is less back and forth between the customer and the customer service team. This minimises workload and quickly moves the customer from dissatisfied to satisfied.

The benefits of timetoreply when it comes to customer service emails

Customer service emails can prove challenging to manage, especially if you do not have visibility over response times and customer satisfaction scores. If your team is not effectively dealing with customer service emails, it can negatively impact customer satisfaction levels, increase customer churn and ultimately dimmish potential revenue.

Using a customer service email software tool, such as timetoreply, can support your customer service team by offering several benefits that include:

1. Smarter workload management

timetoreply produces data that helps you identify areas of improvement. With timetoreply’s insights, managers more effectively manage resources and determine where more training and support are required. Our easy-to-understand dashboard provides a quick overview of peak email traffic times, individual workloads, average email response times and average first reply times.

2. Live alerts

Keeping track of large volumes of incoming mail can prove problematic. Despite your team’s best efforts, there’s always a chance that an important email is missed or forgotten about. timetoreply keeps track of emails and sends live alerts to remind customer service agents when an email is about to reach its SLA threshold. This way, your customer service team will never miss a customer service email again.

3. Data-driven decisions

Using timetoreply equips you with accurate data on the email performance of your customer service teams. Know which customer service agents are struggling to meet their SLAs, how fast their time to reply is and what improvements have been made. When applied smartly, these data insights can help you achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction and deliver better bottom-line results.

Impress your customers and watch your revenue grow

You will positively impact revenue by impressing customers with fast, friendly, and effective customer service email responses. Companies that offer a superior customer experience will bring in almost six times more revenue than competitors that offer a sub-standard customer experience.

timetoreply is the ideal solution for companies that want to gain actionable intelligence into their customer service teams’ email productivity. Our solution is a powerful addition to existing email activities. It does not require any process changes or costly deployments.

Within minutes of activating timetoreply in your Gmail or Outlook email environment, managers gain a granular view of average reply times, conversations, inbound mails, how quickly requests are resolved, and more.

Without the need to migrate team email activities to a new platform or conduct training to get customer-facing teams up to speed, timetoreply easily slots into existing processes and immediately generates value.

Don’t just take our word for it – try it free for 15 days.

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