The Do's and Don'ts of Email Customer Service

More and more customer service interactions are happening via email. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on how the emails are written.

Much is written about how customer support teams can write well crafted emails to customers. But customers themselves can also take measures to ensure that their email to customer service will be well received, and more likely to result in a positive outcome.

Keep reading to learn how both customers and customer service team members can improve their email etiquette that results in a better customer service experience for everyone.

What is email customer service and why is it becoming more popular

Just like regular customer service, customer service emails are all about helping customers with their questions or problems.

The big difference is that instead of talking to a customer service representative on the phone or in person, the customer communicates with the company through email. Customer service emails are becoming more popular for a few reasons.

First, it's more convenient for both the customer and the company. Customers can send an email any time of day or night, and they don't have to wait on hold to speak to someone. And since emails can be easily stored and tracked, companies can keep a better record of customer interactions.

Customer service email is also less expensive than other types of customer service, so it's a great way for companies to save money. As more and more companies realize these benefits, customer service email is likely to become even more popular in the years to come.

The benefits of customer support email

Customer support emails have a lot of benefits compared to other forms of customer service.

For one, they're cheaper - you don't have to pay someone to sit on the phone and answer customer questions.

They're also more convenient - customers can email you at their leisure, and you can respond when it's convenient for you.

And perhaps most importantly, customer support emails are more scalable - as your business grows, you can easily add more customer support staff without having to increase your customer service budget.

Of course, customer support emails also have their drawbacks - they can be harder to personalize, and customers may not always get the immediate response they want. But overall, customer support emails are a great way to provide quality customer service at a fraction of the cost of other methods.

This is why it's so important for both customers and customer service teams to know the do's and don'ts of writing customer service emails.

The do's of customer service email

There are a number of things both support agents and customers themselves can do to make email a better experience for both parties.  

Here are a few recommendations whether you're on the sending or receiving end of customer service email.

Check grammar, broken links and attachments

The customer service email you send or receive may have been written in a hurry, but that's no excuse for sending one full of typos or broken links. If you're unsure about something, take the time to double-check before hitting send.

In the same vein, if you're including attachments, make sure they're actually attached and that they're the correct files. It's also a good idea to include a brief message about what the reader can expect to find in the attachment.  

This may seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many customer service emails are full of errors both from the customer service rep and the customer.

Simply taking the time to proofread your email can make a big difference in the quality of customer service that is provided or received.

Stick to a friendly and understanding tone of voice and style of writing

When customer service goes wrong, it's often because the customer service rep is short with the customer or doesn't seem to understand their problem. This can be frustrating for customers, who just want their problem to be fixed as quickly as possible.

The best customer service reps are those who are friendly and understanding, even when the customer is angry.

But don't forget, the customer should take a queue from this sage advice as well. It's important to remember that the customer service rep is just a person doing their job, and getting angry with them will only make the situation worse.

If you're the one writing the customer service email, stick to a friendly and understanding tone. If you're on the receiving end, do your best to remain calm and polite.

It can be difficult, but it's important to remember that support agents are just like anyone else and are more motivated to help you if you're polite and respectful.

Keep the email clear, simple and kind

Customer service emails should be clear and to the point. Include all relevant information, such as order numbers, product names, and any other details that will help the customer service rep understand your problem.

And when someone from the customer support team is replying to your email, make sure they include all relevant information as well. If they're asking you for more information, be sure to include it in your next email.

The goal is to make it as easy as possible for the customer service rep to understand and solve your problem. The quicker you can do this, the quicker you'll get a resolution.

By writing clear and complete customer emails, both the support team and customer can work together to keep unnecessary back and for to a minimum. It's better for everyone! 🙌

Don't forget to say "thank you"

Saying "thank you" may seem like common sense, but it's often forgotten in the customer service process.

If you're the customer, be sure to thank the customer service rep for their help, even if they weren't able to solve your problem but did their best given the support situation. And if you're the customer service rep, be sure to thank the customer for their patience, even if they were angry or difficult to deal with.

Saying "thank you" goes a long way in diffusing anger and creating a more positive customer service experience for both parties.

The don'ts of customer service email

Just as there are a few key do's of customer service email, there are also a few key don'ts. Here are a few tips for both customer service reps and customers on how to make customer service email less painful for everyone involved.

Don't write angry emails

This one should be obvious, but it's often forgotten in the heat of a difficult customer experience.

Person yelling into a phone

If you're the customer, do your best to remain calm and understanding, even if you're angry. And if you're the customer service rep, do your best to keep a level head and not take the customer's anger personally.

It can be difficult in the moment, but remember that customer service email is often less effective when emotions are running high.

Do your best to keep a cool head, and you'll be more likely to get the resolution you're looking for.

Don't forget to proofread

Proofreading customer service emails is important for both support agents and customers.

If you're the customer, be sure to check your email for typos or grammatical errors before hitting send. No one wants to look like they don't know how to write a proper sentence, especially when they're asking for help.

And if you're on the customer service team, be sure to proofread your response before hitting send. This will help you avoid any typos or grammatical errors, and it will also help you make sure that your response is clear and concise.

No one wants to receive an email that's full of errors, so take the time to proofread before hitting send.

How to write good emails to customer service teams

Now I'd like to focus on the customer and how to write and send a good customer support email.

If you're a customer you may be asking yourself, "Why should I care about how I write? I'm the frustrated customer. The support team should care how they write!"

I certainly understand the sentiment and wouldn't say you're wrong as a customer. The point that you may be overlooking is that well written emails, including emails written by you the customer, ultimately make resolving your customer issue a little faster and with less friction.  

Keep that in mind as you write your next email to a support team. It'll make for a better customer experience for the person that matters most  - you.

Here's what you can do as a customer:

Provide a clear, concise description of you and your struggle

The customer service rep reading your email is likely dealing with a lot of other customer issues. They don't have time to read a novel, so get to the point as quickly as possible.

Be clear about what your issue is, and be concise in how you describe it. The more information you can provide up front, the better.

Don't forget to include important details like

- Your customer ID or account number

- The date and time of your last interaction with the company

- Any relevant order numbers

- A detailed description of your issue

The more information you can provide, the better equipped the support agent will be to resolve your issue. Don't make the customer support team make any guesses about who you are or what you're struggling with. Tell them clearly, concisely and calmly.

Include screenshots or videos

Seeing is believing. If your issue is visual, include a screenshot or video in your email. This will help the customer service representatives understand your issue more quickly, and it will also help them resolve the issue more quickly. I free tool like Loom can really help capture your experience and create a more personal connection between you and the customer service team.

Email support can be a frustrating experience but it doesn't have to be.  By following these simple tips, you can make the customer service experience a little better for everyone involved.

Example email from a customer

Dear customer service team,

I am writing to ask for help with an issue I've been having.

I placed an order on your website on September 1st, and I still haven't received my order. I contacted your customer service team on September 5th, and they told me that my order had been shipped and that I would receive it within 7-10 business days.

It is now September 15th and I still have not received my order. I contacted customer service again on September 10th and they said they would look into it and get back to me, but I have not heard anything since.

I'm starting to get worried that my order has been lost or stolen, and I would really appreciate some help.

Order details:

- Order number: 12345

- Date of purchase: September 1st

- Date of last customer service interaction: September 10th

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

How to reply to customers who need help

Support agents are ultimately the most responsible for creating a positive experience for customers.  No matter how well a customer writes their email, it's up to the support team to provide a helpful, human response.

Here are some tips on how to reply to customers who need help:

Don't make the customer wait

The first thing you should do when you receive an email from a customer in need is to reply as quickly as possible. The customer is already frustrated, and the last thing you want to do is make them wait even longer for a response.

If you can't resolve the issue immediately, let the customer know that you're working on it and give them a timeline for when they can expect a resolution.

Be human  

Remember that there is a human being on the other end of this email. They are likely frustrated, and they are looking to you for help.

You should always aim to be as helpful and human as possible in your responses. This means using a friendly tone, avoiding technical jargon, and taking the time to understand the customer's issue.

Address the underlying emotion of the email

When a customer is struggling with your product or service, there is usually an underlying emotion that they are feeling. It's important to address this emotion in your response, in addition to addressing the actual issue.

We hear you written on sign

For example, if a customer is angry, you might want to apologize for the frustration they are feeling. If a customer is worried, you might want to reassure them that you will do everything you can to help.

Answer all the questions the customer asked

When you're replying to a customer, make sure to answer all the questions they asked. This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's easy to get caught up in addressing the most pressing issue and forget to answer all of the customer's questions.

By taking the time to answer all of the customer's questions, you will demonstrate that you care about their experience and you're committed to helping them.

It also lets the customer know that you've read their entire email and you understand their issue in its entirety, not just the part that you're focusing on.

End with a positive note

Even if you haven't been able to resolve the issue, you should always try to end on a positive note. Thank the customer for their patience, let them know that you appreciate their business, and let them know that you will continue to work on the issue until it is resolved.

By taking the time to end on a positive note, you will show the customer that you care about their experience and you're committed to providing them with the best possible service and avoid having an angry customer on your hands.

Proactively follow up

In some cases, you might need to proactively follow up with the customer after you've replied to their email. This can be something as simple as sending them an update on the issue, or checking in to see if they're still having trouble.

By proactively following up, you will show the customer that you're still working on the issue and you haven't forgotten about them.

A simple, thoughtful follow up email can make all the difference in fostering the customer satisfaction small businesses need to thrive.

When to switch to other channels

Even with the best intentions, there are some customer service issues that are just better suited for other channels. If a customer is experiencing a complex issue, it might be better to resolve it live with a video meeting and screenshare.  

In cases like this, it's important to let the customer know that you're going to switch to a different channel, and why. This way, they can be prepared for the next steps and they won't feel like you're abandoning them.

Support agent speaking with customer over a video call

This lets the customer know that you're still committed to helping them, even if it means moving to a different channel.

While the vast majority of customer complaints can be resolved using support email, make sure your team is prepared to switch channels when necessary.

Customer service email templates for support agents and customers

The following are a few customer service email templates that both customer service agents and customers can use to help resolve issues via email.  We'll start with the customer first because, after all, they're the ones initiating contact.

Customer examples

Subject line: I'm having trouble with _____

Hi there,

I'm having some trouble with _____ and I was hoping you could help me out.

I've attached a screenshot of the issue I'm seeing.

Here are the steps I've taken so far:

1. _____

2. _____

3. _____

I'm not sure what to do next, so any help would be much appreciated.



Subject line: I think I found a bug

Hi there,

I think I may have found a bug in the _____ feature.

When I do _____, the following happens: _____.

I wasn't able to replicate this issue on any other browser or device but it does happen on the latest version of Chrome.

Here's a screenshot of what I'm seeing:



Agent examples

Now that we've gone over a few examples of how customers can email customer service, let's take a look at how customer service agents can reply.

Subject line: Re: I'm having trouble with _____

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out about this issue. I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble.

Let me see if I can help.

I took a look at your account and our system logs and don't see anything out of the ordinary.

I'd suggest doing __________ . Here's a help doc to walk your through it, step by step.



Subject line: Re: I think I found a bug

Hi there,

Thanks for letting us know about this issue. I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble.

We were able to replicate the issue on our end. I've gone ahead and logged a ticket with our product team.

I'll let you know once we have a fix in place. Apologies for the inconvenience and we truly appreciate your patience.



Email is a great way to resolve customer service issues quickly and efficiently. I hope these customer service email templates help you resolve issues with your customers and in turn help customers avoid a negative experience with customer support email.

Focus on the do's and avoid the don'ts

Email is a great way to resolve customer service issues quickly and easily. However, it's important to focus on the do's and avoid the don'ts in order to provide and receive an excellent customer support experience.

The customer service email templates provided should help both customers and customer service agents resolve issues effectively and with ease.

If you're a support agent, make sure to focus on the customer and their issue, be empathetic, and take the time to understand the issue. If you're a customer, make sure to include all relevant information, be clear and concise, and be patient.

Both customers and customer service agents should avoid being negative, making assumptions, or using jargon.  

By following these tips, I hope that both customers and agents can avoid having a bad day and instead create a great experience for folks on both sides of that overflowing inbox. 🙂

Thanks for reading! We hope you'll give DoneDone a try – our simple, yet powerful, shared inbox and project management software – to help resolve customer service issues quickly and easily.

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