How to Write a Customer Service Email

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  • 0:03 Customer Service Email…
  • 0:50 A Timely Reply &…
  • 2:30 Personal Greeting &…
  • 3:41 Structuring the Email…
  • 4:37 Finishing Touches & A…
  • 5:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Stacey Taylor

Stacey Taylor currently teaches college business courses and holds an MBA degree.

When addressing customer service issues, email is a popular method of communication. This lesson will provide tips on how customer service representatives can effectively compose customer service emails.

Customer Service Email Etiquette

Do you remember when, as a youngster, your parents would constantly remind you to say 'please' and 'thank you?' Looking back, they were simply teaching us communication etiquette. This same type of etiquette can go a long way in the business world, particularly when it comes to communicating with customers. After all, customer service serves as a voice of a company, and it can enhance brand loyalty and build customer relationships when used successfully. When writing customer service emails, it is extremely important that the email is written in a courteous and professional manner. Let's look at some etiquette tips that can aid in writing effective customer service emails.

A Timely Reply & Specific Subject Line

When customers reach out to a company with a question, concern, or complaint, they expect an immediate response. Mobile devices make it easier for customers to send emails on the go. Being quick and effective are characteristics associated with successful customer service. Therefore, response to a customer's email should be prompt. As a rule of thumb, if a customer has a general question (such as 'Will you be open on Thanksgiving?'), it's best to respond within 24 hours. However, if a customer has a complaint (such as 'I received a defective product'), the response time should generally be within 4 hours.

Have you ever received an email from a company but couldn't tell if it was important or spam? The subject line can determine if the email is opened or deleted. Subject lines should be short, succinctly describing what the email is about in no more than 50 characters. Mobile phones may only display 25 characters, so it is important to keep the subject line brief. Since many of us scan through our emails quickly, the first couple of words of a subject line is what grabs our attention. Therefore, the most important word should be first in the subject line. For example, many companies send their customers information on current sales. A subject line that reads, 'Today only: 50% off Entire Store,' may grab a customer's attention better than saying, 'Come in today to receive 50% off entire store.'

Personal Greeting & Introduction

Customers like to feel special and appreciated. They generally don't want to feel like they're just a number or business transaction. When reaching out to a customer via email, the customer service representative should personalize the greeting if possible. Doing so can build a stronger connection between the customer and company. For example, you can address the customer by name - 'Hello Mr. Smith' creates a better connection than 'Hello valued customer.' If it's hard to determine the gender of the customer, address them by their full name, such as 'Hello Chris Baker.'

Once you've provided a personalized greeting, introduce yourself. Doing so creates a more personalized email conversation. 'My name is Bob and I am here to address any questions or concerns you may have.' Letting customers know who you are and that you're here to help can keep the peace in potentially tense situations. The email should feel conversational and not like a transaction. You may also want to include your title and contact information in the email for reference for future conversations.

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