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.
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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:
Best practices for customer service teams using email include the following:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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:
[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
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:
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
Hello [Name],
We’re following up on your request for a refund for

. 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
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
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]
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
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:
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
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 :
[List the steps agent will take or wants the customer to take. The steps listed here are just placeholders.]
[Optional section: Where words are underlined, add hyperlinks.]
For future reference, here are links to other [name of product or process] resources:
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
Hello [Name],
Thanks for contacting us to request a discount on . 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]:
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
Hello [Name],
Welcome to ! 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:
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
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:
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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