20 Customer Service Email Templates to Welcome, Support, Renew, Refund, & Retain Customers

There is truly nothing worse than an automated, lifeless email from a company. That feeling of sheer disappointment when you read the robotic text is almost heart-wrenching. You expected so much more.

You never want your customers to feel that way about you. After cultivating a fierce relationship with your customers, the last thing you want is for them to be offended by an impersonal email.

However, as much as you'd like to hand-craft each and every email you send to a prospective or current customer, that can often seem impossible.

Don't fret; we've got you covered with some tips for responding to angry customer emails as well as customer service email templates that cover a variety of scenarios.

1. Respond as soon as possible.

The longer you wait to respond to a customer complaint, the more likely it is that they will take that complaint to a public platform where other consumers can form opinions about your company based on it. It's best to tackle the problem within the hour. This will likely keep the conversation over email.

2. Apologize for their negative experience.

The first and foremost line on your response, after addressing their name, should be a genuine apology.

No matter how hurtful or unfair their response may seem, it's important to recognize that they took the time to craft a complaint because they had such a negative experience. None of your customers should be having such a terrible experience, and it's the responsibility of your company to apologize for that.

3. Acknowledge your mistakes.

Again, if a customer decides to email you a complaint, there clearly must be something wrong, at least in their eyes. It's best to take some responsibility for what your company may have done wrong. It's less about proving a point to them and more about salvaging the relationship you have with that customer.

4. Explain what may have gone wrong.

If you can gently offer the customer an explanation for the situation, that's helpful. Customers often care about not letting the issue happen again to other customers.

If you explain to them that the situation was a one-time thing or rare occurrence — like their package getting lost in the mail or their being left on hold for an hour — it might ease their tensions.

5. Offer an incentive, refund, or discount.

There are some situations in which offering incentives seems like the best option. This may be when a customer's complaint seems to be so extreme that you fear worse repercussions if you don't offer an incentive or when they specifically demand a refund or free item.

Alternatively, if a customer complaint seems to be quite reasonable and polite, it may be nice to offer an incentive as thanks for remaining calm and patient with you.

If the customer complaints are a result of an error on your end — meaning, related to anything outside of the customer's control — do as much as you can to offer them a reasonable discount or refund, where appropriate. If the customer is completely unable to use the purchase as a result of the error, a full refund is fair to offer.

If an error resulted in an order delay or another type of minor inconvenience that doesn't impact the customer's ability to use the product or service they purchased, a small discount can buy you goodwill with the customer.

If the complaints are the result of a customer-wide outage or error that impacted hundreds or thousands of customers at a time, you may not be able to offer them all a discount or refund. Instead, own your mistake, apologize sincerely, and take steps to prevent the problem from happening again.

6. Allow them to respond with further questions, comments, or concerns.

At the end of the email, before closing, always ask them to let you know if they have any more questions, comments, or concerns. You want to show them that you're still open to further feedback and that the conversation must end with that email.

The more opportunities you get to interact with them, the higher the chance that their temper will subside and they will come to respect your company again.

Next, we have curated a list of the best customer service email templates for every customer situation.

The 20 Best Customer Service Email Templates

Let's take a look at some of the best customer service email templates you can lean on for support when in a variety of situations with customers. (Note that the final 5 templates are specifically for customer refunds.)

1. Thank You Email Template

Once in a while, it's nice to send your customers a little thank you. After all, your company would be nowhere without the loyalty of your customers. This can be sent in several instances: right after they make a purchase, when you notice it's their anniversary with your company, or when they refer a customer.

In a thank you email, you should never try to sell them something. It's a simply an opportunity to show your appreciation to them.

2. Questionnaire Email Template

There are several kinds of questionnaires you may send your customers. From customer satisfaction to demographics to Customer Effort Score (CES), each questionnaire offers valuable data to your company. Performing a survey can help you get into the minds of your customers and make the appropriate changes.

However, it's easy for customers to see a link to a questionnaire and immediately close the tab. Entice them into taking the questionnaire by mentioning its briefness or perhaps an incentive.

Pro tip: Consider using one of these "thank you in advance" alternatives for a more polite approach.

3. Angry Customer Response Email Template

Uh oh. You've got an angry customer. This could have happened for a range of reasons. They might even be angry about external factors and not necessarily your business. Remain calm and think rationally. The worst possible thing you could do is fight fire with fire.

It's okay to take some time upon reading the email to cool down before typing up a response. Don't take their email to heart. Sometimes, a customer is so upset that there isn't much damage control you can do. The best move is to wave the white flag and move forward.

4. Customer Complaint Response Email Template

Similar to an angry customer,, a complaining customer is not exactly a ray of sunshine on your workday. They can be almost worse, it seems, than an angry customer.

Anger can often be displaced or without reason, whereas a complaint is typically well-crafted and based on truth. Incidentally, there is often a greater opportunity of turning a complaining customer into a satisfied one.

Just as they have probably put a good amount of time into writing their email, you, too, should do the same. It's important to remain eloquent and polite, even if the complaint frustrates you.

5. Customer Service Follow-up Email Template

When a customer reaches out to you for customer service help, that shouldn't be the beginning and end of your interaction. A customer might not be expecting a follow-up, but that's what will make them appreciate it even more.

Plus it also indicates that your company is dedicated to not merely sales, but also fostering positive customer relationships.

6. Technical Support Email Template

While it's more common for customer support engineers to provide technical support over live chat, phone, or another quicker form of communication, they will also sometimes handle this over email. Since email is not meant to be an immediate channel for communication, customers may use this method when addressing an issue that isn't urgent.

Email also allows you to get a lot more information about the situation because customers can take their time to write out thorough responses to your questions. Take advantage of this and ask several in-depth questions in a single email to find a solution as quickly as possible.

7. Keep in Touch Email Template

It's sad to see a customer go — especially one who has been loyal to your company for a while. Once you've built a real relationship with a customer, the last thing you want to do is break off ties as soon as they decide to take a different path.

You want to show them that, no matter what, you still care about them and want what's best for them. And maybe, just maybe, they'll come running back to you with open arms in the future.

8. Welcome Email Template

Congratulations! You've got a new customer or subscriber. There's truly nothing more exhilarating for a business. However, as your company's customer base grows larger, be sure to not overlook newcomers.

That's why it's important to send out welcome emails. This will help them get acquainted with your company and also show them that each and every individual customer matters to you. Also, this is a good opportunity to shower them with helpful content.

9. Account Manager Introduction Email Template

It can be tricky to send out that first email, as an account manager. Your new client has probably been speaking with one or more other employees at your company and has gotten relatively acquainted with them.

As you will be the one working directly with them from now on, it's important to develop an even stronger relationship with them that will continue into the foreseeable future.

Make it clear that you will be their direct contact from now on. You can take on a friendly, more comfortable tone. You want them to know that you are someone they can trust.

10. Account Manager Transition Email Template

As much as you might love your company, you may get to the point where it's time to move on. Once you get a job offer that you can't refuse, it can be difficult to relay it to your employer, but even harder to tell your loyal customers.

It's essential that you keep your clients in the loop about this change. Since you have been an integral part of their professional lives, they should be notified of your leave. This will help them prepare for the shift, as this change will affect them, too.

11. Free Trial Email Template

If you notice a prospect who seems interested in your products but fails to make a purchase, don't sweep them under the rug. That's a perfect opportunity to mention a free trial.

Prospects might be curious to learn more about your products but nervous to put down their card when they haven't gotten to fully interact with it. By offering a free trial, you are gaining the prospect's trust. In addition, once a customer gets acquainted with a product during a free trial, it's harder to turn it down.

12. Renewal Reminder Email Template

So your customer purchased an annual subscription to your product. Great.

However, it's hitting 350 days, and they haven't mentioned any interest in renewing their subscription. Yikes.

That's the perfect opportunity to send a renewal reminder email. There's a high possibility they simply forgot. Or, it could be that they're on the fence about it. Either way, a gentle reminder could steer them in the right direction.

13. Customer Referral Email Template

Now that you've built a solid relationship with a customer, it's about time to ask them (nicely) for a referral. It makes sense to ask a happy customer for a referral. When they've had a very positive experience with your company, it's natural that they'll want the same for their family, friends, and colleagues in similar fields.

(For more information on this, check this post on how to ask for referrals.)

14. Customer Review Request Email Template

If you've worked with a customer for a while and helped them achieve results with your product or service, you may want to take the opportunity to give your product, service, business, or you personally, a review.

Reviews help increase ratings on review sites, which are one of the most trustworthy ways prospects research companies or products before making a purchase.

Timing-wise, it might make the most sense for you to send this email within a chain you've already started with your customer about the good results or successful project you collaborated with them on. You can either copy this template directly into a chain, or use the exact wording to start a new thread from scratch.

If you sell a physical product that your customer personally uses, you might reach out 10-15 days after the product is delivered to ask them how it's going.

Customer Refund Letter Templates

Here are five customer service email templates that you can use for refunds.

15. Refund to Customers Email Template

Sadly, some customers are going to return your products.

Don't worry, it's not you. But, it's also not them. They aren't upset or frustrated like the above complaining customer. They simply don't enjoy the product or find a good use for it.

For instances like this, it's good to respond to a refund with an email expressing that there are no hard feelings and that you hope to do business with them again in the future.

16. Product Exchange Email Template

Fortunately, not every unhappy customer will ask for a refund. Some may regularly purchase your product, so they know that one poor experience doesn’t represent your brand.

However, that also means they know what to expect from your product and will still be upset that it didn’t perform up to their standards. They won’t be angry enough to churn, but they will expect you to make things right. This is where this letter comes in handy.

17. Product Discount Email Template

When it comes to refunds, not every company has the same policy. Some may not offer product exchanges or full compensation for specific products or services. Others may require proof of purchase to issue a refund and can only provide store credit without it.

For these cases, your business may offer a small promotion so the customer will have a discount the next time they shop at your store. It’s not the refund the customer is looking for, but it’s better than leaving them empty-handed.

18. Customer Apology Email Template

In some cases, your customer service team won’t be able to provide any type of refund or discount. This can lead to an awkward or stressful situation with the customer, especially if they feel like your company is in the wrong.

While you should personalize every apology, this message can be a baseline to work from when you need to take responsibility for your company’s mistakes.

19. Return of Overpayment Email Template

Depending on your business model, customers may have to pay for a product or service upfront and are reimbursed later if they paid more than they needed to. This either requires you to send them a check or wire the money via a direct deposit.

Regardless of how it’s transferred, customers will want to know where this money is coming from. While they’ll be happy to accept the cash, they’ll be dubious of its origin if you don’t notify them of the return. And, you’ll also want to take credit for this refund as it shows your intention to provide an honest transaction.

For these cases, we can refer to this letter to alert your customers of an overpayment.

20. Refund Notification Email Template

There are times where customers are eligible for a refund, but just don’t know it. While you shouldn’t be eager for them to return products, it’d be dishonest not to notify customers when they qualify to do so.

This type of proactive customer service builds trust with your customer base and creates a delightful support experience.

Over to You

These templates will help you effortlessly master every email conversation and promote strong relationships with your customers.

Next, read this post on successful customer retention strategies from real brands.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in November, 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Source: 20 Customer Service Email Templates to Welcome, Support, Renew, Refund, & Retain Customers

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