When Birchbox, a personalized beauty subscription service, was founded in 2010, they had just a few people answering customer emails. Eight years later, they had a team of 54 support agents managing a monthly volume of nearly 38,000 tickets across multiple channels. With the efficiencies gained from implementing a robust customer support software, they actually reduced their cost per contact and achieved their fastest resolution time ever, despite the company’s rapid growth.
As businesses hit their stride and start gaining exposure, like in the Birchbox example, there are often limited resources to address an influx in customer service requests. Small, bootstrap teams are forced to take on the increased volume on their own, coming up with patchwork solutions to keep up the pace while still meeting internal expectations. The result is a chaotic support environment that diminishes the customer experience.
With email management software like the Support Suite, you can template or even automate your email workflows to save time, allowing you to increase efficiency at scale. Using customer service email templates will save your team from having to think up responses on the fly—which is both time-consuming and stress-inducing—while also ensuring your brand voice remains present in every interaction. Plus, the Support Suite is a solution that can grow with you, whether you add just a few channels to round out your support or build out a full omnichannel customer service experience.
See here below for a few instances in which customer support email templates can be helpful, with some of our own examples.
1. Let customers know you got the message.
Confirming receipt is a common best practice of email. In customer service, a confirmation of receipt is a quick note that acknowledges your team has received the email and you’re looking into the issue. Confirming receipt helps your customers feel heard, and it gives your team time to look into the issue without feeling rushed. With email management software, you can set up confirmation emails to be delivered automatically when a new customer email comes in. Using these triggers saves your team time and allows them to focus their attention on solving the problem. Plus, with an automatic trigger like this, you never have to worry about customer emails going unacknowledged because someone forgot to confirm receipt.
Here is an example of how to format a confirmation of receipt:
2. Answer frequently asked questions.
If you feel like you’re responding to the same questions over and over that’s probably because you are. These frequently asked questions can usually be addressed with language that’s already been developed and approved, but responding to them still takes time. As your organization grows, tackling all those questions could quickly become overwhelming and lead to a backlog of emails. With email management software, you could easily create shortcuts, or macros, that allow you to plug in standard responses and then customize as needed. Using these shortcuts speeds up the response process—stopping the backlog before it even starts—so you can provide service at scale.
For example, see below for how we used a shortcut to answer a common question about encryption of customer emails in the Support Suite.
3. Respond to an angry customer.
We believe businesses should always strive to provide the best customer experiences, but we also know mistakes are bound to happen from time to time. That’s life. When you find yourself in a tough situation with a customer, take a deep breath and find your empathy. By that, we mean imagine what the customer is feeling and try to relate. Have you been in a similar situation yourself? Acknowledge their frustration in a way that feels real, and then shift the focus to finding a solution. Email macros can help you keep your cool and prevent you from missing an important detail in the heat of the moment, but every situation is different and should be given the attention it deserves. You don’t want to sound impersonal or robotic, so we recommend personalizing your response to the person and their unique situation.
Here is a template for how we might handle a customer who’s angry about a product feature they would like to see implemented.
4. Send follow-up emails.
Sending follow-up notes to customers who’ve gone silent shows them that you care about them and appreciate their business, but it can be hard to provide this type of personal touch at scale. By taking advantage email automations for follow-ups, you can move through the process faster and keep providing the same level of service even as your team continues to grow. For example, you could use Zendesk’s own “Bump Bump Solve” email automation, which sends two automatic “bumps” to prompt a response and then, if there’s still no answer, solves the ticket and clears it out of your queue. This is all done without an agent having to touch the ticket.
Here is an example template for a follow-up email:
These are just a few examples of how a robust email management software can save you time and effort. But taking control of your customer service email doesn’t just help your team, it also serves your customers. Your agents can tackle more tickets faster, which results in a better customer experience for every person who emails you. It’s a win-win.