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Guide for writing perfect automated customer service emails

Happy customers translate to business results. Chances are, you already know that, but here is why:

  • They build your reputation. In fact, in a recent study, 69% of consumers said they would recommend a business to others if they have good customer service experiences.
  • Good customer service experiences result in customer retention. And it is far less expensive to retain a current customer than to find a new replacement. Research shows that it costs 5X as much to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.
  • A bad customer service experience means a customer will leave permanently and seek out a competitor. What’s more, he is more likely to “trash” you on social media and consumer review websites.
  • Happy customers become your brand ambassadors, and you can use their “testimonials” rather than having to contract out for product review writing.

You already have customer service strategies, policies, and processes in place, of course. You have a team of customer service reps that respond to inquiries and issues – hopefully, a well-trained staff responding to customer calls, chats, and email messages. You probably also have a social monitoring tool that alerts you to any mention of your company so that you can access those comments and respond quickly. 

All of these are reactive customer service activities – those that occur after a customer has taken some action. But customer service must be far more than reactive. It has to be proactive, reaching out to both existing and potential customers to improve and enhance their experiences. One of these important proactive measures is through email.

Your guide for writing perfect automated customer service emails - MyOperator
Your guide for writing perfect automated customer service emails – MyOperator

Steps to creating perfect automated customer service emails

If done right, you can provide a wealth of information and service to your audience through email marketing and communication. Further, you can do this through automated methods that will not require manual composition but will still provide a customized and personalized experience. Here are the steps you need to take to achieve this.

Segment your customers and audiences

Taking a look at your sales funnel and other data will allow you to segment your audiences. You have prospects who have not yet made a purchase; you have those who have just made their first purchase; you have repeat customers; and you have those who made purchases in the past but who have not returned in some time.

Each of these audiences needs different types of email communications that speak to them in a personal way.

Find the right email service

Once you have your audiences segmented, you want to use an automated service. It will handle both the schedule of sending them out and also provide reports on opens and responses. This way, you know which emails are working for you and which need to be re-composed. Your job is to keep those lists updated based upon recipient behaviors so that each prospect or customer receives the right ones.

Create those engaging and compelling email subject lines and bodies

To make your email campaigns a success, you need to craft really good emails that people wanna open and read. And the good news is that creating good emails is not rocket science! With some helpful tips you’ll find below and a bit of practice, you will be able to craft engaging and compelling emails that will resonate and generate responses. Then just upload them to your email service, with your calendars for delivery, and your work is done until you have new emails to add to your automated campaigns.

Remember, these are not any substitute for an email you receive from a specific customer with a specific issue or question. Sending back an automatic response that is somewhat related is impersonal and tells the customer he is not important enough for a personal response. This is a customer you will lose if you do not turn such emails over to your customer service agents who have the right training to empathize and resolve the situation to the customer’s satisfaction.

Writing automated emails for customer service

Over time, as you work to craft these emails, you will develop a library of templates for automation. Here are the situations in which automated emails can be used:

  • Welcoming and thanking a prospect for signing up for your newsletter
  • Welcoming and thanking a new customer for a purchase
  • Sending shipping information
  • Asking for feedback on a product that was recently purchased
  • Notification of a new and/or improved product or service
  • Special sales and discounts for loyal customers
  • Specials to invite customers back if they have not purchased for a while
  • Holiday specials
  • Feedback surveys on products or customer service experiences
  • Notification of subscription renewal (if applicable)

If you have the right email service and keep your recipient lists updated, your emails will be sent as you direct, and you will receive detailed reports on resonation.

Recipe for engaging and compelling emails

You already know your emails must be engaging and compelling. They have to stand above the rest, even though they are automated. 

  • Personalize them with customers’ names – your email service will take care of this.
  • Create intriguing subject lines. Consumers may receive up to a hundred or more emails a day. They skim through these and delete those with subject lines that do not seem engaging. Think of subject lines like a headline for a newspaper article. 
  • Whatever you promise in your subject line must be the body of your email and nothing more. If you are welcoming a new customer, then the email body should address only that and possibly offer a discount on the next purchase.
  • Emails should be as short as possible – the adage “get in and get out” should be your rule. If you want to give customers more detail, provide a link to a page on your website.
  • Craft templates for each of the automated emails you want to send. You can modify them, of course, but having that template helps streamline message creation.

Sample templates for automated customer service emails

To give you an idea of how an automated email template can be crafted, here are a few samples:

Email template: Asking a new customer for feedback

Email subject line

Any suggestions for us?

Email body

Hello {{name of customer}}! 

Thank you for putting your trust in us and our product. 

Now that you have had a few weeks to use it, we really want to know if it is meeting your needs. 

Here is a {{feedback_link}} for you to give us your feedback. If you fill it out, you will enjoy a 15% discount on your next purchase. 

Thanks again for becoming our customer. If we can ever be of service to you, here’s our {{contact information}}.

Email template: Reconnecting with a lost customer

Email subject line:

We have a lot to catch up on!

Email body:

Hello {{name of customer}}!

Since we last heard from you, we’ve made big changes. We’ve added new products and made improvements to old ones. 

With the holidays coming, we have some great gift ideas you should check out. There are even a few sweaters that might have your name on them. 

Just follow this {{link}}, see what’s new, and pick up a cool 25% discount.

Email template: Feedback on a customer service experience

Email subject line:

How’d we do?

Email body:

Hello {{name of customer}}! 

We noticed you recently filled out a support ticket and chatted with one of our customer service agents. 

We want to make sure that your issue was resolved to your satisfaction. If you click this {{link}} and complete our short survey, a free gift will be on its way to you! 

Thanks for your help.

Email template: Announcing a new giveaway program

Email subject line:

Hunger is real and you can help

Email body:

Hello {{name of customer}}! 

What you may not know is that 1 in 7 children go to bed hungry each night. 

We want to help, and you can too. For every purchase you make, we will send {{giveaway_amount}} to the “No Kid Hungry” foundation. 

97% of all donations go directly to getting food for these children. We love to be able to count on you. Even if you are not ready to make a purchase right now, you can send a small donation by clicking this {{link}}.

Keep adding to your library

What most marketers know is that every piece of communication with a prospect or a customer must be thought of as “customer service.” It is part of how reputation and brand awareness are built. Even automated emails influence how people feel about you. Over time, you should continue to build your library of templates and revise those that do not get the response you want. Here are a few more tips:

  • Don’t spam. If you send too many emails too often, people will grow tired of you and automatically delete your messages or, worse, unsubscribe/ ,mark you as spam.
  • Keep refining your audience segments as your library expands.
  • Monitor your email lists, and move targets around as appropriate.
  • Do not attempt to send an automated email in response to direct contact by an individual customer. These contacts deserve fully personal responses.

Automated customer service can be a great time and money-saver for a business. But it has to be done right if you intend to maintain your reputation and keep your customers happy.

Jessica Fender
Jessica Fender

Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.

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