25 Customer Service Email Templates to Support, Renew, & Refund Customers


There’s truly nothing more disappointing than an automated, robotic, lifeless email from a company.

After cultivating a relationship with your customers, the last thing you want is for them to be offended by an impersonal email. Though it’d be ideal to hand-craft every email you send, it can also be time-consuming and inefficient.

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So, how do you write engaging customer service emails?

Don’t fret. We’ve got you covered. Below, we’ll go over a list of best practices for writing customer service emails, a guide for responding to angry messages, and a collection of the best customer service email templates for various scenarios.

Best Practices for Writing Customer Service Emails

Though using a customer service email template will make your job much easier, you should still follow a few best practices.

The following tips apply especially when you use a pre-written email. They can help you personalize your response so that it doesn’t seem canned, which in turn strengthens your company’s customer retention strategy.

1. Use the customer’s name.

This is the first step when reaching out or responding to customers. Using their name in the greeting will make your response feel genuine and targeted specifically to them.

2. Have the customer’s conversation history handy.

When responding to a customer complaint or email, it’s vital to know when and why they’ve reached out to your company.

Have they had this same issue in the past? Or have they only been a customer with you for a short time?

This information can help you choose the appropriate tone for your email — whether profusely apologetic or cheery and helpful.

Additionally, if you have the customer’s conversation history, you can personalize any template you use by including background information and context.

3. Brush up on key facts about their business or buyer persona.

In a similar vein, skim through the information you have on their business and buyer persona to understand why they reached out.

Are they users of your product? Or are they top-level stakeholders at their organization? Do you know why they chose to do business with you?

We recommend collecting this information using CRM software.

4. Try to understand their problem inside and out.

When reading over the email, try to understand the problem they’re encountering before crafting a response. Then, if you still need clarity, your response would be the place to ask questions.

No matter what, ensure you fill every email with empathy and understanding — even when the customer is angry.

Empathy can help you deal with frustrated customers and decrease the chances that they’ll leave you for a competitor. We understand that this is hard, so below, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide to responding to an angry customer email.

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The longer you wait to respond to a customer complaint, the more likely they will take that complaint to a public platform where other consumers can form opinions about your company.

Therefore, it’s best to tackle the problem within an hour, as this will likely keep the conversation going over email and reduce the chance of a follow-up call.

2. Apologize for their negative experience.

The first line in your response should be a genuine apology.

No matter how hurtful or unfair their email may seem, it’s essential to recognize that they took the time to craft a complaint because they had such a negative experience with your company.

As a customer service professional, your goal is to have zero customers have such a terrible experience. And it’s your company’s responsibility to apologize for that.

It’s also important to acknowledge your mistakes, taking some responsibility for what your company may have done wrong. Again, it’s less about proving a point and more about salvaging the relationship with that customer.

In this step, try to choose a tone that’s both empathetic and apologetic, but make it clear that you’re also eager to help.

3. Explain what may have gone wrong.

Customers care about getting clear explanations and complete solutions for their problems — not just for their own well-being but for other customers as well.

They care about not letting the same issue happen to others. Offering the customer an explanation for the situation can help them understand any unexpected factors in play.

If you explain to them that the situation was a one-time event or rare occurrence — like their package getting lost in the mail — it will help ease the tension and potentially get them to empathize with your company.

4. Provide context for what happened.

As discussed above, it’s essential to understand where the customer is coming from. By looking at their history with your company, you’re starting out on the same page in the conversation.

Show that you understand the context for the situation, so the customer knows you’re aware of the issues they’ve faced before. For example, you could say something like, “I see that you’ve had this problem before, a few months ago.” This statement can help you provide genuine empathy (and not the fake empathy that some customer service scripts can have).

5. Reassure the customer that this won’t happen again.

Even if the problem wasn’t your fault — say, your logistics partner failed to deliver the package on time — it’s vital to reassure the customer that you’re doing everything possible to prevent this from happening again.

Whether you’re checking in with your product team, retraining your sales team, or revisiting the relationship with your logistics partner, you should indicate to the customer that their angry email has resulted in company-wide action.

This will reassure them that they won’t have this experience again and thus make it less likely that they’ll leave you for a competitor.

6. Offer an incentive, refund, or discount.

Offering an incentive is a great option when a customer’s complaint is so extreme that you fear worse repercussions. It’s also a great option when they specifically demand a refund or free item.

Alternatively, if a customer complaint is reasonable and polite, offer an incentive as thanks for remaining calm and patient with your team.

If a customer’s complaint results from an error on your end, do as much as you can to offer them a reasonable discount or refund when appropriate. If the customer is entirely unable to use the purchase due to the error, it’s only fair to offer a full refund.

Suppose an error resulted in an order delay or other minor inconveniences that don’t impact the customer’s ability to use the product or service. In that case, a small discount could buy goodwill with the customer.

If the complaints result from a company-wide outage or error that impacted hundreds of thousands of customers, 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.

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

Before ending your email, always ask the customer whether they have any more questions, comments, or concerns. You want to show you’re still open to further feedback, and it’s on them to end the conversation.

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

8. Follow up with the customer.

After leaving the path open for more questions, it’s critical to follow up with the customer and give them a final status on the resolution of their issue.

Whether it was a delayed package, a product outage, or a bad experience with the website, you want to reassure the customer that you’ve finished taking the necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

For example, if the issue was that the package was delayed in the mail, follow up with them in three days to tell them they should’ve received the product they ordered. Alternatively, you can check the tracking number and notify them that the package should have been left in their mailbox or on their front step.

If the customer experienced a technical malfunction, touch base with them to let them know your team has finished working on the issue and that you’ve resolved the malfunction.

Best Sample Email for Responding to an Angry Customer

Using the tips above, we’ve written a sample email that you can use to respond to an angry email from a customer.

Don’t stop here. Below, we’ve curated a list of the best customer service email templates for every support situation.

The Best Customer Service Email Templates

Let’s take a look at some of the best customer service email templates you can lean on when in various situations with customers.

Customer Service Response Templates

Customer Refund Letter Templates

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.

You can send this email in several instances. For instance, right after they make a purchase, when you notice it’s their anniversary with your company, or when they refer another customer.

You should never try to sell them something in a thank you email. It’s simply an opportunity to show your appreciation.

2. Questionnaire Email Template

There are several kinds of questionnaires you may send your customers. Each questionnaire offers valuable data to your company, from customer satisfaction surveys to demographics to Customer Effort Score (CES).

Conducting a survey can help you get into the minds of your customers and make effective changes to your service experience.

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

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

3. Feedback Appreciation Email Template

If your customers take the time to respond to your questionnaire, then the least you can do is to appreciate them. A quick thank-you email can make them happy and foster stronger customer relationships.

Here’s an email template you can use:

4. Angry Customer Response Email Template

Uh oh. You’ve got an angry customer, and they want to leave your business. This could have happened for a range of reasons. They might even be mad 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 to cool down before typing a response. However, 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.

This template is best used when the customer has indicated that they’re taking their business elsewhere. If the customer is complaining but will remain with your business, you should use template #5.

5. Customer Complaint Response Email Template

Similar to an angry customer, a complaining customer is not exactly a ray of sunshine on your workday. Sometimes they can be almost worse 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’s usually a more significant opportunity of turning a complaining customer into a satisfied one.

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

6. Customer Service Follow-up Email Template

When a customer reaches out to you for support, 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 your company is dedicated to fostering positive customer relationships, not just sales.

7. 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’ll sometimes handle support inquiries 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.

8. 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 back to you in the future.

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 working directly with them from now on, it’s essential 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. Then, you can take on a friendly, more comfortable tone. You want them to know that you’re 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 challenging to relay it to your employer but even harder to tell your loyal customers.

Since you have been an integral part of their professional lives, you need to notify your clients of the change. Doing so 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. This is a perfect opportunity to mention a free trial.

Prospects might be curious to learn more about your products but nervous to show their cards when they haven’t gotten a chance to interact with your company thoroughly. By offering a free trial, you’re gaining the prospect’s trust. Additionally, 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. If 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 out this post on how to ask for referrals.

14. Customer Onboarding Email Template

As this email sets the tone for your interaction with the customer, it’s best to make it enthusiastic.

It should reassure the customer that they’ve made the right choice with your brand.

15. Broken Product or Service Email Template

If your product or service is broken, the least you can do is keep your concerned or angry customers in the loop.

Resolving issues related to broken products can sharpen your customer service skills and help you build a better relationship with customers.

Here’s an email template that can help you assuage your customers.

16. 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 ask them to review your product, service, business, or you personally.

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

Timing-wise, it might make sense for you to send this email within a chain you’ve already started with the customer about the good results or a 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 a few helpful customer service email templates that you can use for refunds.

17. Refund to Customer 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 but simply couldn’t find a good use for the product.

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.

18. 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, since they know what to expect from your products, they’ll likely be upset when some products don’t meet their standard. 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.

19. Product Discount Email Template

When it comes to refunds, not every company has the same policy. For example, 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.

20. 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.

21. 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 return, they’ll be dubious of its origin if you don’t notify them ahead of time. You’ll also want to take credit for this refund, as it shows your intention to provide an honest transaction.

You can use this letter to alert your customers of an overpayment for these cases.

22. Refund Notification Email Template

Sometimes, 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.

23. Refund Status Email Template

To avoid any hiccups in the refund process, it’d be helpful to let your customer know the status of their refund once it’s en route to their account.

If you’d prefer to refer to your company in the plural form, simply swap the “I” for “We.”

24. Refund Not Received Email Template

Suppose your customer hasn’t received a refund and reached out to you about it. In that case, you should act as if you’re responding to a customer complaint: with empathy, sincerity, and clear intentions to resolve the problem.

Most of the time, the delay is on the bank’s end. In this instance, gently remind the customer that a few more business days may pass before processing the refund.

25. Out-of-Policy Refund Email Template

Sometimes, customers reach out for a refund when they’re past the date of eligibility.

You have the option of offering store credit or giving them personalized support for getting the most out of their new product.

Create a Strong Customer Experience Using Customer Service Email Templates

Email templates will help you effortlessly master every email conversation, promote strong relationships with your customers, provide personalized solutions, and grow your business without needing to write every email from scratch.

The email templates above will help you create a winning customer service strategy — all while saving time and effort for your team.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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