Home > Columns > CRM Columns

Customer Service Email Etiquette: 10 Golden Rules You Need to Follow


Presented By: CrmXchange

Contributed article by Eun Rockwell

Writing customer service emails can be more challenging than you may expect. If customers are upset or angry, you can’t afford to be. You have to remain calm and always observe email etiquette rules. If you don’t, you could end up confusing, insulting or unintentionally upsetting customers. An angry email or a flip response could send customers straight into the arms of competitors. Here are 10 rules you must follow if you want your customer service emails to achieve their purpose.    

1. Choose the right customer email management software

The type of customer email management software you use can affect how you organize and reply to emails. Certain software features are essential if you want to offer good customer service

  • Adding labels is necessary if you want to differentiate between different types of customer service emails. For example, you may decide to group all emails relating to refunds under the label “refunds.” 
  • Prioritizing urgent conversations should be possible. When you can assign low, medium or high priority to your emails, you can quickly respond to high priority ones to prevent escalation.
  • Internal collaboration features are also necessary. Using the right communication techniques for customer support may involve forwarding an email to another team that can better handle a specific customer complaint. You should be able to include explanatory notes when doing so. 

2. Use a professional email address

If you work for a company, you usually use its email address. Most customer service teams use shared inboxes such as info@company or support@company. Using team inboxes helps to keep emails organized and makes sure team members all have access. 

When you don’t use a company email address, such as if you’re a freelancer, you need to be careful about the email address you use. Using the email address like maddog16@ will make you look unprofessional. A recipient may not even open an email with a suspicious-looking address. Many email clients automatically mark emails as spam if they don’t appear to come from a reliable source. 

3. Write short, specific subject lines

Your subject line is the first thing customers see. Email subject lines can either make a customer open an email or not. Try to limit the word count of your subject line to about eight or 10 words. Don’t use clickbait terms like “Our customer service is the best in the world.” Terms like this may work at first but eventually result in distrust. 

Be specific about what the email contains. Short, descriptive subject lines mean you don’t waste a customer’s time. If you try humor in a subject line, it can backfire. What you regard as funny may not be funny to someone else. You could end up offending someone rather than making them laugh. Don’t capitalize all the letters in your subject line, even if your email is urgent. It can make you come off as aggressive.

4. Choose an appropriate writing style

When you write to fellow team members, your writing style will be more informal than when you write to a superior or a customer. When you’re writing to a superior or customer, you should use a formal salutation. A formal salutation and an introduction are both important if you’re writing an email to someone you don’t know. Your email should include your full name, title, company name, and contact information.

Customers won’t take you seriously if you send messages like “Lemme know when u want delivery.” You should only use short emails with bullet points if you are writing to your team about a project. If you write an email like this to customers, it will appear rude and blunt.

5. Strike the right tone

Customer service is full of technical jargon. In your emails to customers, they may not understand what you mean if you use technical jargon. For example, informing a customer that an ‘error …” occurred will confuse them. They may not understand what’s meant by a data breach. It’s always best to explain an issue by using simple language.

Jokes can get lost in translation and misunderstandings can happen when emails strike the wrong tone. Customers can misconstrue what you say because they can’t see your facial expressions or take note of vocal cues. 

6. Include a call-to-action (CTA)

An email CTA invites the recipient to take action after reading the email. Email CTA’s are common in sales and marketing emails. There are also ways to use them in customer service emails. Open-ended emails can be confusing and letting the recipient know what action to take can be helpful. 

You could include a link to a relevant article or video in a customer service email. You could even share a live chat link or guide customers to share feedback by completing a survey. Perhaps you could direct them to one of your posts on social media. Think about what you want a recipient to do and include the CTA in your email before sending it. 

7. Don’t write an email when you’re emotional

It’s impossible to always control how you feel. Many situations can evoke emotions like anger, frustration or irritation. You can’t afford to let your personal problems influence your response to customers.

You may feel angry about a customer’s complaint but replying with an angry email is a big mistake. Put the message into the ‘drafts’ folder and review it when you’re calmer. A thoughtful response could placate an angry customer and make them more loyal than ever. 

8. Respond in a timely manner

There is nothing that can upset your customers more than writing email after email and getting no response. Customers hate to be ignored. Show your respect by responding in good time to their emails. Even if you don’t have an immediate answer for them, write a response within 24 hours to let them know you received the email. You can say that you will be following up with another email as soon as you have an answer for them. 

9. Share links to relevant information

Modern customer service teams should empower customers to help themselves with a self-service knowledge base. Writing a lengthy email may not be necessary when you can share a link to relevant information, such as a video tutorial or an FAQ page. For example, a customer may want to know how to change privacy settings on an account. Instead of writing an email with a long list of steps, you can share a video showing exactly how to change them.

10. Proofread your emails

Customers will tend to judge you if you send emails full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. It could imply that you don’t care enough to use the spell checker before you click send. Exclamation points, emoticons, and abbreviations do not translate well when communicating with customers – rather, cut them out. 

Take the time to check your emails carefully and make sure they make sense before you hit send. Don't rely only on spell-check. Reread the email a few times, preferably out loud. Make sure you check its clarity and tone. You may need to do some rewriting if it sounds too cold or over-friendly. 


When it comes to customer service, email etiquette rules ensure your email messages are respectful and consistent. The above rules can help you to avoid confusion and make your emails more understandable and professional. Customer service email etiquette quickly reveals how well you treat your customers and what values your business embraces. Your emails can make the difference between losing customers and making them local brand advocates. 

Eun Rockwell is a freelance content writer at My-assignment Help and an active member of the best essay service in USA.