6 free customer support templates every eCommerce seller should be familiar with!

6 free customer support templates every eCommerce seller should be familiar with!

 

In this post, I will provide you with the following 6 free customer support templates:

  • Your package is on its way.
  • Out of stock.
  • Delivery delay.
  • How to use the product.
  • Post purchase message #1.
  • Post purchase message # 2.

I will also discuss:

  • The importance of timing.
  • What not to write!

free ecommerce customer support templatesImage by expresswriters from Pixabay

The importance of communication

Communication is the oxygen of eCommerce customer support and as such it needs to be treated with great care. I decided to write this post for all the people out there who understand the importance of communicating with their customers but don’t know exactly:

  • What to write
  • How to write it
  • When to send it

This post will equip you with 6 free customer support templatesplease feel free to copy and paste these word for word or to change a line here and there. The most important thing is that you get the correct messages across to your buyers with:

  • Zero sarcasm.
  • No negative innuendo.
  • Positive reassurance.
  • Showing a desire to take responsibility.
  • Being passionate about customer satisfaction.

And all this through the written word. We have our work cut out for us.

The importance of timing

Timing is always of the essence. War, politics, the economy, even (or especially) our love life are all ruled by time and timing. Think: flowers for an anniversary or being late for a date night.

eBay selling strategy timing is key Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

That’s why it’s not surprising that timings also plays a huge role in terms of communicating with customers and offering them the customer support they need and crave, timing plays a huge role:

  • A message should be sent out directly after an item has been shipped.
  • Instructions on how to use the item should be instantly available to the customer upon its arrival.
  • Out of stock issues and shipping delays should be handled immediately so as to not lose customers.
  • Following up on customer satisfaction and requesting feedback should all be done while the product and experience are still fresh in the mind.

What not to write!

Photo by Farica Yang on Unsplash

A minute before we dive into what you should be writing. Here are a few things I would avoid when communicating with eCommerce shoppers:

  1. Never blame others, even if it is not your fault. Take responsibility for issues and make sure your sense of ownership really comes across throughout your communication.
  2. Never assume or guess. Always provide accurate information and links. For example, turning on and charging a new gadget may seem simple to you, but to others it may seem daunting. That is why it’s important to include basic product instructions (more on this in a bit). In terms of guess work, make sure you know the exact arrival time given to you by UPS for example, don’t guess it will arrive within 3 days based on past experiences.
  3. Never be rude. Yes, it seems obvious, but even if you aren’t directly rude, sometimes intonation, wording or even punctuation can come off as rude. For example: ‘As I mentioned earlier, your package will be arriving by June 21st!’. In this case, the exclamation point comes across as the equivalent of email shouting!!! And saying that you mentioned something earlier means you are accusing your customer of not paying attention – don’t insinuate blame, it will not work in your favor.

Customer support template # 1: Your package is on its way

Photo by Christina Sicoli on Unsplash

This is the most basic message every seller should be sending and is important in order to establish a line of communication and trust. Of course eBay and Amazon send customers this type of message, but there is value having it come from you, the seller. It shows that you:

  • Care about your customer and their order.
  • Are taking responsibility for their item’s arrival.
  • Want to keep the customer informed.
  • Appreciate their business and understand their concerns and/or anticipation.

This is what I would write:

‘Hi Adam, [Use the buyer’s first name here – this establishes a friendly tone]

I am excited to tell you that I have finished carefully packaging your [insert your item here] and have put it in the mail using UPS [insert your carrier’s name here].

Here is a link which you can use to track your package’s route and status.

[insert link here]

I just wanted to take this opportunity to tell you how important it is to me for your package to arrive on time. I got up earlier than usual today in order to be sure that it would get sent out asap!

If you should have any concerns or questions or if your package does not arrive on time for some reason, please reach out to me first thing and I will make sure to take care of it.   

I know you must be excited and anxious to start using your new [insert item name here]. Just keep in mind that it will be arriving on April 29th [insert arrival date here].

I will keep in touch to ensure that it in fact arrived and that you are satisfied and know how to use it 🙂

Best regards,

Nate [insert your name here]

Killer Music Earbuds [insert your store name here]’

Customer support template # 2 Out of stock

This is one of the most common responses you may need to write to customers. As I mentioned in a post I recently published for Web Retailer entitled,  ‘3 eCommerce customer service hacks every seller should know!’, this is one of the top customer service issues sellers need to deal with on a regular basis.

It is certainly common, but of course, this is the worst scenario, everyone is disappointed – you miss out on a sale and your customer feels they are missing out on a really great product. Here are a few ideas to use in order to avoid having to ever use this template in the first place:

  1. Use an inventory synchronization tool which will update your inventory automatically across all marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay.
  2. Use a CRM or Customer Relationship Management tool like Subivi, which will help you understand item purchase trends, such as what time of year you should keep more of a certain item in stock.
  3. Find a second supplier –  Sometimes sellers are out of stock because of their supplier’s inability to come through. If you are not selling a particularly unique item which can be sourced elsewhere, always keep a secondary supplier on the back burner.

Those were just a few thoughts about your business’s chain of supply. In terms of customer communication, here is what I would write:

Hi Adam, [Use the buyer’s first name here – this establishes a friendly tone]

Unfortunately, the item you are inquiring about is currently out of stock. I am working around the clock to be able to get it to buyers like yourself. If you are willing to wait 2 days [insert however many days it will take you to restock] I will make it worth your while by offering you a 20% discount, meaning every day you wait essentially saves you 10%!

If this sounds interesting to you, message me back and I will put you at the top of the list to receive the earphones [insert your product name here] you wanted.

Best regards,

Nate [insert your name here]

Killer Music Earbuds [insert your store name here]

It is best to keep this message short and to make the buyer a proposition he or she will find hard to refuse. Even if you just break-even on this sale, it is well worth your time. A disappointed buyer can do damage to you in terms of:

  • Negative word of mouth and reviews.
  • Deciding to never make a purchase from you again.

Whereas a satisfied customer will:

  • Sing your praises to all who will listen.
  • Potentially become a loyal long term customer as people tend to remember and appreciate these types of gestures.

Customer support template # 3 Delivery delay

Photo by Pope Moysuh on Unsplash

No matter how on-top of things you are, it happens. I recently ordered a birthday gift on Amazon and had it sent directly to my brother who lives in Italy. It originated somewhere in Texas and was then sent to England and from England to Germany and only then over to Italy. The order said it would arrive on Friday, but it only came through on Monday. I was pretty annoyed and that is when I started to trace the item. It turns out that the British customs held the package for review and that is certainly not something the American seller could control. What he could control, however, was having an open communication line with me which he did not! So not only was I mad, but I had not even heard from the seller who could have easily apologized and put me at ease.

An apology in this case scenario goes a long way. You should definitely send your customer a message along these lines when you encounter a similar situation:

‘Hi Adam, [Use the buyer’s first name here – this establishes a friendly tone]

I just got off the phone with UPS [insert carrier name here] and was informed that your package has been held up by the British authorities for review and will arrive on Monday based on their estimation [insert date of arrival]. Here is the link where you can track your package: [insert link here].

The first thing I want to do is apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment you must feel now that you have to wait the entire weekend for it to arrive. I know I would feel disappointed.

Additionally, I want to compensate you by offering you free, overnight shipping with your next order and will refund your payment for the shipping on this order.

If there is anything else I can do to make you feel better about the situation, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Best regards,

Nate [insert your name here]

Killer Music Earbuds [insert your store name here]’

Photo by Nathaniel Yeo on Unsplash

An apology and some empathy go a long way with buyers. As I mentioned in my previous post, ‘Top 10 eCommerce customer service mistakes…’:

74% of customers feel satisfied when a business offers monetary compensation coupled with an apology versus 37% of customers who are satisfied with monetary compensation alone”.

What I suggested in the template above not only compensates for the inconvenience they are experiencing now, but may also encourage a future purchase. The price you are paying helps turn a negative into a positive and is worth every penny! It does not matter if it is your fault or not. You have to step up to the plate when it’s your turn to bat, and this time it is.  

Customer support template # 4: How to use the product

Photo by Pope Moysuh on Unsplash

Some sellers prefer to send this as a separate message or include it in their ‘first post-purchase message’. I personally would recommend writing out the top 2-5 issues customers have had in the past when receiving their item and include it in the shipment itself. This has the potential to eliminate a lot of anxiety and frustration. Imagine you receive new headphones and it is unclear how to even turn them on. I wrote out an example of the type of note you can include with your headphones. Feel free to adapt this to your unique product needs:

‘Hi Adam, [Use the buyer’s first name here – this establishes a friendly tone]

If you are reading this, it means your headphones arrived and that means you must be as psyched as I am and want to start using them right away.

From experience, some people don’t know how to turn on and charge wireless headphones, so I wanted to provide you with this information so that you can start enjoying your music as soon as possible

[Include one or two basic things you can explain about how to work/run/setup/ put together the item.]

How to pair the headset with your device:

Press on the left earbud for 10 seconds and then the right one. Once you have done that, go into ‘settings’ on your device (iphone for example) and click ‘bluetooth’, you should hear a voice say ‘headphones paired’. That’s it, super simple.

How to charge your headset:

The way you charge your headset is by plugging the storage box it came in either directly to an outlet or using the USB port cable directly with your computer. Insert the headphones. When the light is red, it means, still charging, and when it turns green, it is fully charged.

These are the most common issues people usually need help with when first receiving their earbuds – should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Let the music begin 🙂

Best regards,

Nate [insert your name here]

Killer Music Earbuds [insert your store name here]’

Pro hack – Use Subivi eCommerce CRM’s automated up-sale message to send product specific instructions at a predetermined time.

Customer support template # 5: Post purchase message #1

I would recommend sending this the very next day after the item has arrived. This is, on the one hand, to give them enough time to open and use the product, but at the same time, not too late for you to resolve any issues should any arise. This is a very important message since your buyer has just received his or her item. They may be happy or they may be very upset – something might not be working or maybe the package arrived a day late despite what UPS reported. You want to use this message as a defense mechanism against any negative feedback and if all is ok, then you want to use it as a means of encouraging positive feedback.

Hi Adam, [Use the buyer’s first name here – this establishes a friendly tone]

I was really glad to hear from UPS [insert delivery company here] that your headphones [insert product name here] arrived today. You can view the UPS delivery confirmation here: [insert the tracking link].

If, for some reason, you have not yet received your item, please reply ASAP to this email and I will get to the bottom of the issue and ensure you receive it!

If the item arrived on time, you managed to use it and you are satisfied – please leave us some positive feedback on eBay/Amazon. A great way to do this is to finish the following sentence: ‘My favorite part about this item is…’. Here is a link [Add product review link here]

If, for some reason, you are unhappy, please contact me before leaving a negative review and I will do my utmost to make things right.

We really appreciate your business and hope you enjoy killer tunes on your new earbuds [insert product name here].

Best regards,

Nate [insert your name here]

Killer Music Earbuds [insert your store name here]

Photo by Denisse Leon on Unsplash

Customer support template # 6: Post purchase message # 2

I would usually recommend sending this 3-6 days after you sent the first message. I would obviously only send this if you have not heard back from your buyer or you definitely see that they have not left a review. If you still get no response or feedback, you can send another version of this email in a third and last attempt! The reason why I limit review requests at three is because, after this, I personally believe that it is considered stalking and the potential for a positive outcome gives way to the potential for a negative outcome (think: bell curve}.

Image by mcmurryjulie from Pixabay

Let’s demonstrate:

This is Jim,

Jim is a stalker.

Image by Wendelin Jacober from Pixabay

Don’t be like Jim!

Here is what I would write in the third and final attempt:

Hi Adam, [Insert customer name here]

I noticed that your Item arrived 3 days ago.

I am just following up to see if you are satisfied with your new earphones.

If you are – please leave us some feedback by following this link and letting other shoppers know one thing you really like about this item (maybe you find the sound quality to be excellent for example). {insert link here] This will help me as a seller and be of real value to fellow eBay/Amazon shoppers.

If, for some reason, you are not satisfied, please don’t hesitate to message me back. Please explain what issues you are experiencing and I promise to do my best to help work it out!

-optional-

As a returning customer, you are entitled to a 10% discount on your next purchase from me. To make use of this discount, please enter the following code XXXX

You can enter the code on the following link [include relevant link here]

We really appreciate your business!

Best regards,

Nate [insert your name here]

Killer Music Earbuds [insert your store name here]

Summing it up

It is super important to stay in touch with your buyers – from pre-purchase queries and post-purchase shipping to handling updates, as well as to follow up with feedback requests and what I like to call ‘satisfaction assurance’. Always put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think: If I were them – what would I be most worried about?  To briefly recap:

  • Don’t be too informative – keep it simple and to the point.
  • Don’t be a stalker – limit the amount of feedback requests to 3!
  • Make sure to always update a client when an item is shipped out and to follow up with them to ensure they are satisfied and know how to ‘work’ the product.
  • Always take responsibility for issues, even if it is not your fault.
  • Always try to resolve customer issues.
  • And last, but not least, your top priority is to ensure your customer had a positive buying experience with you! That includes everything from tone to compensation.

I hope you use these templates to improve your eCommerce customer support. I would love to get feedback from you if you found these templates helpful and if so – which were most effective ?

Also, if you have any other templates to contribute to the community, please feel free to do so in the comments section .

And lastly – which templates did I leave out in your opinion ? – let me know and I will get to publishing them straight away!

Thank you for reading and contributing 🙂

Nadav Roiter

Nadav Roiter is a published writer and a Jerusalem Post freelance journalist. Formerly part of the CrazyLister content team, he is now the Marketing Manager for Subivi eCommerce CRM which has developed a customer support tool uniquely built to help eCommerce sellers offer stellar customer support while simultaneously maximizing profits.
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