Responding to Customer Email

Letting your customers know that you've heard their feedback is important.
Square
Editorial Team

Whether it’s good or bad, email from your customers shows that they care enough to reach out to you with their thoughts about your business. When you get an email from a customer, it’s important that you take the time to respond.

How your customers can connect with you

Your customers might reach out to you via your “contact us” information, social media channels, email, and maybe even in person. In this article, we will focus on your customers communicating to you via email and text, whether they reply to a newsletter, seek your email out, or simply reply to the email/SMS receipt they receive after they make a purchase.

It’s worth noting that if your buyer replies directly to a receipt, their message will appear in the Messages section of your Customer Directory within your Square Dashboard. From here, you can reply to your customer as well as see their recent transactions.

In your Customer Directory you’ll also find the Feedback section. Here you can see positive or negative feedback from your buyers, and if the buyer has provided you the option, you can respond to their comment. If the feedback warrants a refund, you can issue one from the Feedback section or send a one-time-use coupon to that customer. Note that the feedback received through this channel is kept private.

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How to respond to customer email

No matter the type of email you receive from your customer, there are some tips that can help you respond well and provide excellent customer service:

  • Read your customer’s email carefully in its entirety.
  • Consider what the customer is stating or asking.
  • Ask yourself if their request is reasonable and how you can make it happen.
  • Respond as soon as you can.
  • Thank your customer for reaching out.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of how to respond to your customers, let’s dig in deeper.

Why you should respond to positive email

A positive email with a glowing review about your product or a customer’s experience at your store is the best kind of email you can get from a customer. Not only did they have a great experience related to your business or product, they went the extra mile and wrote to you.

Think about that for a minute and revel in how wonderful that is. Your customers are busy with their work, families, and maybe even school. And yet they took time out of their day to reach out to you to say how much they love your store or product. Now it’s your turn to let them know how it makes you feel to know your business has had a positive impact on their lives. When you respond, thank them, be sincere, and make sure you’re responding with at least a sentence or two.

How to respond to negative email

Sure, an email with a complaint is not something you want to receive, but think of it this way, instead of complaining on Yelp or some other public forum, they’re taking their issue straight to you. And that’s saying something, because if your customer’s intention was to be aggressive and to hurt your business, they could have plastered their comments all over social media — but they didn’t.

Instead, they wrote to you because they want to resolve their issue, and now it’s your job to help them do just that. Also, it’s important to know that for every customer who complains, there are 25 who will simply stop doing business with you altogether, according to SuperOffice.

With negative email, make sure you take the time to understand the concern or issue with your business. Then take five minutes away from your computer and go outside and take a beat. Now that you’ve got a clear head, respond by first thanking them for their email, apologize (if appropriate), and offer to help them with their problem.

How much you want to help is up to you because if their request isn’t reasonable, maybe there’s only so much you can do, but if you feel their request and/or criticism is sincere and fair, it’s up to you to make it right.

You can do this by offering to replace a product that didn’t meet their expectations, or giving them a discount to come into your store again if they had a disappointing customer service experience. It’s important that you’re sincere in your response and that you respond as soon as you’re able. Putting off your response will only make your customer feel ignored, making it more likely they take their concerns public.

While it’s not fun to respond to negative email, remember that such email can provide you with invaluable information about how your business is doing and a chance to save a hard-earned relationship with a customer.

The Square Editorial Team is dedicated to telling stories of business, for business owners. Our team comes from a variety of backgrounds and share a passion for providing information that helps businesses to start, run, and grow. The team is based in San Francisco, but has collaborators all over the country.