Earning a customer’s loyalty through email support reveals the untapped potential in the intersection of technology, business, and human nature.

Even if a product or service is lacking in what we seek, the reassurance that the product is growing and that there’s a team ready to provide insight or alternatives prompts customers to stay (or at least continue to be interested).

Mastering this style of communication is at the heart of growing a business that’s loved. Customer support is about managing some of the primal desires of human nature: to be seen, cared for, and understood.

Here are 15 insightful resources to help you find your center in providing better email support.

1. The Empathetic Path to Inbox Zero
Sacrificing quality for the sake of speed should not be an ethos of customer support. The balance of good work and speed is indeed difficult to find, especially as your team grows.
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2. Can Excellent Customer Service Really Be Delivered Over Email?
In short, yes. This essay showcases seven perfect examples of how email support can make a difference, even if it means losing an individual sale but gaining a potential customer.

3. How We Achieved 24/7 Support without Compromising Our Culture (Too Much)
A humbling look into how Basecamp grew their support team and how that played a pivotal role in growing their business. (Also see how 2014 was a good year for Basecamp support).

4. The Customer Support Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow became famous for the creation of his hierarchy of needs. This Harvard Business Review article examines this concept as it relates to customer support.

5. Required for Success in the New Economy: An Authentic Customer Service Style
Bestselling author and business writer Micah Solomon argues that the style of language and the context in which it’s used matters. “Excessive formality is hazardous to your business because it clashes with the personal style of your customers, millennials in particular, making your brand appear out of touch or even condescending.”

6. Tone and Language Are Building Blocks to Customer Perception
There is power behind the sound of our words and how they’re delivered. Tone and language are especially important in email support, where they—not facial expressions or vocal intonation—are the only modes of communication. In essence, every word matters.

7. Wistia on Teaching with Video
Our friends over at Wistia chatted with educators who solely use video to teach. There’s something fascinating about this tactic that can be applied to customer support and how we engage with customers. Besides, don’t your fingers need a break?
Wistia teaches with video

8. Customer Service Isn’t a Department
“Customer service is an essential business function. In fact, customer service is the essential business function; serving customers is what makes you a business. Because of this, it deserves incredible attention.”

9. The Email Support Style Guide You Didn’t Know You Needed
“The primary objective of all writing is to communicate information. Since faulty styling impedes on this, it is a trait of bad writing.” Here’s a guide to the dos and don’ts of style in customer support writing, including the importance of listing things chronologically, avoiding underlined text, and the best use of the P.S.

10. Eventbrite’s Playbook for Building Amazing Customer Service from Scratch
This is an in-depth look into how Eventbrite grew their remarkable business with an emphasis on customer service.

11. Overcoming Customer Objections
Understanding how to overcome customer objections is helpful in nudging potential customers to join your side. How you go about calming fears and answering questions can make or break their decision, so here are some best practices when it comes to engaging with customer objections.

12. How to Measure Customer Satisfaction: Do You Overlook these 4 Key Customer Satisfaction Measurements?
How, exactly, do you measure customer satisfaction? These metrics are cornerstones in business that reflect growth or a lack thereof. Scott Smith provides questions worth asking ourselves to ensure that we’re progressively growing.

13. 4 Lessons Learned in ManageWP Support
“Customer support is the first point of contact for most users, and if the users talk to someone half-assing through their shift, they will assume everyone in the company is like that.”

14. The Philosophy of Great Customer Service
Derek Siver’s success with CD Baby is a timeless example in the business world. The story resonates because of his relentless focus on people first. In this essay, he shares six lessons from growing CD Baby.

15. A Brief Guide to a Better Email
We can learn a lot by observing what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past. Chase Clemons from Support Ops uses real emails to highlight the best (and worst) ways to respond to inquiries like cancelling an account, feature requests, and more.
Guide to a Better Email - Bad example

Paul Jun

About the author: Paul Jun is on the marketing team at Help Scout, the invisible help desk software. Learn how Help Scout takes the headache out of email support.