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Leverage Canned Responses to Enhance Business Productivity

Canned responses allow you to leverage automation to improve the customer experience. Learn how to expertly use canned responses with this Mailchimp guide.

Businesses should constantly aim to improve productivity while providing customers with a good experience. Unfortunately, saving time, money, and resources while offering next-level customer service can be challenging for many small business owners.

Finding ways to improve productivity internally without sacrificing the customer experience is paramount, regardless of the products or services you sell. Canned responses can help you delight your customers faster while increasing productivity to free up your customer service reps and salespeople to focus on other core competencies that require attention.

You already understand the importance of customer service, but customers want answers to their inquiries fast. Canned replies allow customer service agents to respond quickly and provide good service without taking up too much of their time. But what is a canned response, and how can you start using them in your business today?

Keep reading to learn more about canned responses and how they work.

When customers send a common inquiry to customer support, you can reply with a canned response, meaning a pre-written message your customer support team can send immediately. Customer service chat canned responses are used for commonly asked questions related to customer service or product support.

If you use customer service tools, you can copy and paste canned responses immediately into chats with customers or keep canned replies in a spreadsheet for email responses.

Where should you use canned responses?

Canned responses are primarily used in sales and customer service to facilitate communication between customers and brands. A few examples of where you can implement canned responses include the following:

  • Social media: Social media platforms provide a valuable opportunity to communicate directly with your target audience via private messaging. When customers message your business, they expect an immediate response. You can implement canned replies directly on Facebook and other platforms, allowing you to create and automatically generate canned responses.
  • Email: Whether you're a sales or customer service rep, email is still one of the primary communication channels for customers and businesses, especially if you don't have a live chat feature on your website. Creating canned responses for customer frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to products, services, returns, exchanges, pricing, and so forth can help you decrease response times while enhancing the overall customer experience
  • Live chat: Live chat canned responses can help you immediately resolve common customer questions and issues. A portion of your live chat conversations can be canned and automated to reduce response times and allow customer service agents or salespeople to communicate with more than one customer simultaneously.

10 Examples of canned responses

Canned replies can either be automated or manually copied and pasted into a live chat, email, or direct message. To fully automate the process, you'll need to understand the different types of canned responses, ranging from greetings to closing the support ticket and asking for customer feedback.

Here are a few of the different types of canned response examples you can use when handling customer inquiries:

Greeting a customer

Greeting costumes on live chat lets you start the conversation on the right foot. Many live chat tools automatically greet customers as soon as they visit a website, ensuring they know that the live chat feature is available if needed. However, you may also choose to greet customers after they've already submitted an inquiry.

Something like, "Hi, my name is [name]. How can I help you today?" is simple enough to encourage customers to communicate with you online.

However, if the customer has already submitted an inquiry with details and information about their issue, you may need to fine-tune your greeting to include another canned response.

Requesting more information

In most cases, customers won't provide your customer service team with all the essential pieces of information they need to resolve a customer issue up front.

For instance, if someone wants to know their bank account balance, they'll need to provide the customer service rep with information to help them verify the customer and identify their bank accounts.

After a customer responds to your initial greeting, you can ask for more information with a canned response similar to, "Thanks for sharing! To complete the process, we'll need the following pieces of information from you: [list of requests]:"

Providing instructions

Customers may also send you a message when they need help using a product. In these cases, you should provide easy-to-understand instructions similar to those you'd send with the product.

You can create a page on your website or knowledge base with more information or video tutorials, depending on how complicated it is to use the product. Then, if a customer asks for help, you can send them a canned response similar to:

"I would be happy to help you use the product! Visit this link to get started [link]."

You can also send them a reply detailing the steps in the message and use a canned response like:

"I'm happy to help. Follow these instructions to get started: [instructions]."

Taking customer complaints

Handling complaints is critical to any customer service rep's job, and learning about customers' sentiments toward your products can help you build a better business. However, when customers complain, they're already unhappy, so you'll need to be more delicate with the situation. Customers usually expect a resolution to their issues as soon as possible.

You can use the following canned response when customers complain about a particular product or aspect of a product:

"I understand your frustration. Can you provide more information about [customer issue] so we can come up with a solution?"

Acknowledging a mistake

Customer service agents are human and make mistakes. However, customers are usually willing to forgive mistakes as long as the company takes responsibility. You can use canned responses to help resolve the issue to keep your customers satisfied. An example might be:

"Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We're sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. Our solution is to [solution]."

Here, providing as much information about how you'll fix your mistake is crucial and can help ease your customers' minds while de-escalating the situation.

Escalating an issue

Escalating customer issues to someone higher up, such as a manager, is common practice since many angry or upset customers typically want to talk to the person in charge. You can put your customers' minds at ease by escalating the situation when deemed necessary.

Of course, you should have a list of situations that should be escalated to help your customer service team understand which types of inquiries should be handled by another person.

When you do escalate issues, you can send the customer a canned response, such as:

"Thank you so much for reaching out. This type of situation is best handled by [another person or team], who will resolve the issue for you. What's the best way to reach you?"

Addressing an issue

Customer service representatives can resolve most customer concerns. When a customer has an issue, they want a fast resolution. Your canned response should include clear information about how you'll resolve the issue and what the customer can expect. Here's an example:

"Thanks for reaching out. We're currently investigating the situation and will get back to you as soon as possible. If you do not hear back within 48 hours, please feel free to follow up with us."

Other issues are more specific. For instance, if the customer didn't receive their order, your canned response might look like this:

"Thanks for reaching out. We're very sorry you haven't received your order. While we look into this issue, we'll send a replacement today. You can expect it by [delivery date]."

Of course, your canned response for each issue will largely depend on company policies. For instance, your business might not allow you to send replacements without further investigation.

Providing updates

Some customer issues can't be resolved successfully in a single communication. However, even if your team is still working toward a resolution, you should continue to provide the customer with updates. For instance, if you sell software, your customer might run into an issue or bug. In this case, your canned response might be:

"Hi [customer name], Thanks for reporting your issue. We're writing to inform you it's now fixed. Please let us know if you continue to experience problems."

On the other hand, an eCommerce business might need to provide updates on order tracking or resolutions that take more time. If a customer's order was lost in the mail and you had to investigate, you might send this canned response:

"Hi [customer name], Thanks for letting us know you have not received your package. We investigated the issue, and it appears the package was delayed in transit. It is now on the way and will be delivered by [date].

Closing an issue

You can close the issue once you've satisfied the customer's request. Of course, you should only close the issue once you've actually solved the customer's problem. Then, you can send them a canned response thanking them for contacting your business and providing them with any other information they need to know. To close the issue, you can send a canned response similar to the following:

"Looks like everything is good to go! Your order will arrive on [date]. I appreciate your patience. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

Confirming satisfaction

You can end the conversation once the customer tells you they no longer have any questions. However, you should also confirm that the customer is satisfied with your service. Asking for customer feedback can help you determine if your customer service responses are performing well.

You can send an automated message asking them to rate their experience as soon as the inquiry is closed out. For this, you can use a response like:

"Thank you for choosing [business name]! Please take a moment to tell us about your experience today."

Then, you can ask them to rate it using a star rating or allow them to provide short answers.

What are the benefits of using canned responses?

The main purpose of canned responses is to be more efficient than having customer support agents manually search for and find answers to common customer questions. Canned responses benefit both internal teams and customers, allowing you to provide a better customer experience while supporting customer service reps who need to spend time on more complicated customer service issues.

Here are the three significant benefits of using canned responses for sales and customer service:

Faster response times

With a good canned response, customer service reps don't have to spend valuable time thinking about how to respond to a particular inquiry. Not all of your customer service agents can type quickly or handle multiple customer inquiries at once if they're focused on delivering exceptional service to everyone.

However, when you use canned responses, you can help customer service reps save time, allowing them to deliver good service to several customers at once while reducing waiting times.

Workflow efficiency

Predefined responses are a type of customer service automation because they allow you to automatically respond to customer inquiries. Using pre-written responses during a conversation with a customer can eliminate repetitive, time-consuming work to free up more time for more important tasks.

Canned responses can increase customer retention rates by reducing wait and resolution times because they provide instant replies. When customers know someone has read and responded to their message, they'll feel like the business cares about working toward a resolution.

Are there any disadvantages to using canned responses?

Unfortunately, canned responses can't completely take over your customer service strategy. Instead, they must be used strategically. First of all, canned responses only work for frequently asked questions, and it's almost impossible for businesses to predict every customer inquiry they'll receive.

In addition, canned messages shouldn't be used if you're unclear about what the customer is asking. Sending them an incorrect response could be disastrous and only cause more dissatisfaction.

Customers who send you an email, direct message, or live chat want a personalized experience, which means creating canned responses that can answer their questions as efficiently as possible.

However, they don't want to feel like they're talking to a robot. Instead, you should personalize canned responses for every situation to ensure you fully understand the customers' needs or concerns and can provide them with the right answers or information.

Using canned responses can help reduce wait times and increase productivity while improving the customer experience, but only when done correctly. Remember, your customers expect fast responses, but they also expect them to be accurate and personalized depending on the situation.

Read the following tips to help you create more effective canned responses that delight customers.

  • Find your FAQs: You should create canned responses based on your FAQs. Canned responses are designed for frequently asked questions, allowing you to pinpoint the information your customers want to know and create fast responses.
  • Be accurate: The perfect canned response should provide accurate, up-to-date, and relevant information to help customers.
  • Keep it concise: The best canned responses for customer inquiries are concise and to the point. Always use clear and simple language to convey your message effectively without unnecessary elaboration. Some canned responses will be longer than others, but what's most important is ensuring the customer understands the message.
  • Personalize: While canned responses are designed to help customer service reps save time, they should still be personalized based on the customers' needs. Write canned responses in a way they can be tailored. For instance, you should always respond using their first name to let them know they've come to the right place. You can also tailor them to specific situations by including relevant details.

Why you should use automation to leverage canned responses

Canned responses benefit your business and its customers by reducing wait times and increasing efficiency and productivity. Using marketing automation tools can help you streamline your customer service, sales, and marketing efforts by allowing you to create prompt replies for customers.

Automation saves time by allowing you to quickly respond to FAQs and inquiries without fully typing the response. In addition, it ensures your messaging is consistent and accurate with the most up-to-date information about your products, services, and overall brand.

Automated canned responses can also help eliminate human error because they're pre-written and fact-checked before being shared with customers, reducing the potential for customer frustration while supporting internal goals.

Use canned responses to boost customer satisfaction & productivity

Canned messages can enhance customer satisfaction while increasing productivity among sales and customer service teams, allowing them to satisfy the needs of more customers throughout the day.

Mailchimp's customer experience automation tools are designed to help you keep customers happy while improving productivity. With our suite of marketing and sales tools, you can communicate with customers effectively and delight them at every touchpoint. Try Mailchimp today.

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