Canned responses are pre-populated help desk email messages that allow customer support agents to respond quickly to customer issues. A catalog of canned responses can increase a customer success team's efficiency, allowing them to provide more resolutions to more customers, quickly and efficiently.

Here are some common canned responses to save in your email inbox, along with details on how to implement them successfully.

Toward the end of this post, we’ve included some guiding principles that you can implement to provide the best customer experience possible for your customers.

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1. We've received your message and we're working on it.

If a customer submits a support ticket, they should get confirmation that you received the ticket and your team is working on it.

If possible, personalize the response in a way that addresses the customer’s issue rather than sending a blanket “We received your support request” message.

Here's a great example of a personalized acknowledgment template which you can customize:

Hey [CUSTOMER NAME],

Thank you for reaching out to us.

Our internal team noticed that this tracking number hasn't been updated yet. We're communicating with the merchant for an update, and as soon as we receive one, we'll follow up. I appreciate your patience with this order.

If you have any further questions or concerns, let us know. We are here 24/7 and always happy to help. Thanks for being a loyal [COMPANY NAME] customer.

Take care,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • The message proactively addresses the customer’s concern about whether or not their support ticket was received.
  • It reminds the customer that the service team is available to them should they need further assistance.

2. Thanks for the product/feature recommendation.

Who has more knowledge about what products and features your customers need than the customers themselves? Some of the best ideas companies receive come from their clients. That’s why these businesses actively solicit ideas and feedback from them using idea submission forms.

When a customer goes out of their way to offer free advice about something they’d be willing to purchase from your business, they deserve some acknowledgment for that. A canned response is the perfect tool to give the customer positive reinforcement for sharing their thoughts with your team.

Implementing every piece of customer feedback isn’t the most effective way to run your business, so you’ll want to avoid promising customers any new products or features they suggest. Outlining the process your support team follows when they receive an idea submission will typically suffice as a helpful canned response. Here’s an example of what that might look like:

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

Thanks for submitting that thoughtful idea. Our product team is excited to review it and pass it on to our developers for consideration in our next product rollout.

I’m sure you understand that we receive many great ideas from our customers, and we’re grateful for all of them. But we do have a limited number of developers whom we don’t want to overwhelm.

That means your idea will be prioritized according to our internal review system. If your idea is selected, we’ll notify you — we’d love for you to help us test it before it goes live.

If you have other ideas, do let us know by submitting another idea submission form [LINK TO FORM].

We appreciate your recommendation,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • The email politely lets the customer know that their idea will be considered, but not necessarily implemented right away.
  • The customer is encouraged to submit more ideas if they have any.

3. We're still working on your case.

Sometimes support cases can take longer than the customer (and even the support team) was expecting.

As the time it takes to resolve the issue increases, your client's patience decreases. They might begin to doubt that their issue is being taken care of at all — and that’s not good for the overall customer experience.

A lack of trust is best resolved by preventing it in the first place. Proactively touch base with the customer to let them know you're working hard to reach a resolution and that you’ll follow up with updates. Then, follow through on your commitment. This shows that your company cares about the customer experience before, during, and after their purchase.

Here's an example of a canned response that reassures the customer that their issue will be resolved. This one is based on an email the LawnStarter team received.

Hey [CUSTOMER NAME],

Before we go into the weekend, I wanted to update you on the status of your issue.

Your [ISSUE] is in progress and is being worked on by our product team. We're prioritizing your request, and I will make sure this issue is resolved over the weekend. Thanks for your patience.

Take care,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • The service team is advocating for the customer.
  • It preemptively quells a complaint from the customer later on.

4. We're closing your ticket.

Once a customer has indicated that their issue was resolved, it's important to thank them for their patience.

If possible, this message should come from the agent that was handling the case, and it should appear in the same email thread where the issue was first mentioned. If this is not possible, be sure to indicate which support issue this email is addressing so the customer isn’t confused.

The template below gives this canned response a friendly tone, but you should customize it to suit the tone and voice that’s appropriate for the situation.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

Thanks for taking the time to speak about [ISSUE] today. I've updated your contact record in our system, so your subscription will renew by the end of the day.

Is there anything else I can help you with? Please don't hesitate to reply to this email or call me at [123-456-7891] if you have any other questions.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • The customer has one final opportunity to respond before the service rep closes the ticket.
  • It confirms that the support rep has done the work to resolve the customer’s problem.

5. About your request for a refund.

Even though your organization may not permit refunds, your support team is likely to receive a request like this at some point. On the surface, it seems simple to let the customer know you don’t allow refunds, but don’t brush off this request. It’s indicative of a larger issue that your customer service team needs to address and resolve.

In your canned response to this matter, it’s important to acknowledge that there’s a problem you want to know more about. Lead with empathy, follow up with the options available to the customer, then ask what you can do to make a difference.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

I’m saddened to hear that you’re not happy with your recent purchase, and I hope you’ll let me make it right.

Although we don’t offer refunds, we do have several options available to give you the value you deserve from [COMPANY NAME].

  • [LIST OF OPTIONS: exchange, return, discount on a future purchase, etc. - include links if applicable.]

If you’ll respond to this email directly with the option that suits your needs, I’ll process that for you right away.

In the meantime, will you share with me what went wrong with this purchase?

Warm regards,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • It takes the focus off of what the support team can’t do and focuses on what they can do.
  • The customer knows that the company is committed to providing value, even when things aren’t going well.
  • The rep asks a follow-up question to solve the root cause of the problem.

6. Were you happy with the resolution?

Sometimes, there are issues that take time to resolve. For example, I recently placed an order with a company, but it was lost in transit. The company issued a new date of expected delivery, but the package still didn’t arrive.

Another example of this issue is when a customer has trouble using a feature of your product. Although you may have implemented a fix on your end, there could be roadblocks preventing the customer from experiencing the solution.

Don't put the onus on your customers to check in with you — instead, proactively reach out once you've solved the customer's problem to make sure it was satisfactory.

Occasionally at LawnStarter, for example, a customer doesn't like the work their lawn professional does, so the company offers to send a new team member out to rectify the situation. Here's an example of the LawnStarter support team checking in to make sure the customer was satisfied.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

A few weeks ago, you mentioned that you weren’t satisfied with the lawn care service you received. We offered to send a different lawn care provider to complete your future services. My records show that your most recent appointment was completed by a new lawn care professional on our team. How did it go?

Your satisfaction is our priority. You can reply directly to this email and let us know what you think.

Thanks,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • It reminds the customer of their complaint.
  • Their feedback is requested about the solution the company provided.

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7. Were you satisfied with our customer support?

Once an issue is closed out, it is important to get feedback from your customers, usually in the form of a customer satisfaction survey.

This message should be straight to the point and neutral. You don't want to lead your customers to a positive response. A survey that is worded too positively can skew your data.

Here's a template that includes the conversation history to help jog the customer’s memory.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

We'd like to hear what you think of our customer service. Please take a moment to answer one simple question by clicking either link below:

Good, I'm satisfied

Bad, I'm unsatisfied

Here's a reminder of what your ticket was about:

[Details]

Thanks,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • It’s simple and neutral with virtually no language that might skew the customer’s response.

8. An update on your request for access.

Your customers go through a lot of change during the course of their careers, and switching roles or teams are some of the most common ones. That means you’ll receive requests for access to information from people who don’t have permission to receive it yet.

This situation could lead to a never-ending game of pass the buck, but careful wording can prevent legal or ethical issues for your company and avoid frustrating your customer. Explaining why you can’t grant the person access and what steps they need to take next can amicably resolve the issue.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

Our support team received your request for access and we’re here to help. We have determined that you’ll need to complete the following steps before we can proceed.

We’re unable to verify that the [name, email, other identifying information] you provided matches the information we have on file for this account. We take the privacy and security of our customers seriously, so to protect you and your company, please reply to this email and confirm the following information:

  • [LIST OF INFORMATION]

Once you reply, that response will come back to me to verify, and I’ll move your case forward from there.

Thank you for your cooperation,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • The company is positioned as a champion of the customer’s safety, not a roadblock to the person’s access.
  • The information that the support rep needs from the customer is clearly organized and actionable.

9. We need more information to complete your order.

Sometimes, if a customer places an order online or through an app, the customer service team might need to confirm information about the order before processing it. When you reach out and need the customer to take an extra step, the communication should be clear, succinct, and easy for them to act upon.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

Thanks for placing your order with us on [DATE]. We need to confirm your payment method for the order as the card you have on file was declined.

You can give me a call at [XXX-XXX-XXXX] to update this information, or you can change your preferences in your account profile now. Then, we'll be able to process and ship your order.

If you have any further questions or concerns, let us know! Thanks for your order from [COMPANY]

Take care,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • It gives the customer more than one way to help the service rep troubleshoot.
  • It clearly explains that when this information is received, the customer’s order will be processed and shipped.

10. Here's how to do it yourself.

Inevitably, customers will reach out with a support issue that, in your opinion, shouldn't be a support case.

For example, a customer may report that a feature isn't working properly, when, in reality, the problem was actually user error.

Keep in mind that your product isn't self-explanatory to people outside of your internal team, so making instructions clear is your responsibility — not theirs. The most important thing you can do is avoid using a condescending tone, no matter how simple the issue might seem.

You might be tempted to email the customer a link to your knowledge base, but they’ll appreciate that you went the extra mile to personalize the solution. Include the instructions in the email itself, with screenshots as a visual aid. Make it as easy as possible for your customer to solve the problem, and include any other relevant information that will help them succeed with using that feature. Here's an example of a DIY canned response template that you can customize:

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

I've switched your [SETTING] from weekly to bi-weekly, as you requested. Your next service will be on [DATE].

If you need to change your frequency settings again, you can do that online here by navigating to "Support" and clicking "Change Frequency."

Let me know if there's anything else I can help with.

Cheers,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • The message is polite and helpful without being condescending.
  • The support rep provided an immediate solution to the issue and then included a way to solve it themselves in the future.

11. Your support request has been escalated.

There are several reasons why customer support requests might be escalated at your company which means it’s nearly impossible (or at least inefficient) to write a canned response for every one of them. In most of these situations, though, the customer is waiting longer than usual for a solution and will be receiving communication from another person in your company. That’s the issue you need to address.

In order to get ahead of questions before they arise, let the customer know that you’re intentionally escalating their issue to get them the solution they need. You might also include a reason why you and your team are unable to handle a request of this caliber. Finally, reassure the customer that their request is important and the new team handling their issue is most qualified to resolve it.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

After reviewing your request, I’ve determined that this type of issue is best handled by our [ESCALATION TEAM NAME] team. My capabilities are limited when it comes to [ISSUE TYPE] so it would take me significantly longer to solve this for you.

Your case is important to [COMPANY] and [ESCALATION TEAM NAME] is more than qualified to get this resolved for you in [TIMEFRAME]. If you don’t hear back by then, reopen this ticket.

If you have other questions, reply directly to this email and I’ll be happy to help further.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • It shows that the customer service rep actually reviewed the case before responding.
  • The customer has been assured that they’ll be taken care of by the escalation team.

12. We acknowledge this mistake.

No matter how good your customer service team is, eventually you're going to make a mistake. It happens to every business. Sometimes there's little you could've done to avoid it. In these cases, it's best to acknowledge your role in the situation and explain the steps you're taking to solve it.

If the issue is small and easily fixed, then your team should resolve the problem before reaching out to the customer. You should still let the customer know about the error and discuss the steps you've taken to correct it. This will demonstrate transparency and build trust with your customer base. So long as the problem is resolved, customers will appreciate your honesty and dedication.

If the problem is more complex, your team should reach out to the customer immediately. Apologize for any inconvenience you may have caused and assure them that you're taking action to fix the issue. These conversations tend to be sensitive, so it helps to maintain a calm, reasonable tone, like in the example below.

Hello [CUSTOMER NAME],

I wanted to reach out with an update on your issue regarding [ISSUE TOPIC]. We regretfully admit that there has been an oversight made on your case. During our troubleshooting, we [EXPLANATION].

We acknowledge and apologize for how our mistake has created an inconvenience for you. We know that your goal is to [CUSTOMER'S GOAL] and we want to assure you that we are doing everything within our power to resolve this situation. Here are the steps we are taking to manage it right now:

[TROUBLESHOOTING STEPS]

Again, we are incredibly sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and will update you as soon as we have a resolution. Please feel welcome to reach out to us with any questions you may have about this information as we would be more than happy to help.

Talk to you soon,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • That the company has taken responsibility for its mistake.
  • It acknowledges the importance of the customer’s goal.
  • The way the company will mitigate the issue now and in the future was explained clearly without making excuses.

13. Thanks for working with us! We're closing this ticket now.

In some cases, customers may forget or ignore the ticket they have open with your service team. This canned email response alerts the customer that, unless they have any additional questions for your team, you’ll be closing the ticket. Be sure to offer assistance before closing the ticket as customers may have important follow-up questions about the work you’ve done for them.

This template begins by recapping the details of the case, then highlights that you'll be closing the ticket. If you're using a ticketing system, let them know how they can reopen their ticket and how to contact a service rep if needed. It's helpful to indicate that the customer should contact the same rep so they don’t have to explain their case again if they need help with the same issue.

Below is a message you can use to conclude your customer service cases.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

I'm reaching out about your case with us regarding [CASE TOPIC]. It's been [NUMBER OF DAYS] days since we've heard from you, so I wanted to reach out and let you know we are going to close this ticket.

Please feel welcome to reopen this ticket or start a new one if you need any further assistance.

Thanks again for working with us!

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • The email reminds the customer how long it's been since they last responded.
  • The customer is invited to reopen the ticket if they do need help.

14. Following up on your request to speak to an agent.

In today’s tech landscape, just about everything is automated, or at least done digitally. The reality is, phone calls and live support might not be a luxury your team offers to customers at scale. Luckily, there’s a helpful way to explain this to them while offering them alternative solutions.

Shifting the focus from what you can’t do (take phone calls) to what you can do (solve their problem) will help keep the customer calm and responsive. Include the information you need to get your troubleshooting process started and explain that you’ll be working in real time to get it settled.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

The support team at [COMPANY] is here to help you as quickly as we can, and the best way to do that is via digital communication. I understand our lack of live communication might be frustrating for you, but rest assured, you’ll still receive superior customer service this way.

With your help on the following items, I can start troubleshooting right away.

  • [LIST THE INFORMATION YOU NEED]

If you’d like to move forward, reply to this email — it’ll come directly to me so I can get started on your case.

Thank you,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • It acknowledges that the company’s process is frustrating to the customer.
  • The support rep promises the customer that they will receive exceptional service because of the quality of the support team, not the mode of communication.

15. Here’s what we can do for you.

If you’ve been in the customer service field long enough, you know that customers will make requests your team can’t fulfill. People have very specific needs and no single product or service can meet every customer’s expectations. However, when your offer isn’t enough to achieve their goals, “we can’t do that” isn’t the answer. Instead, offer your customers an alternative resource.

This is where a community forum or knowledge base comes in handy. You can direct customers to these self-service resources where they can collaborate with other customers. This not only provides an alternative solution but it also encourages customers to communicate with one another. When customers work together, it stimulates customer advocacy which increases customer loyalty.

Here’s a template you can use when your team needs to transfer the customer to an alternative resource.

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

Thanks for reaching out about [CUSTOMER’S REQUEST]. It looks like we’re limited in our ability to solve the issue, but here’s what I can do.

To start, I recommend taking a look at our community forum: [LINK TO FORUM]. There, you can find other users who may have found a solution to a similar roadblock.

If that resource doesn’t work, take a look at our knowledge base: [LINK TO KNOWLEDGE BASE]. We have some FAQ pages that may have the answer you’re looking for.

Finally, if both those options fail, you can post your request on our ideas forum: [LINK TO FORUM]. This forum lets you pitch a product or service idea to our team. Our developers may consider it as a future product or feature.

Please feel welcome to reach out to me with any questions you may have on these resources. I would be more than happy to help!

Thanks,

[YOUR NAME]

Why this canned response is effective:

  • It explains why the support team can’t solve the issue.
  • There are several alternatives included in the message that the customer can try which shows that the service representative cares about the customer’s concern even though they don’t have the best solution

How to Write Canned Responses for Customer Service that Work

Now that you've read some of the common canned responses, you're probably thinking about times you've gotten one of those responses. Chances are, it was not a good experience.

Even the term "canned response" makes me cringe a little, quite frankly.

The perfect canned response shouldn't sound canned at all. Rather it should give your customers the best experience possible. Remember, that's the goal of a canned response after all.

Here are a few guidelines for crafting high-quality canned responses:

1. Admit your shortfalls and empathize.

"When you're wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically." - Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Though your gut reaction is to respond defensively, it's important to let your customers know that your company fell short, and you understand their pain. If a customer isn’t happy with a service or can’t get a product to work, it’s your team’s responsibility to fix it.

Always think about how you want to be treated when you need help from a company’s customer service team.

2. Avoid bland jargon.

There's nothing more disingenuous than a line like "We are working diligently to resolve the issue you experienced," or "Your satisfaction is of utmost importance."

While these things might be true, there’s a way to personalize them so that they’re believable.

A good practice for writing canned responses that sound authentic is to write them the way you speak. The tone and language used in your templated emails can make an impression on your customer, so don’t take the opportunity to showcase the brand for granted. If you’re not an expert in this area, check out these 10 tips for writing compelling email copy and tap someone from your marketing team to help.

3. Personalized, but not too personal.

How many times have you submitted a support request and received a response like:

"[Company] has received your support ticket #34850. Reply above this line"?

It makes you feel like a number.

Make sure your canned response addresses the customer by name and is somewhat tailored to the nature of the request.

However, don't go overboard attempting to make the message look like it was typed personally. For example, putting "Sent from my iPhone" in the footer is going way too far. Customers will see right through this charade.

Instead, aim for something like this:

“Hey, [Name], our support team just received your ticket. As soon as we have an update, we’ll reach out to you. Until then, hang on to this ticket number if you need to ask a question or give us more information to solve your issue: ticket #34850.

[Support Team]

4. Set expectations.

In the instance that you can’t solve a customer’s issue immediately (and there will be many), let the customer know when to expect a response. This is just as important for your team as it is for the customer because it gives your service reps time and space to work without being interrupted with update inquiries.

And I get it, sometimes you really don’t know how long a customer issue might take to resolve, but do your best to give an estimate. If you know for sure you could resolve a problem in less than a week, but three days might be pushing your team’s capacity to the limit, tell the customer it’ll be a week before they’ll hear back. It’s always best to underpromise and overdeliver.

5. Don't use a canned response when a personal response is needed.

There's a time and place for canned responses, but sometimes you should really type a personalized response that's unique to the situation — especially when your product or service really falls short.

Canned Responses Customized for Your Business

Once you've set up your canned responses, the work is far from over. Make sure you periodically review the responses and track how customers react to them. You might also find you need to add more responses for new products and features that you introduce to your customer base. When your support email templates are efficient and effective, both your team and the customer will benefit.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Originally published Aug 9, 2021 1:45:00 PM, updated August 09 2021

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