6 Canned Responses to Use in Your Customer Service Emails

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Canned responses are pre-populated helpdesk 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 six common canned responses to save in your email inbox, along with details on how to implement them successfully. Following the list are some guiding principles that will help you ensure your canned responses are providing the best customer experience possible -- so read on.

6 Canned Responses to Use in Customer Service Emails

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

If a customer submits a support ticket, they deserve 1. confirmation that you received the ticket, and 2. affirmation that you are working on it.

If possible, personalize this response relative to the issue. If a customer filled out a form with drop-down category, this is easy. Additionally, you can train your reps to know which response to use.

Here's a great example based on an email I received from Jet.com that you can customize:

Thanks for reaching out to Jet.com

Hey [CUSTOMER NAME],

Thank you for reaching out to us.

Our internal team has also 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 an update, we'll keep you informed. 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]

2. We're still working on your case

Sometimes support cases can take a long time.

As the time lapse increases, your client's patience decreases. They might start wondering if their issue is even being worked on.

To help ameliorate this tendency, make sure you proactively follow-up with them letting them know you're still working hard to reach a resolution, and that you will let them know when there are updates. This shows you care.

Here’s an example based on an email the LawnStarter team received.  It communicates that the team is working on resolving the issue and appears as if they are advocating for us.

Update on your issue

Hey [CUSTOMER NAME],

I wanted to update you before the weekend about 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]

3. We've resolved your case

Once a customer has indicated that an issue is resolved, it's important that you thank them for their patience.

This should come from the agent that was handling the case, and appear in the same thread, if possible. If this is not possible, be sure to indicate which support issue this is addressing.

Make this as friendly as possible (and customize it as needed).

Following up on your request

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]

4. Were you happy with the resolution?

Often there are issues that take time to resolve. For example, I recently placed an order that was lost in transit. The company issued a new date of expected delivery, and the package did not arrive. 

Or, a customer may have had trouble using a feature of your product. Follow up with them a week later to make sure they were, in fact, able to use that feature.

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.

At LawnStarter, for example, occasionally a customer doesn't like the work their lawn pro does, so we offer to match them with a new one. Here's an example of us checking in to make sure they're satisfied that you can adjust:

How's it going?

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

A couple weeks ago, you mentioned that you'd like to try out a new lawn care provider. My records show that you just had your first service with the new pro. How did it go?

Just wanted to make sure you're happy :)

Thanks, [YOUR NAME]

5. 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.

Make this message straight to the point and friendly, but neutral. You don't want to lead your customers to a positive response. A survey that includes an overly positive lead in can skew your data.

Here's a template based on an example of a perfectly good response from Pitchbox. They even included the conversation history to help jog my memory.

We'd love to hear what you think

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

We'd love 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]

6. 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, they simply aren't using it properly.

Keep in mind that your product isn't self-explanatory, so this is your responsibility -- not theirs. Avoid talking down to them, no matter how simple the issue is. 

In your response, do not simply link your customers to a knowledge base. Rather, include the instructions in the email itself, with screenshots as a visual aid. Make it as easy as possible for your customer, and include any other relevant information that will help them succeed with that feature. Here's an example you can template-ize: 

Service frequency change

Hi [CUSTOMER NAME],

I've gone ahead and switched your [SETTING] from weekly to bi-weekly, as 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]

How to Write Canned Responses 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

Even the term "canned response" makes me cringe a little, quite frankly. That's because most companies put no care whatsoever into their responses. 

The perfect canned response shouldn't sound canned at all. 

Rather it should be tailored towards giving 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: 

Admit your shortfalls and empathize

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

Often customers are not happy with the product, and it's your company's fault. 

Though the human gut reaction is to respond defensively, it's important to let your customers know that 1) you know your company fell short, and 2) you understand their pain.

Always think about how you want to be treated when you have to talk to support.

Avoid bland jargon 

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

While these are grammatically sound, they are not believable. A good practice is writing how you speak. 

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.

Set expectations

In cases where there is a next step, let the customer know what to expect. 

Will you have an answer in a day, a week, a month? This is important for someone who uses your product. 

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 in situations where your product or service really fell short.

Never Stop Improving Your Canned Responses

Once you've set up your canned responses, the work is far from over. Make sure you periodically review the responses and how customers react. You'll likely discover responses that aren't drawing the ideal response, or responses that can be subcategorized and improved.

What are some examples of canned responses that you've used to create a stellar customer support experience? Let me know on Twitter. 

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