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Canned Response Examples: Best Practices for You to Copy Right Away
Canned responses can be a key chat tool in creating a great customer experience. They can make your customer service team fast and precise, leaving them more time and brain space for the personal touch that will make your business stand out.
Such pre-saved messages can help ensure a consistent level of service and tone of voice throughout your team, giving rookie agents the confidence boost they need.
Using pre-fabricated responses can also, if used indiscriminately, make your team sound robotic and out of touch.
Follow our guide to yield the power of canned answers to your advantage.
In this article, you will learn:
- What canned responses are, exactly.
- Where to start when creating your list of canned responses.
- How canned responses help your team.
- How to balance automation with personalization.
- Customer service response examples.
- How to make the most of canned responses.
What are canned responses?
Canned responses, also referred to as premade answers or pre-saved messages, are messages that you save once and then retrieve repeatedly with the use of shortcuts.
In this article, we’ll focus on their use in live chat customer service. On our blog, we also have an article about optimizing your emails with canned responses.
In the LiveChat Agent App, you can recall premade messages by typing in a hash (#) and the shortcut for the response you want.
Where do I start?
As you start, you can create canned responses from chat. For instance, LiveChat lets you create canned responses from sent messages.
You can also use the Canned Responses widget, available at the LiveChat Marketplace. It installs the 20 most commonly used canned responses on your LiveChat license.
If you already have a list of links, instructions, etc. you regularly send to customers, this is your canned responses starter pack. Just add them to your list in the Agent App.
If such a list is very long, it's a good idea to have one person responsible for creating canned responses and checking if all the links work, discount codes are still valid, etc.
To access all the canned responses in LiveChat, log into the Agent App, and go to Settings > Canned responses.
Best uses of canned responses
Keep links to external resources at your fingertips
Having direct links to external resources at your fingertips can be incredibly helpful when you need to quickly refer to them. Whether it's a product sign-up page, help center, FAQ, or product pages, save the links so you don't have to type them out every time or search for them from scratch.
When you link keywords (shortcuts) with applicable URLs, for example, if you type in #discount, the link for the discount code will automatically be there. This is a great timesaver and makes it easy for team members as well as customers to reach the desired page without any extra effort. The same goes for commonly used terms that require referencing external sources.
Another great benefit of having quick access to external resources is that it reduces repetition in communication and lightens up customer-related conversations. Plus, this kind of time optimization doesn't just save time but can also be an important factor in creating a meaningful user experience.
Minimize the monotony of answering the same questions time and time again
Answering the same questions over and over again can be a major timesink. To make things easier, you can create canned responses which you can easily recall with a shortcut in chat. This way, you'll save time which you can spend on crafting more personalized messages to your customers. With this approach, you save time without compromising on customer service quality.
It's important to keep track of the most frequently asked questions so that it is easy for you to pick out the canned response when necessary. Make sure to take note of any new queries as well and update your list of canned responses accordingly.
By using standardized replies instead of typing out every response from scratch, not only do you save yourself precious minutes (which add up over time), but also ensure that all interactions are consistent in terms of language and tone of voice. So, consider automating some of your conversations: You'll be able to deliver better service faster than ever before!
Quickly recall complex instructions
When you need to quickly recall complex instructions, having a canned response ready can be a lifesaver. Think of canned messages which provide the customer with detailed and precise instructions for whatever action they need to take. This approach eliminates the possibility of typos and reduces the risk of confusion caused by misunderstandings.
At times, lengthy instructions can look overwhelming when viewed as a single block of text -- especially if the customer is using a mobile device. In this case, consider sending instructions step-by-step, one idea at a time. This will ensure legibility and let you convey the message without overloading them with information.
Moreover, presenting information in manageable chunks will show that you care about their experience and have taken steps to ensure that they understand what they are supposed to do in order to get the job done. The advantage of taking such an approach cannot be overstated -- efficient communication combined with excellent customer service!
Lift the strain of remembering everything off your team's shoulders
It can be incredibly taxing for team members to have to remember everything; from product features and services to customer support processes. This burden of relying entirely on their memory may lead to mistakes, as it is not only difficult but can also be stressful.
The good news is that canned responses provide the perfect way to lift this strain off your team's shoulders. By having these prepared messages ready at hand, they can always refer back to them when needed. Not only does this save time and energy, but it also ensures precision and accuracy in providing customer support.
Moreover, canned responses can act as a reference point for new team members or trainees -- all they need to remember is that they have a source they can rely on if they are ever stuck or confused. As a business owner, wouldn't you feel secure knowing that your team has quick access to reliable information when servicing customers?
Keep the team's tone consistent
As far as communicating with customers is concerned, keeping the tone of the team consistent is incredibly important. That is why you want to make sure that each member of your team speaks to customers in a way that is both professional yet friendly and respectful.
To help facilitate this goal, canned responses are an excellent tool to keep everyone on the same page in terms of language and demeanor. For example, they can serve as a reminder to yourself and other members of your team on how to communicate with people before it becomes second nature.
Moreover, pre-saved messages also offer great support when emotions run high, e.g. when handling difficult customers. By having prepared answers ready beforehand, customer service becomes faster, more efficient, and more pleasant for both parties involved -- which ultimately makes your business look more credible and reliable in their eyes.
How to balance automation with personalization
Canned messages can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they help agents be more efficient and reply faster. On the other, prefabricated messages can sound unnatural and impersonal. And at the end of the day, your customers would rather wait a bit longer than feel like you don’t treat them seriously.
Don’t turn into a robot.
As shown above, canned responses should be used to improve the customer experience, not worsen it.
While canned responses can offer great convenience and help to keep the team's tone consistent, they should never be used instead of genuine human interaction. After all, customers want to feel heard and valued when they reach out to businesses; they don't want robotic, generic responses that hardly relate to their query.
That is why it's important agents use canned messages as a starting point but then take the time to personalize their responses relative to the situation. This can provide an extra layer of connection between businesses and customers, which will go a long way in strengthening consumer trust.
Use them as templates
Canned responses are best used as templates. That is, you can use them to aid your conversations and help you provide the right answers more swiftly. However, you should always spend some time customizing and tweaking them so that they feel more genuine and show that they've been tailored to each customer's individual needs.
Also, make sure to listen attentively to the customer's issue before sending off a response. Not only will this help clarify their complaint or query but also create a much deeper connection between you and the customer.
Make sure they are not too obvious
If it is clear to the person you are chatting with that you used a canned response, you are doing it wrong. When customers can tell that the response is auto-generated, it can leave them with a feeling of being ignored and devalued. It is important to avoid this impression by personalizing your messages and adding a human touch.
Always double-check if you know what the customer is actually asking
Before using a canned response, double-check if you fully understand what the customer is actually asking. If the message doesn't match the customer's query, chances are it won’t provide a satisfactory answer and leave them feeling ignored. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask for more information or clarification if needed.
Change the message in canned responses from time to time
It is advisable to change up canned responses from time to time. Otherwise, returning customers may feel like they are getting a copy-paste treatment. If a customer notices that the same message keeps coming back, the trust you worked so hard to establish will be gone
Furthermore, the same canned response can become outdated over time. As products and services evolve, so should customer service messages. That way, customers know they are receiving accurate information that meets their needs. Additionally, rotating different responses gives you an opportunity to track which style works best for particular inquiries or scenarios.
Don’t be overly formal
Though courteous and professional messaging is important, it’s always a good idea to match the formality of the customer’s messages. Customers expect a friendly tone when they reach out for assistance, and your reply needs to reflect that. If you send a very formal and stiff message in the middle of a lighthearted conversation, it may come across as strange or awkward.
Remember, customers want to feel like they are talking to another person - not a robot. Whenever possible, use language that is natural and easy to understand. This way, customers will have an easier time connecting with your brand and be more likely to contact you again in the future.
Consider using your sense of humor
This really depends on your branding and specific customer preferences, but being funny in the right way can win your customers’ hearts. This can help build customer loyalty and foster an atmosphere of warmth between you and your client. Plus, customers are more likely to remember the funny responses they get than those that are strictly business-oriented.
However, it’s important to exercise caution when trying to be funny. Each customer is unique and what may seem funny in one situation might be off-putting or inappropriate in another. Taking into account customer preferences and company guidelines will help ensure that humor always remains appropriate for the conversation at hand.
Be careful with technical jargon
When messaging customers, be careful with technical jargon. It's important to use language that is plain and clear so that customers can follow the conversation without being confused. At the same time, make sure you provide enough detail to actually help with the customer’s query. Whenever possible, explain technical terms in a simple and straightforward manner to ensure that everyone involved understands the conversation and feels heard.
Keep canned responses up to date
Make sure that all the information you’re providing is relevant and accurate. If an offer has expired or a link leads to nowhere, this can be extremely frustrating for customers and leave them feeling like their questions are not being taken seriously.
Taking the time to regularly review your canned responses will help prevent such mishaps and provide customers with the quality service they deserve. Additionally, updating your canned responses keeps things fresh and engaging, making it easier for you to connect with customers on a personal level.
Canned response examples for you to try out
Whether you are just starting with LiveChat and need help creating your first canned responses or you want to make your Customer Service team more efficient, these are some of the best canned response examples.
“Hi, how can I help you?”
You can’t really start a conversation without saying hello, can you? Save a few different versions to provide a variety for returning customers.
“Get free shipping if you spend over 75 dollars on our winter collection.”
If you have an online store, you probably constantly run various promo campaigns. Save special offers and discount codes as canned responses to recall whenever you need them.
“Our business plan is $55/month. It includes…”
If you offer services, you might want to create a canned response for every single one of them. Customers often ask about prices, and it’s good to have a prefabricated answer ready.
“Our product has features: X, Y, and Z, while our competitor’s product…"
Your customers are looking for the best value for money, so you need to be ready to answer queries regarding your offer in comparison to your competitors.
“You can find our return policy here…”
Save links that your customers often ask for, so you can quickly direct them to the page they are looking for.
“Follow these steps to change your account type:…”
Tutorials often have many steps and can be difficult to follow in a chat. Have instructions ready so customers can get them instantly, and if they still need help, you can provide a more detailed explanation.
“Can you tell me more about…”
Not being exactly sure what the customer means is very common, so have a few of these in your collection.
“I am going to transfer you to Mark from the technical team, he will walk you through the installation process and answer all of your questions."
Depending on the workflow in your team, you may sometimes need to transfer the chat to another agent.
Most of us don’t like being bounced from one rep to the next, so when you transfer, make sure that the customer knows that they are being transferred. If it is relevant, provide the reason as well.
Customers do not like being transferred. So make sure you do it only as a last resort. Remember to inform the customer why and to whom they are being transferred to. Changing the name of your colleague is much faster than typing out the whole message from scratch.
“I’m sorry, I think you are looking for company X. We are called Z and specialize in…”
Depending on your business profile you can get quite a lot of customers who either wanted to contact a different company or are simply pulling your leg. With canned responses, you can minimize the effort you put into such interactions, while still being polite and friendly.
Putting on hold
“Would you mind holding on for a few minutes while I check this with our technical support?”
Sometimes you just need more time to find the answer. It’s good to check in every few minutes so the customer knows you are still there.
“Unfortunately, I don’t speak French. I will try and use Google Translate to help you.”
If you don’t offer support in the language your customer speaks, you can try using Google Translate. It can be wonky, but you might still be able to help - and that’s all that matters.
“You are more than welcome, have a nice day!”
If your customer says goodbye, the right thing to do is to say it back. But if you’ve said it a hundred times during your shift, it may be difficult to keep up the friendliness and enthusiasm. Use a canned response to make it easier.
Make the most of live chat canned responses
Canned replies help you ensure a consistent voice and level of service throughout your team, leaving you more time for a personal touch.
- Add the customer’s name to your #hi,
- divide a multi-step instruction into manageable bites to be sent one by one,
- put the time you save on looking for resources into engaging the customer.
As you incorporate them into your team's workflow, you may find the list expanding. Agents may want to find messages they personally send often and add them to the list. But there is a limit to the number of shortcuts your team can remember, leaving the rest of the premade messages unused.
The LiveChat Agent App allows agents to create their private canned responses. Such responses are only visible to the agent who created them.
You can also add specific canned responses to specific groups in LiveChat so that the canned responses created for the Sales team are first on the list when the customer chats with them.
To make things even simpler, you can set suggested responses, namely, define conditions for when LiveChat should recommend particular canned responses to the agent on chat.
Try it out in the LiveChat Agent App, or if you haven’t already, start your free trial.