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What is Canned Response in Help Desk? – The Ultimate Guide

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Pre-defined messages

Regardless of how many times you’ve responded to the same customer question about your product, there will always be someone else who comes along and asks it again. It is time consuming and aggravating to rewrite the same answer repeatedly. Therefore, to deliver support quickly and accurately in such scenarios, you need to set aside answers for commonly asked questions that can be sent to customers. This is where canned responses come into play. In this blog, I will discuss canned responses and their role in speeding up your support team while also eliminating miscommunication.

What are canned responses?

Canned responses are answers that are set up in advance to answer commonly asked questions from customers. Canned responses can also be referred to as predefined responses, quick replies, or saved messages. They are sent automatically or manually by the support team or agents.

What are canned responses?
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Why should you use canned responses for customer support?

The following are the key benefits of canned responses both for customers and support agents:

Saves time

Using canned responses saves you time. For instance, when 10 customers reach out at the same time with the same problem, it would normally take your agents a long time to reply because they have to set up, type, and send the same message several times. When empowered with canned responses, your support agents can just select the response to send and move on to more important matters. In addition, using canned responses builds a good agent-customer relationship thus strengthening your business.

Improves support efficiency

Canned responses save you from messes like mistyping or providing inaccurate information. They ensure quality, clear communication so long as they are used in response to the right questions. Also, they reduce agents’ stress by providing quick resolutions to customer issues. With less to worry about, agents can focus their efforts on more pressing tasks.

Increases customer engagement

When customers receive quick responses to their questions, they can get back to using your product or service the way they should.

Increases customer engagement
Image by Muhammad Ribkhan from Pixabay

Higher customer satisfaction

With canned responses, your customers’ issues are resolved quickly and accurately, and customers are satisfied with your support. They’ll also enjoy your product more, and reflect that feeling in higher customer satisfaction scores. When people like your business, word gets around, and you’ll likely expand your level of business.

To know more about the role of canned responses, refer to our blog, “Why Canned Responses are Good for Customer Service.”

How to create good canned responses for customer service

Early preparation can save you from avoidable mistakes. If you do not spend some time planning before setting up your canned responses, you can end up with responses that are not thorough or inaccurately address the problem they are intended to resolve. Even after preparing canned responses, they should be carefully reviewed before they are put into daily use to ensure their content is clear, concise, and free of spelling errors. Before you set up your canned responses, note the following best practices:

Use common customer questions as a starting point

The best use of canned responses is to address common, predictable problems. Consider the following before drafting canned responses:

  • What are your customer’s common questions?
  • What types of inquiries do your support agents get?
  • Which of your knowledge base articles are commonly visited?

Equipped with this information, you can update your canned responses as products change and customer needs evolve.

Use common customer questions as a starting point
Photo by Ann H on Pexels

Pro tip: If you’re unsure precisely of what your customers need, just ask them. Various help desk surveys exist that can help you get the feedback you need.

Avoid hard vocabulary words

Hard vocabulary words are words that are difficult to understand and that aren’t commonly used is regular conversation. Avoiding such words can save your agents from having to answer too many clarifying questions from your customers. Therefore, to avoid misunderstanding, you must use simple words that every customer can understand. Certainly, using easy-to-understand answers boosts your customers’ satisfaction with your support.

Mind your tone

Always be aware of your tone while communicating. While writing canned responses, you need to maintain politeness and calm to the customer. Use words and phrases like “please,” “you’re welcome,” and “thank you.” Start each canned response with a greeting. Moreover, be sure to avoid passive aggression and assigning blame for the issue. Regardless of how the customer got to this point, it is your job to help them. Using a professional tone will ease your customers’ stress and help you build a good relationship with them.

Be straightforward

Providing irrelevant information can cost your business. It wastes both your customers’ time and your time when you both could be doing more important, productive work. Therefore, you need to clearly define what your customers need and address that need in the pre-defined response. There is a fine line between additional information that is relevant to the context and information that does not help the customer resolve their issue. Use your best judgement to decide whether the information you’re including in the canned response belongs. Write succinctly, not tersely. Being straightforward makes your responses precise and simple thus making the answers easy to understand.

Be straightforward
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Personalize the communication

Having good communication is the key to a higher customer satisfaction score for your customer service. One component of this is building a close communication environment with your customers where their unique experiences inform your responses. If your support software supports dynamic placeholders, you can use them to insert the name of the client, the support agent’s name, and other items that tailor your message to the client. Customers enjoy a personalized response because they feel that they are talking to a person, not a robot. This converts new customers into loyal customers.

Dos and don’ts of canned responses

Canned replies are powerful tools that can be beneficial or harmful to your business. They have the capacity to increase your company’s credibility, but they can also damage your brand’s reputation. Therefore, you need to be very precise when using them.

The following are the dos and don’ts for getting pre-defined responses right:

Don’t use pre-defined responses for all replies

Imagine replying to an enraged client about a problem with your product or service with a prepared response. This would be unfair to the customer because it shows a lack of compassion for their troubles. It is important to acknowledge the customer’s feelings when helping them solve the issue.

Don’t apply canned responses where human replies are needed

Regardless of how fast using pre-defined responses makes your customer service, they are not applicable in all cases. Therefore, when assessing an issue or a customer update, you need to analyze what’s the best step to take. For instance, when a customer addresses you directly, you ought to personalize your communication by also addressing them directly.

Edit the response to fit the specific situation

Sometimes situations may be similar but have slight differences. Therefore, before you send a pre-defined response, you ought to edit it and make sure that it provides the response that your customer deserves. This will save you from receiving clarifying questions from your customers since they will be getting the exact response they need.

Examples of canned responses

There are many different types of canned responses. They can be prepared for expressing appreciation, sending greetings, acknowledging receipt, asking for information, escalating an issue, solving a problem, describing features, and much more. You can set up any number of canned responses for any purpose for your support team. To see examples of common types of canned responses, refer to the blog 15 Commonly Used Canned Responses for Customer Support | BoldDesk.

To wrap it all up, pre-defined responses play a big role in making your support team faster and more efficient. Also, to maximize the effectiveness of canned responses, you need a dedicated and precise knowledge base on which to standardize them. Additionally, you ought to review your canned responses according to the current development of your product. Deploying accurate, helpful pre-defined responses will help you increase your customer satisfaction.

For more information about canned responses in BoldDesk, please feel free to reach out to us at BoldDesk Support.

Willy Smith
Willy Smith
A technical writer and a content reviewer at Syncfusion. Writes and reviews both General blogs and Marketing blogs. Additionally I enjoy reading and researching SaaS products.
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