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Do you know what’s a time saver and increases your productivity while managing customer support? Simple; it’s canned responses.
Now that I have hyped it up let’s define it. Canned responses are pre-populated support messages that enable you to respond to customer queries quickly. If you’re using a good ecommerce customer service software, the chances are that they already come equipped with canned responses.
A canned response can come in handy in different circumstances. If your customer asks, “how long would it take to deliver my order?” and you take more than a couple mins to respond, chances are that they’d lose interest and walk away.
But if there’s a canned response that says, “Thank you for asking. Any order from Store X takes 7-10 business days to get delivered. I hope that helps :-)”, you can simply insert that within a couple of seconds and delight the customer instantly.
Why should you use canned responses?
As you have read already, canned responses are a necessity when it comes to managing customer support. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits they offer.
1. Answer Repetitive Questions
When you’re running an ecommerce store, you will encounter two types of queries that customers ask – specific and generic questions. You need to examine the specific queries closely, but most of the generic questions apply to all customers.
If you see them repeating every other day, you should create a canned response for the same situations. This saves time as you don’t have to find the answer or write the reply from scratch again.
2. Respond Quickly
One of the best ways to delight your customers is to respond to their support queries as fast as possible. You can achieve this with canned responses. It enables you to answer repetitive support questions instantly. This way, you can save time, meet your SLAs, be productive, and help many more customers in the same amount of time.
3. Maintain your SLAs
If your company has set strict SLAs (service-level agreements) for customer support, canned responses can help maintain that. For example, if an SLA states that you respond to a customer query within the first thirty seconds, you can simply check if you can resolve it with a canned response. For example, if they ask about refund policies, you can simply insert a canned response with a help center article.
Frequently Used Canned Responses with Examples
Let’s look at some of the frequently used canned responses that you can leverage to reduce your workload, improve productivity, and keep customers happy.
1. Issue Fixing: Before & After
Customer feedback is instrumental in the growth of your business. So, when they report a bug or an issue, the least you can do is acknowledge it and share an estimated deadline to fix it.
Here’s the response you may use:
Thank you for reaching out. We had a look at your request, and it seems that the [ISSUE] exists. I’ve notified the technical team, and they are on it as we speak. It will take approximately [ETA] hours to fix the issue.
Till then, kindly bear with us. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with
Once you’ve fixed the issue, respond with this:
Hey [fname], I just wanted to let you know that we’ve fixed [ISSUE] you reported a while ago. We appreciate your patience, and thanks a ton for notifying us about the problem. If you need help with anything else, feel free to drop me a line here.
You can also re-engineer this response from Slack:
Good news! The issues with degraded performance are no longer impacting customers. We appreciate your patience as we worked to resolve the issue. Should you encounter further problems, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org https://t.co/uQPWMJgyEj— Slack Status (@SlackStatus) November 23, 2020
2. Feature Requests
Customers contribute to the development of your product. Without proper feedback, you might build the wrong product, which can be detrimental to the company. So, when they make feature requests, here’s how you can respond in different scenarios.
The feature is on the roadmap:
Wow, this is a coincidence. The feature you requested is already on our roadmap, and we expect to launch it by [ETA]. We’ll let you know once we release this feature. Is there anything else I can help you with?
The feature is not on the roadmap:
This bit can be tricky so, here’s how I recommend approaching it.
I’ve shared the [FEATURE] with our team, and we’ve backlogged it. We’ll be able to research its feasibility as soon as we have the capacity. But in the meantime, if you could please let me know why you needed it, we can try to work something out and help you.
3. Received a Message When Offline
Not every company provides 24×7 customer support, and that’s okay. At the same time, you can do the very least and show them that you care. You can create an automated canned response and ask them to share their concerns.
Here’s the automated response you may use:
Hey [fname], we’re currently offline. But feel free to share your questions by replying to this email or head over to [WEBSITE LINK] & proceed to do the same via chat. I look forward to your message!
4. Not the Correct Tool/Service
Folks might mistake you for someone else. That happens a lot, especially if you’ve got a live chat on your website. You can politely tell them ‘no’.
Here’s the response you may use:
It seems that we might not be the website you’re looking for. We are [COMPANY NAME] helping [VALUE PROP]. I’d be happy to assist you if you’ve got any questions regarding our product & services. Thank you! 🙂
5. Competitor Comparisons
One of the most common questions you can expect to receive is on competitor comparisons. “Why is your product better than X at [feature]?” Sounds familiar? You bet. Also, this is no surprise. With so many products in every category, customers are flooded with choices, and they need to make the right decision.
Here’s what the canned response could be:
Great question! To be honest, we differ with [COMPETITOR X] on various things, but if I had to choose the most important one, it would be [#1 REASON].
If you want to dig deeper, here’s the full comparison. By the way, why don’t you sign-up for our trial and see for yourself?
6. Discount Requests
So, this is something that varies from company to company. You might be running a discount on specific products or seasonal discounts (like BFCM, X-mas, New Year), but most companies don’t offer discounts randomly.
Here’s what you may use for the canned response:
Hey, thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, we aren’t running any discount sales right now, but if you can leave your email with us, we’ll be sure to let you know when we have any promotions. Thank you. 🙂
7. Order Details
If you’re in ecommerce customer support, a good percentage of questions would be related to order details. In these cases, you just need to inform them, and hence being direct is the best thing to do. While there’s a bit of work involved to check the order status, there’s no need to write the reply from scratch.
Here’s what you should respond with when asked, ‘where’s my order’:
Hey [fname], I just had a look. Your order [ORDER NAME/NUMBER] is expected to arrive by [ETA] at the designated address. Is there anything else I can help you with?
8. If You Provided Wrong Information
We are all humans, and humans are prone to making mistakes. If you have replied to your customer with the wrong information and you discover that immediately or after some time, you must apologize and provide them with the correct information.
Here’s what you may write to apologize:
Hi [fname], first of all, apologies for sharing the wrong information regarding [EXPLAIN WHAT IT WAS]. Sorry for the inconvenience. Here’s what you were looking for: [SHARE THE CORRECT INFO].
9. Refund Requests
As an ecommerce business owner, you might occasionally get refund or return requests. This is natural, and your job is to help them get through the process seamlessly. However, if you already have a set process, you can always create a canned response to save some time.
In case of a refund request, here’s what you can say:
Hey [fname], sorry to hear that the product didn’t work out for you. Please head over to this link and initiate the refund process. Once you have done that, we’ll begin the refund, and you will receive the money in your account in [DAYS RANGE] days.
Hey [fname], thanks for reaching out. Please share your bank details over email, and we’ll initiate the refund process ASAP. You will receive the money in your account in [DAYS RANGE] days.
As you can see, this is customizable to the process you follow for your store.
In case of a return request, here’s what you can say:
Hey [fname], sorry to hear that the product didn’t work the way it should have. Please head over to this link to initiate the return process. You will receive the replaced product in [DAYS RANGE] days. Thank you! 🙂
Again, you can customize the above response as per your return process.
Any way you look at it, canned responses can make your life easier. This post shares templates for some of the most common customer queries.
To create your canned response stack, identify the repetitive questions, analyze if they can be answered with a canned response, draft the responses, and plug them into your software. Save time, be productive, and always delight your customers.
Bio: Deb Mukherjee is a SaaS marketer with 5+ years of working with companies across the globe. He has consulted over 40 companies to date and is now heading the marketing function at DelightChat, a customer support software for eCommerce & DTC companies. When he’s not working, you can find him watching the latest Anime or writing helpful stuff on debgotwired.com.