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Rules and Examples for Using Canned Responses Successfully

Many organizations use canned responses to optimize live chat agent productivity and to standardize messaging in their live chat operations. However, it must be remembered that live chat is fundamentally a one-on-one interaction between your customer and your brand.

What is a Canned Response?

A canned response is a pre-set message reply to frequently asked questions and phrases related to customer support, sales, or marketing. It is best used when live chat agents receive a high volume of chat conversations and inquiries. Canned responses provide some alleviation during this busy period and shorten queue wait times, by providing agents with a quick, short response and decreasing any additional time retyping these common replies to customers.

Rules for Canned Responses

Here are 3 rules to ensure your canned responses are executed in a way that is appropriate, thoughtful, and genuine—and that they resonate with customers, thereby creating effective customer interactions and resulting in customer satisfaction:

1) Make a good first impression  

Greetings might be the first place you start when building your canned response bank. A few short lines to say hello, introduce yourself, and ask how you can help sound simple enough. However, it’s important to consider the diverse ways a customer may come to you. For instance, if the customer has already asked a question prior to your greeting or has been transferred from another representative, asking how you can help may not be an appropriate welcome. Crafting a few adaptations of your standard greeting will allow you to make a good first impression, no matter the circumstances.  

2) Use A/B testing  

Canned responses are a remarkable way to standardize messaging and improve agent productivity. But how can you tell which messages users like? Velaro’s A/B testing functionality lets you create alternate versions of canned responses that are automatically distributed when an agent chooses the original. Results are tallied as data builds up, and summary reports are made available when appropriate.  

Learn more about canned responses in Velaro’s live chat platform on automating messages and conversations here.

3) Know when not to use canned responses

As time goes on, your canned message bank will become quite comprehensive. However, no matter how many canned messages you’ve accumulated, there will always be instances when a spontaneous, human response is what’s really needed. For example, when a customer has a difficult experience or a particular problem, a personalized, empathetic response from the representative may quickly alleviate the situation. Try not to use canned responses that come across as awkward, stiff, or robot-sounding. These responses should sound natural and effortless in a chat conversation.

Examples of Canned Responses

Canned responses can range from short to long responses.  Here are a few examples of common canned responses sorted by conversation stages for a successful chat conversation:

Greeting responses

Greeting responses help set the tone of a live chat conversation. It is the first impression you leave on the customer whether it is a proactive greeting (messaging the customer/visitor first) or reactive greeting (responding after a chat request), it should be friendly, welcoming, and personable.

Examples:  

  • Thank you for reaching out. My name’s [Agent Name], and I’ll be assisting you today. Let me look at your question for a moment.
  • Good morning, [Customer Name], how can I help?
  • Hello, [name], how can I help you? Do you have a question about our products, pricing, or have another inquiry about something else?
  • Hey [Name]. Thanks for reaching out to [Company Name]. My name is [Agent Name]. What can I help you with today?

Requesting information responses

Using canned responses to request information allows for an efficient way for chat agents to get information from customers in order to move forward with solving a support issue or the next steps in an order checkout process.

Examples:

  • We need more information to complete your order.
  • Please provide us with an email address or phone number where we can reach you before you exit the chat window.
  • Could you please provide more details about the problem you are experiencing so that I can best serve you?

Follow-up on addressing issues responses

When you update a customer on an issue your team is currently troubleshooting, this shows that you care about the customer’s time and are with them every step of the way in resolving the issue as soon as possible. Customers will worry less and stop badgering you about the issue because they know it’s in good hands and they’ve been updated on the fix in progress. Every update you send to the customer, no matter how small, is integral in maintaining an honest business-customer relationship.

Examples:

  • We’re working towards a solution to this issue, thank you for following up on this.
  • The issue is now resolved. Let us know if you have any further questions that need to be addressed.
  • The expected ETA for resolving [Issue] is 9 am PST.
  • After investigating your request, it appears that the [Issue] does exist and the issue is on our end.

Feedback responses

Customer feedback is an essential and trustworthy source of assessing customer satisfaction and customer service success. Gathering feedback directly from customers before the chat session is completed is an ideal strategy for measuring and reviewing customer satisfaction after a chat conversation. Having this canned response appear before your automated rating scale or post- chat survey form appears in the chat window, shows not only that you care about their honest feedback and any suggestions they might have, but also allows you to capture the sentiment of the conversation and make immediate adjustments or continue the same standard of customer satisfaction service you are providing.

Examples:

  • Would you like to share your thoughts about the service you received?
  • It was great chatting with you, [Name]! If you can spare a couple of minutes, would you mind sharing your feedback about the support you just received?
  • If you’d like to fill out our end-of-chat survey form, we would very much appreciate any feedback you can provide. Have a great day!
  • We'd like to hear what you think of our customer service. Tell us what did you think of our service: Good, I'm satisfied | Bad, I'm unsatisfied

End of the conversation responses

Concluding canned responses are an opportunity to let your customers know you care for them and an opportunity to check that they are happy with the service they received. If the customer needs to continue the chat conversation or address additional purchase or technical issues, the chat agent presents them with the option to do so. Additionally, this demonstrates friendly, fast, reliable customer support service in any live chat session, which encourages your customers to keep on returning for the transparent, valuable, real-time customer experience with live chat.

Examples:

  • If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at any time. Thank you for chatting with us and have a great day!
  • Please feel free to use our live chat service again in the future - we're always here to help.
  • Would you like me to assist you with anything else today, [Name]?
  • Can I help you with anything else today?
  • Do you have any other questions for me today?

Canned responses are essential to optimize live chat agents' productivity and to regulate messaging standards for your company's live chat efforts. By following the rules and examples above, you can create impressionable canned responses and understand when they are appropriate and when they are not. A/B canned response testing is important to reaffirm which messages resonate well with customers and drive the highest engagement. Consider creating some basic communications guidelines to steer the creation of canned messages and to train your customer service team, so agents can confidently respond when crafting their own personalized responses as well. Your company can greatly benefit from these rules and examples for successfully using canned responses in live chat.

When issues go beyond the capabilities of canned messages, ensure you’ve got a team of live chat agents that are engaging and effective.

Download the Top 5 Live Chat Agent Training Tips white paper

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