Blog editor @ HelpCrunch
Just to be clear. When we say canned response, we don’t mean those automatic commonplace emails like “We received your request and will get back to you as soon as possible. Your ticket number is 345678.”
This is not a canned response, this is an auto response (and one of the worst, for that matter). People are prejudiced against canned replies because they imagine them as robotic and impersonal as the example above. But nothing can be further from the truth if you spend the time on perfecting a quality draft. Canned responses shouldn’t be impersonal, non-descriptive, irritating even. They should be witty and helpful, and always personalized.
Of course, not everyone spends that time. So, there’s your opportunity to be better than the competition. That’s why we’ve created 16 customer service canned responses that will be suitable for both chat and email conversations.
Canned responses are quick replies to common questions that you can save in your customer service tool and refer to whenever needed.
Let’s say you work as a support operator. Every day, you receive tons of requests from customers, manage 4-5 conversations simultaneously (that’s what support operators do), and constantly answer a ton of questions.
Let’s be honest, a great part of those questions and requests are not that unique. How do I add a credit card to my account? We’ve subscribed by mistake, please give a refund. How long is the shipping?
Questions like that don’t require a lot of personalization. So, you just write some canned replies and paste them with minor adjustments into a chat thread. This way, you’re saving yourself tons of time and effort, customers are getting a quick answer, and your customer service team performance is improving drastically.
All in all, support agents answer routine questions instantly while staying funny, personal, and helpful. Everybody wins.
Nowadays, the line between different customer service tools is so blurred that it’s difficult to differentiate canned replies for email, live chat, or even call center. All chats and emails land into the same queue of conversations, you can switch between them in a single click, forward any chat message via email or get it forwarded automatically, no big deal.
That’s why the following canned messages can be suitable for both live chat and email communication. At the end of this article, we will also provide some examples of canned email templates that will be great for following up and gathering feedback.
So, let’s look closer at the top 16 customer service canned responses for every situation:
1. We’re fixing the issue right now
Customers are the only force that can help you grow and improve. They are the ones using your product or website, seeing its pros and cons, reporting bugs, and requesting important features. So make sure, that they know you respect them.
Something as small as acknowledging the problem and giving an estimated time of when you’re going to fix it will make a huge difference. And maybe even stop some customers from churning.
We’ve investigated your request, and it seems that, indeed, the [ISSUE] exists and the problem is on our end. No worries, our team is already on it.
By a rough estimate, it should be fixed in [ETA], but we will keep you updated on the progress anyway.
In the meantime, can I offer you an alternative solution or a small discount?
2. The issue is fixed
…and it’s an even better idea to inform customers when the issue is fixed. If a customer has left a chat by that time, just send it as an email follow-up.
You’ve reported the [ISSUE] some time ago. We’re glad to tell you that it is now fixed. Thank you for notifying us about the problem, we really appreciate it.
And if you have any other questions or suggestions, I’m here to help.
3. The feature you’re asking about is on our roadmap
Feature requests from customers are probably the most important part of any product development strategy (especially, if your company is customer-oriented).
It’s important to be careful with every incoming request. Mark every request in your customer service software and collect all of them into a designated board.
But it’s even more important to keep your users informed about where your company’s moving. A simple canned response like the one below can help make your users feel appreciated:
It just so happened that the feature you requested is already on our roadmap and should be added to our toolset no later than [ETA].
*optional* You can take a look at the roadmap here: [LINK] or leave any other suggestions about what we should add next here: [LINK TO SOME FEATURE REQUEST BOARD]
If you want us to let you know when it’s delivered, we can totally do that. Just leave us your email address. In the meantime, is there anything else I can do for you?
4. Unfortunately, the feature you’re asking about is not on our roadmap
Sometimes, what customers think is an issue is actually a feature. Sometimes, customers ask for something but you can’t do it. Sometimes you just don’t have the time. And the art of refusal can be super tricky.
You can just say ‘no’… But customers won’t be happy. They’d appreciate details, apologies, and, better yet, some alternative solution for what they need.
So discuss a canned response with your team that would hit the mark:
I’ve communicated your [FEATURE] to our managers and added it to our board of feature requests. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be taken into work any time soon due to [REASON].
But we’d like to offer you something in return. Can you please tell us more about why you’d need this [FEATURE] and maybe we will work something out.
5. We received your message while we were offline
Some people come to your website with a clear question or problem, and they get to the point right away. And then, there are people who simply say ‘Hi!’ and wait for your reply to proceed further. It’s much easier to deal with them if you’re online and can quickly answer with simple ‘Hi! How can I help you?’
But what if you’re offline and missed the message? In HelpCrunch, you can follow up on them via email — and use a canned response for this purpose:
You left us a chat message today while we were offline.
Feel free to ask me all your questions via email by answering this message or you can return to our website and proceed via the chat.
I’ll be glad to assist you and I look forward to hearing from you.
6. You’ve mistaken us for someone else
People click your chat by mistake, and you'll end up receiving messages that were clearly meant for someone else.
This can happen with your support team, too. These aren’t your customers, so no need to waste time — just use a canned response explaining what your company does and move to the next request. Moreover, in HelpCrunch you can clearly see their user path and where they came from, which can help you redirect people to where they actually need to be.
It looks like you wrote us by mistake. We are [YOUR COMPANY’S NAME] and we do [WHAT YOU DO]. If you have any questions regarding our services, we’d be happy to help.
I guess you’re looking for [WEBSITE YOU THINK THEY’RE LOOKING FOR]. If you go to their website and drop them a message, I’m sure they’ll be able to assist you.
Have a nice day!
7. Our product is better than the one from a competitor
How are you different from [COMPETITOR X] or [COMPETITOR Y]?
Come to think of it, it’s a natural question. These days, there are lots of very similar products which do pretty much the same. Or so it would seem to someone who doesn’t have the time for a comprehensive research. As similar as they can be, each product offers something unique that other competitors don’t.
Your goal as a customer service representative is to render this difference in one or two sentences. Create a canned answer that will tell all the most important details in a couple of sentences.
Actually, we get asked this question quite often. To tell you the truth, our product differs from [COMPETITOR] in many ways, but here’s the most important part — [THE MOST DISTINGUISHING DIFFERENCE].
You can take a look at the full comparison here: [LINK]. Or just sign up for a trial and see everything yourself, it’s free anyway.
It’s also a popular practice to create a few separate pages comparing your product to some popular alternatives so that you could quickly refer people to those pages when they ask about the difference.
8. We don’t offer discounts, but…
Questions about all sorts of discounts are probably the most common for any support team. Just be honest and direct. If you’re not providing discounts, there’s no need to apologize for it.
Thanks for contacting us. Unfortunately, we don’t provide any discount except for what you see on our website.
If you’re afraid you won’t get a good deal on your investment, we can jump on a quick demo call.
I’ll explain to you in detail what you get for your money and you can make an informed decision. What do you think?
9. You will get a refund in [Х] business days
Sometimes, there’s no point in arguing. If someone decides they want to leave, there’s nothing you can do to make them stay. So just be friendly and polite — and give them the refund.
At least people will leave your product with a positive impression (and without negative reviews of your service all over the internet). And a nice canned response will help you spend that time on customers who are willing to pay:
No problem, I’ve got that refund headed your way. You should get it within 5-10 business days.
If you have any other questions, please let me know and I’ll be happy to help. Have a great day!
10. We’re experiencing technical issues
What’s the worst that can happen with a service or website? Something so dreadful and stressful that the whole team (and even more so the customer service team) will be left paralyzed.
I’m talking about the most terrifying three digits in the world — 404. When the service is down and things are going to pieces, people will immediately notice and start bombarding your customer service with questions.
It happens to the best of us. And when it does, being quick with explanations is especially important. That’s why it’s better to have a canned response saved in store. Hope that you’ll never have to use it (but you will):
Unfortunately, we do experience technical issues at the moment (and you can be sure it’s painful for us as much as it is for you). Our team is already on it and the service should be up and running in [ETA].
We’ll let you know as soon as we’re back. Sorry for the inconvenience.
11. How did you like the service?
Sometimes, the issues are reported and fixed. The questions are answered. What is left to do but to evaluate the whole thing? Let’s measure your customer satisfaction rate!
There are tools like HelpCrunch that do this automatically. Just turn on the ‘chat rating’ feature and customers will be asked to rate their chat experience with three emojis — poor, average, or great.
You can also take the whole evaluation game a little bit further if you see that things are going great and a customer is happy as a lark with your customer service. Why not ask for more feedback or a couple of reviews?
Happy I could help!
Btw, do you mind leaving a quick review of your experience? This will take no more than 5 minutes of your time, promise: [LINK TO A REVIEW WEBSITE]
Your feedback would mean a world to us!
12. Can we do anything else?
It became a common practice to always ask a wrap-up question at the end of every conversation with a customer. Can I do anything else for you? Do you have any other questions? Is there anything else you would like to know?
Those questions keep the conversation going by showing your willingness to go on talking. And they help you determine whether the issue is resolved and you can close the ticket.
So, it makes sense to pre-save the following canned message right away.
Glad I could help! Do you have any other questions regarding our product?
If you provide omnichannel support, live chat canned responses examples can usually be repurposed and resent via email as well. It even makes sense to keep the same tone and style of writing across all communication channels.
However, there are some situations where only a designated canned email response will do. Here are some examples that you can use for your email customer service:
13. Sorry we missed your chat
Even though chat support implies real-time communication, it can be challenging to provide it 24/7. Moreover, if your team experiences a huge workload, a lot of chats can stay unanswered for longer periods of time or missed completely.
It’s not an ideal situation, but it can be helped with a good canned email response explaining the reason for a delay and providing an instant answer to the problem.
Our team has been receiving an unusual amount of chats, and it seems like we missed each other in a chat by a few minutes. I’m sorry for keeping you waiting, but I hope I can still assist you now.
So, regarding your question…
14. The feature you’ve been asking about is here
There are always big features that lots of people ask about. Like, your most requested stuff. Naturally, when you roll out something that big, you make an announcement about it to your whole user base, probably via a newsletter or a blog post.
But don’t rush right into it. How about those who specifically asked about it? It can be a great idea to send them a small heads-up prior to the official statement.
We have some great news for you!
We’re very excited to present our [GREAT FEATURE] which was literally rolled out 10 minutes ago. We haven’t sent any official announcement yet, but since you’ve asked about it, we decided to give you a quick heads-up.
Just go ahead and try it yourself. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us — we want to know what you think and will appreciate any feedback!
15. The issue is fixed (canned email edition)
You should notify everyone who’s reported some bug or glitch in your system once it’s fixed. Not only is it good manners, but also a nice opportunity to get churned clients back.
Even if it’s been some time since it was reported, you still have their email addresses. So, why not send a quick heads up?
[AGENT NAME] from [COMPANY] here. Hope you’re doing well!
You’ve reported the problem with [ISSUE] on [DATE]. As promised, I’m circling back to tell you that it’s fixed now.
It turned out the problem was more complex than we thought and affected other parts of our product as well, so it took a little bit longer to get a handle on it. But everything should be fine now. Even better than fine 😉
Could you confirm the fix please?
And if you have any questions, I’d be happy to assist you.
16. You left us a message some time ago
It’s quite common for first-time visitors and even customers to ask you a question and disappear once they get an answer. But you can’t just give up on them that easily.
You should absolutely follow up on every person you left you a single message and try to re-engage them by all means. If people took their time to visit your website and leave you a message, they’re high intent valuable leads.
It’s a long shot, but any sales representatives will tell you that follow-ups are extremely effective. So just save the following canned email response and make it a part of your weekly routine to send follow-ups to inactive chats.
[AGENT NAME] from [COMPANY] here. Hope you’re doing well!
You left us a message about [QUESTION] some time ago and we did our best to answer it in detail. But we never heard back from you. Was it helpful enough? Maybe we can do anything else for you?
We would very much appreciate any feedback you can provide. Have a great day!
Canned responses can save you a lot of time — if you learn to use them right.
Just don’t make them sound generic or robotic. A bad canned response will instantly kill any rapport that you had with your customers. Pre-saved answers can and should be every bit as cute and thoughtful as replies that you write by hand.
But that’s not all.
The whole reason for using canned responses is to save time. It can be super annoying to discover that your tool of choice sucks at helping you access your stored replies.
Disclaimer: This post was originally published on the HelpCrunch blog by Anastasiia Khlystova. Anastasiia is a content marketing manager at HelpCrunch responsible for most of the company's texts.