How to Use Canned Responses to Your Advantage in Live Chat Customer Service

How do you educate your live chat operators? Do you instruct them in specific ways to communicate with clients, or do you allow only a few trusted employees to operate your live chat software?

Among businesses using live chat, one of the crucial decisions is how to use the tool in a professional, consistent way that will prove beneficial for your customers, at any time of day. Canned responses are a popular way to standardize your live chat service, and most programs allow you to use default messages or set your own custom responses. It’s important to realize, however, that canned live chat responses offer both benefits and disadvantages.

Canned Message Mistakes

Let’s address the most obvious danger first: Canned responses that sound, well, canned. The secret to using canned messages effectively is to make them simple, direct, and targeted to specific, commonly-asked questions. It’s also important to train all chat operators to use these messages sparingly, but to respond naturally whenever the question doesn’t match up perfectly with a canned response.

Using Canned Responses Effectively

The secret to making canned messages work for you is to write them well, and to train your staff even better. Well-written responses target the questions you’re asked most frequently and the things you want to standardize in your live chat service: greetings, sign off wording, and other specific messages that need to be passed verbatim.

Canned messages will never take the place of a real human being answering questions, but they do make it easy for your customer service staff to respond quickly and effectively to customers who may not have the attention span to wait more than a few seconds for a response. While they do have their shortcomings, canned messages help to boost the efficiency and accuracy of many live chat reps, who find it easier to enter a short code than to type a long standard greeting.

Ultimately, it’s not the canned messages that are the problem or the solution, but how they’re used. It’s a matter of training your live chat operators to be friendly and personable, and to use these responses naturally and appropriately to give customers the help they need and to boost your bottom line with more conversions and sales.


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