Conversation Blocks: How canned messages can improve customer service

If a potential customer is approaching you for information, they expect their query to be resolved not only satisfactorily, but also quickly.

If they have to wait in a queue to speak to an agent on Live Chat, or wait several days for an answer to an email, they won’t hesitate to look elsewhere.

Conversation Blocks, or canned responses, are a great way to speed up the customer service experience. They save time for agents and keep the conversation moving to avoid dropping clients.

What is a Conversation Block?

Canned messages (or canned responses or canned answers) are pre-written template messages that respond to frequently asked questions or scenarios.

This allows agents to engage quickly in a semi-automatic fashion, promptly providing the specific information that the client requires.

What different types of Conversation Blocks are there?

Conversation Blocks can be used for any phase of an interaction with a customer. Primarily they are divided into three types:

  • Intros. These are typically a friendly (personalised) introduction, thanking them for contacting you and asking about the nature of their query. Depending on the type of issue, you can choose responses with different tones of voice.
  • Bodies. Any business will need a number of these, catered for the wide variety of enquiries that you might receive. These could be direct answers to FAQs or messages informing the user that you have understood their query and that you’re looking into it.
  • Outros. Sign off, wish your customer a good day or invite them to leave feedback. This is the last impression they will have of you so make sure it’s positive.

With Superagent, these Conversation Blocks can be loaded up and sent quickly thanks to easy-to-use keyboard shortcuts.

What are the benefits of Conversation Blocks?

There are many advantages to using Conversation Blocks. The biggest one, as far as clients are concerned, is that their queries are dealt with quicker.

Using canned messages is vital in making your team more efficient, especially if they’re handling hundreds of questions daily. Using Conversation Blocks, you can search for the correct answer to a query and send it immediately, at scale.

This means that your team can be much more responsive, particularly on questions that doesn't require much work, and can deal with several enquiries simultaneously.

90% of customers rate an "immediate" response (less than 10 minutes) as important or very important when they have a customer service question. Therefore, if agents can get through tickets quicker, it stands to reason that customer satisfaction will increase.

However, using canned messages can also have multiple advantages for businesses themselves:

  • Maintain the same tone. With all your agents making use of the same templates, it becomes a lot easier to maintain the same tone across the entirety of your business. The uniformity of the message you want to share can be maintained.
  • Increase the quality of your responses. Having a pre-written and tried-and-tested response to an issue at the click of a mouse is extremely useful. Issues can be dealt with swiftly and there is no need for further investigation on the part of the customer service agent.
  • Cut out errors. Typing errors happen. But they can create a negative impression of a business - that it’s sloppy or unprofessional. With pre-written responses, this won’t happen. Human error is decreased significantly.
  • Decrease the monotony. Agents frequently have to deal with the same issues on a repeated basis. Having a ready-made response can ensure that they don’t waste time repeating themselves.

But be careful - don’t sound like a robot

Canned responses are very useful, but they must not replace the job of a real-life customer support agent. If they are to be effective, they have to be used in tandem with real, human conversation. Otherwise, you’re at risk of sounding like a robot.

Sound more human in your interactions by having a large range of responses ready to go. You want all communication to sound natural, so be sure to avoid creating Conversation Blocks to fit multiple situations. It’s clumsy and doesn’t always fit.

It’s important that you get to the point and avoid lengthy intros and outros. They can seem standardised or a little too polite. You don’t want to annoy the reader.

You can counter this by using the customer’s name to make your interactions feel more personalised. Additionally, emojis can help to put your customers at ease.

However, the tone has to match the nature of the interaction. For example, cheerful or flippant emojis could make it appear that you’re not taking their complaint seriously.

Create your own Conversation Blocks with Superagent

Easily build your own set of Conversation Blocks with Superagent.

Download the program and create your own Conversation Blocks that can be used across multiple platforms. Your blocks will be available on both desktop and mobile.

Improve your customer service offering by getting through tickets quicker and increase sales by ensuring clients aren’t left hanging and that they go away satisfied.