Canned Responses – You Can and You Should

by Kelly Sullivan

We love efficiency at Outgrow Your Garage, so if we discover a better way to deliver a quality product that saves time and energy, we are all about it. Luckily for you, we also believe that sharing is caring. So let us indulge you in one of our current favorite energy-saving email features – canned responses.

If you are anything like us, your email inbox might be…well, scary. Whether your week consists of meetings, events, driving, or extra-curricular activities, the end result is the same – 65 unread emails, gathering dust and growing old together. Not only can this add to your stress levels, it also leads to poor client communication, which is never something you want associated with your brand.

Canned responses are predetermined responses to common questions you receive in your day-to-day business operations. While some of the emails you receive may be unique and require a more in-depth response, many business owners find that they can categorize a lot of the email questions they receive into groups that call for standard responses. Instead of retyping the same answer over and over again, you open the standard response, customize it to your needs, and send it off.

Canned responses are easy to set up on most email platforms, including Google, Yahoo and Outlook. Investing a little of your time upfront to create some standard responses will save you many, many hours in the future. Trust us, it’s worth it.

A good way to plan out your canned emails is to think of your client process from start to finish. What kind of emails do you send throughout that process? Here are some examples to get you started. 

Customer Service

Sending less than favorable emails to customers can feel clunky and uncomfortable when you’re always trying to find the nicest way to word things. That’s where having a simple “message received, we’re taking care of it” canned response can make a big difference.

Example:

Hi there,

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Our team is looking into this as we speak. As soon as we know more we will promptly follow up. We appreciate your patience!

Best,

[Your Name]

Reminder Emails

We all have to send those nagging emails about invoices, overdue payments, or having things sent over. Whether you’re sending an appointment reminder or a payment reminder, there are lots of situations in which a canned email response can come in handy here.

Example:

Hi there,

A quick reminder that [overdue payment for such and such, your appointment is scheduled for this time on this day].

Please [confirm your appointment, get back to me] at your earliest convenience.

Best,

[Your Name]

Filtering Bad Leads/Unavailable

Not every email in your inbox is going to lead to business. Oftentimes you’ll find yourself wasting time authoring polite rejections to nice requests. Being nice and positive are instinctual for most, but you can make things easier on yourself by referring to your thoughtful, pre-typed out responses to help unclog your inbox.

Example:

Hi there,

Thank you for considering me for [project]. My schedule is completely full for the next few weeks. What I can do is refer you to [name], who I know does great work in this area. I will include their contact information below. Good luck with your project!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Do not forget though, the key to making canned emails work properly is personalization. Pull up the canned response, and add the customer’s name, your name, and any other information relevant to the situation. You definitely don’t want to send bland, generic responses to all of your clients. This can come across as disingenuous and lazy. Your communication can be easy to manage and personal at the same time – make your templates sound human and compassionate.

According to Microsoft data, 95% of consumers say that customer service is important for brand loyalty, and more than 60% of consumers report having deserted a brand and switching to a rival company because of poor customer service.

Personalize your canned responses to display your company’s consistency, timeliness, and dedication to customer satisfaction. Customization is an easy last step to ensure you are staying on top of quality client communication, which is imperative for any brand. 

You’re not likely to always convey your very best if you’re in a rush or distracted. If you’re working with a templated standard response, you can say it the best way every time—and be constantly improving it. 

Want more information about client communication or templates? Check out our full online business course catalog, where you will find our full Client Communication course, which includes a more in-depth look at how to build templates for your own business.