Updated Apr 26 2020 :: by Alex Yumashev

"Canned responses" are pre-saved help desk messages that can can speed up your customer support preventing you from typing the same thing over and over. And it is a very common feature in many help desk systems.

After more than 10 years of running a SaaS help desk company (and also providing support to our customers) here's the list of our most frequent and most used canned responses:

Downtime acknowledgement

Shit happens. And when it does - you'll get dozens of support tickets: "Help, it's not working!" "I get an error!", "Are you guys there!?" - have a canned response that confirms the issue and lets your clients know you're working on it.

Thanks for reporting, yes, we are fully aware of the issue and we're working to resolve this ASAP, sorry folks!"

Critical times like this is when you need the most resources, don't waste it on writing the same thing again and again.

Calming an angry customer

Sometimes customers can be angry and even rude. Don't let this get to you, have a calming canned response ready:

I realize how frustrating this can be and we're incredibly sorry about this experience. We are currently reviewing our processes to make sure this won't happen again.

This also a psychological hack that helps keep your head clear, not take it personally and make this negative energy simply fly by and go into sand.

Bug report response

When someone reports a bug, respond with a nice confirmation:

Thanks for reporting and sorry about this, this wasn't supposed to happen. There seems to be a glitch in the application. We've logged this in our bug tracker, please expect a new version with the fix shortly.

Feature request - a "yes"

Great suggestion, we've added this to our road map.

Feature request - a "no"

I'm afraid we can't do that but here's another option.

Common issues, FAQ and KB items

A good help desk app has a built-in FAQ and "Knowledge base" modules that are tightly coupled with the canned responses (shameless plug: Jitbit does!), so whenever you see a common question - send a link to a KB-article with a click of a mouse. This includes:

  • Product specific questions
  • Billing and shipping issues
  • Refunds (accept and deny)
  • Privacy policy, return policy
  • Username/password reminders
  • Discounts, promo codes and - oh my gosh - quotes, we get tons of 'em
  • Compliance docs, accounting forms, vulnerability reports
  • etc.

The "break up" letter

Whenever someone wants to cancel their subscription or a trial, or asks for a refund - have a canned response ready:

It's really sad to see you go. But we surely appreciate your comments, which will help us make the app better. Please come by in a little while; perhaps, after time of our hard work you will find our app looking the way you've been expecting to see it. Your refund details are: xxxxxxx

Responses to your marketing campaigns

You are probably running a drip campaign - a sequence of short emails customers get after signing up or something like that. Every email probably generates some common inquiries so make sure you have an answer at hand.

The "We haven't forgotten about you" reminder

Sometimes when you spot a ticket that hasn't been updated for a long time (say, your engineering team is still working on it, or your financial department is still figuring the payment out), it's a good idea to update the customer, letting them know you haven't forgot about the ticket. Also, a good helpdesk app ;-) usually has a way to do that automatically - via workflow engines and "automation rules".

It's been a while since our last update, just wanted to reassure you that we haven't lost your case and still working on this.

Admitting a mistake

It's OK if a support agent has made a mistake. Admit your fault, do it quickly and empathetically, then apologize and move on.

Please disregard my previous message, I have to admit that what I said earlier was incorrect. Sorry about the error and hope this clears things up.

Bonus tip #1: keep tuning your canned responses as you go

Even once you set your canned responses up, the work is not over yet. Keep an eye on the incoming support tickets and adjust when needed.

Bonus tip #2: customize your responses

Make sure your canned responses address a customer by name - "Hello %CUSTOMER_NAME%" and insert more customer specific fields if needed.

Bonus tip #3: frequently used canned response? Consider a knowledge base article

If you find yourself using a canned response multiple times a day, consider writing a more detailed knowledge base article. Articles are great for many reasons:

  • Articles can have more details, images, rich formatting
  • Some helpdesks (like Jitbit) intellegently suggest KB articles to users when they are writing support tickets
  • Some users actually read your documentation and KB before submitting tickets

Finally: don't use a canned response when personal treatment is required

There's a right and a wrong time for a canned response. Sometimes you just have to sit down and actually write a personalized message that's unique and specific to the situation. The first rule of automation is - not to rely on automation too much.


'10+ Best Canned Responses for your Help Desk' was written by Alex Yumashev
Alex Yumashev
Alex has founded Jitbit in 2005 and is a software engineer passionate about customer support.


Subscribe comments

Brought to you by

Help desk software

Jitbit Helpdesk