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How to use canned responses for social media support in 2023—a complete guide with quick reply templates

Learn how to ace customer support on social media using these quick reply templates to save time and boost agent productivity
Table of Content

Social media is not a one-way street anymore. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok—these channels are no longer the digital equivalent of a billboard for brands. 

Social media is finally what it was always meant to be—a place for companies to have conversations with their customers, a place to be social. 

Businesses that understand this are more likely to win and keep loyal customers. Microsoft’s Global State of Customer Service Report echoes this fact, with 54% of the 5000 people surveyed sharing that they had a more favorable view of brands that responded to customer service questions or complaints on social media.

Customers are ditching long email chains and frustrating phone calls in favor of social media. They’re relying on the latter to find and get in touch with businesses, ask questions, raise issues, and in rare cases, shower compliments. To get more compliments than criticism, make sure you have canned responses (also called quick replies and scripts) for the most common questions asked on your social media channels and for dealing with the trolling that is sometimes part of the job. 

Why use canned responses for customer service on social media

There are many benefits to using canned responses for customer support on social media.

  • Speed. Like it or not, we live in a world where speed is supreme. A slow landing page, a glitch in a mobile app, and a delayed customer service response, can all elicit customer fury. Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends Report 2020 found most customers on social media expect a business to respond in less than an hour. Of this group, 6% expect a response in under five minutes. Even the fastest fingers in the world need canned responses to meet this kind of pressure.
  • Convenience. It’s likely that your agents don’t want to spend the better part of their day typing the same thing over & over from scratch. Canned responses ensure they don’t have to think about drafting a new response every time for a similar issue. With quick reply templates, they can easily handle complaints, overcome objections, and prevent social media crises. 
  • Accuracy. Writing to customers on social media channels involves varying skill sets. Agents need to know the product/service information inside out. In addition, they must pay attention to grammar, writing skills, as well as the tone and voice of the brand. Inaccurate responses, especially on such public platforms, can do your brand’s reputation more harm than good. Canned responses can take care of this for you.
  • Consistency. Having templated replies for static information, such as warranty information or a return policy, maintains the consistency in your communication while messaging across different channels.
  • Cost-effectiveness. With canned responses, each support agent can handle multiple times more requests than otherwise. This means you resolve more issues without needing to hire more people. This is cost-effective as well as efficient for your company.
  • Time-savings. By automating typing, canned responses reduce the effort involved in writing entire paragraphs to just a couple of keystrokes. This saves valuable time that agents can devote to actually solving the issue instead. It also results in faster resolution and, consequently, happier customers.

Canned responses on social media: 11 examples and quick-reply templates

If you’ve not used quick replies for social media before, these 11 examples can help you navigate the most common support scenarios without reinventing the wheel.

The text in square brackets can be customized to suit your company. Of course, you can edit these scripts to make them more on brand!

1. Complaints about poor customer service

Quality customer service is one of the biggest competitive advantages you can have as a brand. Be proactive in maintaining the standards and use this script to prevent disappointing customers further.

Sample template

“Hello [first name], I am sorry to hear that you had such a terrible experience. This isn’t the quality of service we expect for our customers. I can understand why you’re upset. Please allow me to share this information with my team and get back to you with a solution. Feel free to message us if you have questions.”
2. Complaints about product or service quality

In the era of online shopping, products and services sometimes turn out to be different than advertised. When there are marked differences in the actual product/service than promised, customers can feel cheated. You should attempt to fix the issue asap to avoid losing them.

Sample template

“Hi [first name]! [Brand name/company name] is known for the excellent quality of our [product/service]. This is highly unusual and I am sorry you had to go through this experience. Let us make it up to you by issuing a full refund or sending over a replacement? Please DM us a picture of the [product/service result] along with your [email address, full name, and order number]. Thanks!”
3. Complaints regarding issues with delivery

Shipping complaints can involve a number of issues ranging from delays, damage, incorrect deliveries etc. Here’s a quick reply template to address most of them.

Sample template

“Hello [first name], we would be glad to find out what is going on with your order and ask our local delivery station to follow up with our driver. Please DM your name, address, city, state, zip code, tracking number, phone number, and email address & we will get things to work out! We apologize for the delay!”
4. Resolving technical difficulties

When your customers experience technical difficulties with your website, extension, app, or software, etc. you can respond like this:

Sample template

“Hey [first name]! we apologize for the technical glitch you’re facing. Here are a few things you can do to resolve the issue on your own

• Make sure that you have the latest version of the [browser/app/software]
• Try deleting your [browsing history/cache/cookies]
• Restart the [application] and login to your account again 

If none of these work, please send us a DM with your email address, device model, operating system, browser, and app version? We'll be happy to help.”

5. Addressing issues with refunds

Refunds delayed may not be refunds denied but they can still leave your customers feeling like the opposite of a million bucks (get it?). Refund complaints should be addressed seriously and quickly. And this customer service script will help you do exactly that.

Sample template

“Hey [first name], we’re sorry to know that you’ve not received your refund yet. Please accept our sincere apology. Refunds on canceled orders are initiated instantly but can take up to [5] business days to reflect in your account. Please give us [24] hours to confirm this with our bank and get back to you with an update. Thank you for your patience.”
6. In the absence of an immediate solution

Actively listening, acknowledging a complaint, and showing understanding, especially when the customer is angry or frustrated, is like providing first-aid. It can pacify the customers in the absence of an immediate solution. The tone of the message will go a long way in establishing trust.

Sample template

“Hi [first name], thanks for taking the time to write in! I'll need to take a closer look at this issue to see what's going on. Meanwhile, could you please DM us your order ID and email address along with a brief description of the problem so that we can help you out asap?”
7. Thanking a customer for positive feedback

There’s nothing like a heartfelt positive review from a delighted customer. They are akin to free publicity and solid word of mouth for your company. You can use the quick reply below to acknowledge and respond to positive feedback. 

Sample template

“We can’t help grinning from ear to ear. Thank you so much for your kind words. Making our customers happy is our topmost priority. And we’re immensely glad we could do that. Sending your wishes (and some much-deserved kudos) to our team right away!”
8. When customers compare you with your competitors

When customers highlight that a competing brand’s products or services are better than yours, you could respond in a way that brings out your strengths. Adding some social proof works wonders.

Sample template

“Hi [first name]! We absolutely adore [competitor's product name]. But, we don’t want you to miss out on [product features which your competitors don't offer] that you get only with [your product name]. Why else would over [50,000] people trust us over them? If you’re curious, check out our detailed comparison guide here [link]. DM us with your email address and we’ll schedule a free demo so you can see [your product name] in action!”
9. Saying no to customers

Saying no is hard for most people as it is. And how do you deal with unreasonable customer demands when the first principle of excellent customer service says that the customer is king? 

The answer, of course, is carefully crafted canned responses that drive the point home politely yet firmly.

Sample template

“Sorry, [first name], our product does not come with [the feature requested]. However, we have a host of improvements in the pipeline which should make your usage a smooth sailing experience.”
“Hi [first name]! We’re glad you’re having a great experience using [your product name]. Though customer delight is our topmost priority, we’re afraid this request [insert details] goes against our company policy. We’d be more than happy to offer you [an alternative solution] instead. Please DM us with your [contact details]. Thanks!”
10. Directing the customer to FAQs

Sometimes, customers might have questions regarding how to perform specific actions while using your product or service. Chances are, you already have a comprehensive guide, knowledge base, help center or FAQ section that contains the instructions. You can redirect your customers to these answers using this customer service script.

Sample template

“Hey [first name]! You’re not alone in asking this question. We understand things can get a little tricky at times. That’s why we created an FAQ section on our website. You’ll find the solutions you need here: [FAQ section link]. If not, we’ll be happy to get this reviewed for you.”
11. Resolving and closing the issue

As a service transaction concludes, agents should remember to thank the customer and confirm if their issue is resolved. Doing this in public helps the brand establish trust and gain credibility for being consumer-friendly. Even if you resolved the issue in private (over DMs/email etc.), make sure to leave a comment on the original thread to the effect. 

Sample template

“Hello [first name], We’re all set! Your [issue] has been resolved successfully. Let us know if we can help you with anything else? Have a great day!”

Best practices for using customer service scripts on social media

Canned responses are great, aren’t they? But crafting a dozen support scripts alone will not make your customer service on social media acceptable.

Here are some dos and don’ts to make the best use of customer service scripts for your brand:

  1. Before you start using canned responses, have a prioritization mechanism in place to streamline social media customer care. Set up a dedicated social handle for customer care alone and make it prominent across your website and other communication tools. Your agents and customers will thank you for it. 
  1. Use technology to cut through the noise of irrelevant mentions. Many social media tools come with filters, prioritized inboxes, and social listening capabilities to serve you the most important mentions right away. 
  1. Create a set of social media service guidelines before drafting any canned responses to provide clarity on:
  • language and tone of voice
  • standard response times for each channel
  • protocol for escalations
  • procedure for approving message requests and managing permissions
  1. Provide extensive self-help resources in the form of how-tos, FAQs, text and video guides, help-centers, knowledge base etc.
  1. Always respond to requests, whether positive or critical. And try to respond as quickly as possible. You can make use of templates to optimize response times.
  1. Take conversations public and complaints private.
  1. Keep updating service scripts in line with changing company policies and customer expectations.
  1. Make sure your scripts don’t sound robotic. Templatize but also personalize. 
  1. Keep scripts simple, conversational, friendly, and to the point.
  1. Use automation to handle a large volume of requests seamlessly. 

OSlash: Automate canned responses to take your social media customer service from standard to spectacular

There’s no denying that a repository of canned responses makes the life of a customer support executive (or social media executive) easier. 

But if they still have to access them in the company wiki/FAQ by following a series of cumbersome steps, doesn’t it defeat the very purpose?

Why not go a step further and use a solution that lets agents invoke canned responses automatically within seconds? A tool like OSlash text expander!

Recommended reading: Embrace faster messaging and better user interactions with OSlash text expander

Snippets lets you create shortcuts that automatically summon your canned responses or other frequently used pieces of texts simply by typing o/<snippet-name>.

Here’s a glimpse of how it works.

You can also populate frequently used messages with variables to personalize each interaction. 

The power to go “Accio content” whenever you want saves you time and effort whilst bringing enormous amounts of happiness. Such snippets, used across the workplace, also bring in consistency and reduce the margin of error significantly. 

What’s more? OSlash doubles up as your complete productivity suite—offering not just automation for canned responses but also solving your problems with link management and knowledge management, forever.

Give it a spin and see the magic for yourself!

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