Do Not Sound Like a Robot Using Canned Messages

When your customers contact you via online chat service, they definitely expect to chat to a human. But sometimes they feel like they are talking to a robot, which can be a bit disappointing to them. In the most cases this happens because of the quality of the canned messages you use.

It is tempting to compose all possible replies to all possible questions and save them as canned messages. The only thing that operator will need is to find the correct text and send it as a reply. But there are a few things that you need to remember when writing pre-defined messages not to sound like a robot.

1.      Keep “human” tone.

When you chat to your website visitors online, you do not have much time to compose perfect messages, so you use simple and common words and phrases. When you compose pre-defined messages, you have more time to think over the phrases and this often results in complicated constructions and long words. Your chat visitors feel it immediately, and this degrades their satisfaction level even if all their questions have been answered.

It is worth trying not to write the messages from scratch, but find the best examples in your chat archive, and use them as pre-defined replies. You’ll avoid complex structures because these messages are created in real-time conversation, and they most probably sound “human”.

If you do not have chat history yet, or cannot find a good reply to a question, try to limit the time for composing. Do not think over a reply longer than 2-3 minutes. The more time you take, the better your chances are to spoil a message.

2.      Do not sound as commercial.

Imagine that you are talking to a company representative, asking simple questions, and getting simple answers. Then you ask about pricing, and suddenly the representative’s tone changes and he starts talking like a TV-commercial star. Wouldn’t it sound weird? Definitely it would. It feels the same in the website chat. It is not a good idea to copy promo texts from your website as they normally do not fit in a regular conversation.

Show your messages to your friends or colleagues and ask if they sound normal or too commercial. Ask yourself if you talk this way in real life. If the answer is “no”, then you definitely need to re-write the message.

3.      Use short messages.

Pre-defined messages allow you to provide full information quickly and correctly. That is where long replies come from. Your customers will not believe that you type 100-word messages in half-minute. An average word count for live chat messages is 15-30 words. Try to fit in this limit for simple answers or double it for extended replies. Longer messages automatically give you away.

4.      Be specific.

When customers ask a question, they expect to get an answer to this specific question, not a broad reply. Of course it is impossible to write pre-defined replies to all specific questions, but isn’t it why you hire a live chat agent? If you do not have a canned message providing a direct answer to a visitor’s question, it is better to type a reply instead of utilizing a broad match.


We hope these tips will help you to compose pre-defined replies. Feel free to contact us for advice.