10 Canned Response Tools to Supercharge Customer Service Productivity

Answering customer queries quickly and accurately is critical for good customer service. However, replying to common and repetitive questions manually can drain a lot of time and effort. This is where canned response tools come in handy.

Canned responses, also known as prewritten responses or macros, allow customer service teams to respond to frequently asked questions with the click of a button. They help standardize responses across representatives and enable faster response times.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top 10 canned response tools to take your customer service productivity to the next level.

What are Canned Response Tools?

Canned response tools allow you to create a library of pre-written responses and insert them into tickets, emails, chats and other channels when needed. They are extremely useful for questions that get asked repeatedly, such as:

  • Shipping policy
  • Return and refund policy
  • Subscription cancellation process
  • Password reset steps
  • Basic troubleshooting tips

With canned responses, agents don‘t have to manually type a response from scratch every time. They can simply select the appropriate canned response from the library and send it off.

canned response example

An example canned response in action (Image source: UserResponse)

This saves a tremendous amount of time and effort, especially when dealing with high volumes of tickets and queries. It also leads to more accurate and consistent responses.

Benefits of Canned Response Tools

Here are some of the main advantages of using canned response tools:

Increased Productivity

Canned responses drastically cut down on repetitive typing and manual responses. Agents can handle more tickets in less time.

Faster Response Times

Quick and accurate first responses create a good impression on customers. Canned responses enable faster replies.

Consistent Messaging

Canned responses ensure all agents stick to company-approved messaging when responding. This prevents mismatch of information.

Reduced Human Error

With canned responses, there are fewer chances of typos, incorrect information or facts, leading to better quality responses.

Better Customer Service

The combination of the above benefits results in superior overall customer service.

Integration With Knowledge Base

For maximum impact, canned response tools should tightly integrate with the company‘s knowledge base or FAQ portal.

As the knowledge base gets updated with new troubleshooting guides, product info etc. the canned responses can dynamically source the latest details from it instead of having static content.

For example, instead of a canned response having a static tutorial video link, it would reference a placeholder that pulls the latest video from the knowledge base. This ensures the canned responses have the most up-to-date information.

knowledge base integration

Canned response integrating with knowledge base (Image source: Kayako)

Top 10 Canned Response Tools

Now that we‘ve seen the many benefits of canned responses, let‘s look at 10 of the best canned response tools available:

1. Kayako Classic

Kayako is a popular help desk system trusted by over 30,000 organizations. It offers a solid canned response feature alongside its ticketing and live chat capabilities.

Key Features

  • Create and access canned responses from tickets and live chats
  • Personalize responses using merge fields
  • Attach images, files and snippets
  • Categorize for easy discovery
  • Built-in analytics to identify popular responses


Kayako has a free plan for teams up to 3 agents. Paid plans start from $15 per agent/month billed annually.


  • Tight integration with Kayako knowledge base
  • Feature-rich helpdesk with multiple channels


  • Can get overwhelming with many features

2. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is a user-friendly yet powerful help desk solution. It provides strong canned response capabilities.

Key Features

  • Create visual editor to format responses
  • Organize with tags and categories
  • Enable agents to suggest new responses
  • Search across all responses
  • Usage tracking for popular responses


Starts at $15 per agent/month billed annually. 30-day free trial available.


  • Very intuitive and easy to use
  • Excellent gamification and motivation features


  • Mostly suited for small businesses

3. HappyFox

HappyFox positions itself as an helpdesk alternative to more complex platforms. It has a handy canned response tool to help agents.

Key Features

  • Supports rich text formatting of responses
  • Assign shortcut tags for quick access while responding
  • Ability to create team-specific canned items
  • Search and filter by tags, date etc
  • View usage statistics


Starts at $9 per agent/month billed annually. 15-day free trial.


  • Very affordable compared to other tools
  • Covers all channels – email, chat, social media


  • Integration options are limited
  • Fewer advanced features vs competition

4. Zendesk

Zendesk is undoubtedly a leader in the customer service software space. It offers a library of pre-made response templates.

Key Features

  • Create, edit and delete response templates
  • Attach images, docs and media
  • Enable team access and sharing
  • Search templates when responding
  • View analytics on template efficiency


Starts at $5 per agent/month billed monthly. Free trial available.


  • Very popular with 150,000+ customers
  • Powerful feature set beyond canned responses
  • Highly customizable to company needs


  • Can get complex for simple use cases

5. Help Scout

Help Scout provides excellent email management capabilities alongside canned responses. It helps serve customers via email efficiently.

Key Features

  • Create and use snippets while composing emails
  • Access snippets from a central library
  • Use dynamic content from previous email
  • Enable team access and sharing
  • Reports on snippets usage and trends


Starts at $20 per mailbox/month billed monthly. Free 15-day trial.


  • Specializes in making email support efficient
  • Highly focused inbox management capabilities


  • Mostly email-centric with some live chat

6. Userlike

Userlike offers a unique take on canned responses aimed specifically at live chat channels. It enables real-time chat responses efficiently.

Key Features

  • Create target-based triggers for automated chat responses
  • Bot assistant gives intelligent response recommendations
  • Enable team access and sharing
  • Reports on usage and trends
  • Multilingual responses.


14-day free trial. Custom enterprise pricing applies.


  • AI gives intelligent response suggestions
  • Very customized to chat channel
  • Ticketing integration available


  • Mostly focused on chat channel support

7. Intercom

Intercom is extremely popular for chat-based customer communication. It sports a versatile Knowledge Base to refer articles while responding.

Key Features

  • Powerful internal knowledge base to store articles
  • Refer articles via links while responding
  • Team access to articles creation and use
  • Usage analytics on popular articles


Custom pricing plans to suit company needs


  • Focused on contextual chat-based communication
  • Custom bots to assist human agents
  • Smooth workflows between bots & humans


  • Article sharing method vs typical canned responses
  • Specialized for its chat UI vs multi-channel

8. Jitbit Helpdesk

Jitbit offers a simple yet effective helpdesk system targeting startups and SMBs.

Key Features

  • Create and store macros accessible from tickets/chats
  • Personalize using dynamic shortcodes like %user%
  • Import responses from text files
  • Basic usage stats available


Starts at $16.58 per month billed monthly or annually. Free 30-day trial.


  • Very easy to get started for SMBs
  • Low cost compared to other platforms
  • Integrates with popular business apps


  • Lacks more advanced features

9. Freshservice

Freshservice is Freshdesk‘s service desk product focused on IT and internal teams. It naturally offers strong canned response powers.

Key Features

  • Format responses using visual editor
  • Assign shortcut tags for quick access
  • Enable team access and sharing
  • View response usage metrics
  • Ability to merge dynamic ticket variables


Starts at $19 per agent/month billed annually. 21-day free trial.


  • Streamlined interface and workflows
  • Strong focus on AI and automation
  • Tailor-made for internal ITSM use cases


  • Mostly focused on internal teams vs external clients

10. Deskpro

Deskpro is a fast-growing helpdesk platform that is very easy to use. It comes equipped for canned responses.

Key Features

  • Create and insert responses from tickets and chats
  • Use @ shorthand syntax for dynamic content
  • Insert images, videos and files
  • Reports on commonly used responses


Starts at $15 per agent/month billed monthly or annually. Free 30-day trial.


  • Intuitive multi-channel setup
  • Very affordable compared to alternatives
  • BYOS – bring your own storage for data security


  • Young platform so less advanced capabilities

Key Features To Evaluate

When selecting a canned response tool, here are some features to evaluate:

Creation and editing – Easy graphical editor and markdown support for creating rich responses with images, videos etc

Personalization – Ability to merge dynamic field values from tickets into responses

Organization – Categories, tags, search etc for easy structuring and discovery of responses

Insertion – Quickly insert responses from within ticket, chat, email screens

Knowledge base sync – Connect with knowledge base portal and FAQ articles for latest data syncing

Teams – Allow teams, groups and agents to share common responses

Multichannel – Unified access across email, tickets, chats, messengers and various channels

Analytics – Track utilization to identify popular and unused responses

Best Practices For Canned Responses

Creating impactful canned responses takes some forethought and best practices. Here are some tips:

Conversational tone – Don‘t sound too robotic. Write responses as you would speak to a friend.

Personalization – Use available dynamic fields to inject personal details like name, company etc when possible.

Short and focused – Avoid ultra long responses. Keep them scannable with section headers and spacing.

Active voice – Use active voice and address the customer directly e.g. "We will be happy to assist you".

Images and media – Include images, screenshots and videos if allowed to improve engagement.

Analytics – Continuously monitor reports on frequently used responses to identify what works.

Reporting On Effectiveness

Canned response usage statistics and reports provide insight into utilization patterns. Tracking metrics like:

  • Number of times used
  • Most frequently used
  • Least used

helps identify the responses resonating with customers that can be further optimized and ones that may need to be removed or rewritten.

Reviewing canned response usage should become part of regular customer service analytics to improve efficiency.

Conclusion and Top Recommendations

Canned response tools enable customer service teams to drive dramatic productivity improvements and superior customer experiences. They eliminate repetitive tasks, streamline responses and enable ultra-fast response times across channels ranging from tickets to chats and social media.

Based on the above review of the top 10 canned response tools, here are my top 3 recommendations:

  1. Kayako – The best all-round option for helpdesk needs with strong capabilities beyond canned responses.

  2. Freshdesk – Extremely intuitive and user-friendly for anyone getting started with canned tools.

  3. HappyFox – Great low-cost alternative covering multiple channels.

Implementing one of these tools can help boost productivity, achieve faster responses, improve consistency and accuracy.

What has your experience been with leveraging canned responses? Feel free to share any tips or recommendations below!