It can get hectic dealing with so many customers every day—especially when you’re dedicated to great customer service, which means replying to every single email and call. But did you know you there is a way to save time on replying to customer emails?
The solution? Canned emails.
Canned emails are prewritten templates you can use to respond to frequently asked questions. Instead of typing out individual replies each time, you can quickly customize and send prewritten email templates.
This is a must-have strategy to save time while selling auto parts online. As you scale your business, you're only going to have more customers and more questions to deal with. Writing templates like these once will save you tons of time in the long haul.
Use these suggestions below as a springboard for your own brainstorming! Look through your email history and think about the most commonly asked questions at your dealership to determine which canned emails can save you the most time.
Here are a few email ideas to get you started.
Canned message ideas for frequently asked customer questions:
1. Should I send my VIN?
Even though it’s all over your website, you still might get emails from customers asking if they should send you their VIN. Give your customer details on how the VIN helps with the accuracy of the part fitment.
2. Where should I ship core returns?
Whenever you get this question, send your customer a canned email listing the correct address.
3. When will my package arrive?
Even if you send a tracking number, customers still ask when they can expect their package. Prepare canned emails for each type of shipping: ground, air, 2-day, and so on. In the email you can also remind the customer to reference their tracking number, and tell them that out of stock items could take extra days to ship.
4. How do I return an item?
Whenever you get questions about your return policy, it’s good to have a canned email ready. Let customers know how you handle returns, with information or a link to your return policy. You could have another canned message explaining that you don’t accept returns for parts that were installed or tried on cars.
5. Do you offer local pickup?
If applicable, have a canned email letting customers know if they can avoid a shipping charge by picking up a part at your local store. If you allow local pick up, your store’s hours and your location are a few things to include in this email.
Canned message ideas for customer notifications:
6. Customer, your part has been discontinued.
It happens—parts get discontinued. You’ll have to deal with customers who purchase these parts eventually, and it’s easier to deal with when you have a prepared email.
7. Customer, your part is on back order.
If a part is on back order, you should let your customer know. Again, rather than write the same message over and over again, it’s a great opportunity to use a canned message. Notify your customers when their part is on back order from the manufacturer, and when they can expect to finally to receive it.
8. Customer, your credit card has failed to go through.
It’s also inevitable that your customers’ credit cards will sometimes be rejected. If this happens, let them know that there are many different reasons it could happen—wrong security code, a different billing address than what’s filed on the card, or an out of country bank account are just a few possibilities.
Tell your customer to contact their financial institution to find out the exact reasons and that you can only accept transactions that are properly processed on your website.
9. Customer, we need your VIN.
Since a VIN will help with part fitment accuracy, it’s important to get the number from your customer. If they fail to provide one, send a prepared email requesting the VIN for their part.
10. Customer, we do not ship internationally.
If you don’t ship internationally, have canned message ready to go to respond to any orders made from customers wanting international shipments. If you do ship internationally but only to select countries, same thing—tell your customer where you ship, and where you don’t.
There are probably more templates you can prepare ahead of time, but those are a few of the main ones. You might also consider creating templates for promotional emails and sale announcements!
Keep the emails personal and thank the customer for their time. If you’re bearing bad news (such as a part is out of stock), be courteous and apologize for the inconvenience. Even though the email is canned, and as a result, not as personal, you don’t have to make your prewritten responses bland and impersonal.
All this canned email stuff is easy when you choose an eCommerce provider like RevolutionParts. We have a canned message tool directly in the control panel of your parts store to help you respond to your online shoppers in less time. It's just one of the many cool features available on our platform!
After a little bit of invested time to write and set up your emails, speedy and prewritten messages will save time for yourself and your customer!