6 Auto Reply Message Tips and Examples to Boost Your Customer Service Experience

Joanne BrattonJuly 17th, 2020
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When potential customers reach out to your home services company, they are likely short on time and need help quickly. Automatic reply messages can fill the gap, allowing your company to give quick responses and, if used properly, build better customer service.

Use an automated reply message to:

  • Acknowledge a customer’s question or message

  • Confirm scheduled appointments

  • Notify customers when technicians are on their way

  • Request a review after a completed job

  • Thank customers for a completed job, paid invoice, or posting an online review

Automatic response technology can manage incoming requests or messages sent to your company through email, text, messaging apps or online chat, and allow your customer service to operate 24/7. 

Since 73 percent of companies with above-average customer experiences perform better financially than their competitors, automatic reply messages—if properly followed up—could help drive leads and grow your business.

Top home service companies offer several avenues for customer communication on their websites. Besides an easy-to-find phone number, many home service websites use popups to facilitate live chat, text or email options, and display a contact form.

It’s important to determine what types of automated reply message work best for your company and customers. We’ll give auto reply examples for home service companies and explain six tips for improving customer communication with automated messages:

1. Why Home Service Companies Should Consider Automatic Reply Messages

Automatic reply messages function as a facet of your company’s customer service, allowing customers to reach out to you through their preferred method—whether it’s by email, text, or online chat.

Automatic responses can set customers’ minds at ease, knowing the company received their message, and avoids the hassle of call-backs and voicemail. 

Automatic reply emails and automatic reply text messages can help you save time and streamline operations by reminding customers of scheduled appointments, recurring maintenance services or membership renewals, or to follow up on open estimates.

Since the goal of using auto replies is to give an immediate response and increase customer satisfaction, it’s important to give customers as many ways as possible to communicate with your company, and quickly follow-through to resolve their issue.

» Related: How to Communicate with Customers? Be Helpful, but Smart

2. Reach Customers Through a Variety of Platforms

  • Voice

  • Auto response email

  • Auto text reply

  • Chat-to-text

  • Live chat

Voice

When customers call your company for a leaky toilet, broken air conditioner, or faulty wiring, they need help as quickly as possible.

Many service companies offer 24/7 live-answering phone lines, often through a call center, as a solution to enhance customer satisfaction. According to a consumer customer support survey, two-thirds say the most frustrating aspect of customer service is waiting on hold or repeating themselves to multiple representatives.The majority of mobile users call a business because they want a quick answer or to talk to a real person.

If voice messages remain necessary, make sure to thank the customer and provide an alternative contact avenue, such as a secondary phone number or company email address, if possible. A phone message template could sound something like this:

Hi, this is [your name and title]. Thank you for calling [home service company name]. I’m on the other line, but will return your call as soon as possible. Please leave a detailed message with your full name, phone number, and reason for your call. If you need immediate help, please call [another phone number]. Thank you, and I look forward to speaking with you.

Auto Response Email

Automatic email reply offers a helpful tool to immediately acknowledge an email or online message your company receives from a customer.

According to a consumer customer support survey, 62 percent of customers want to communicate with businesses by email for customer service. 

Automatically generated email also informs the sender if you are out of the office, sick, or on vacation. An auto reply example for a standard, sample out-of-office message could look something like this:

[Your greeting]. Thank you for your email. I will be out of the office starting [date] and returning [date]. If you need immediate assistance, please contact [name and job title] at [email or phone number]. 

Thank you for your understanding,

[Your name]

Auto Text Reply

Auto reply text gives your company the ability to provide quick and convenient responses. Most likely, you’re always near your smartphone—and so are your customers.

In fact, text messaging has surpassed email to become the most popular B2C communication tool, with 89 percent of consumers preferring to use text messaging to communicate with a business, according to a consumer messaging survey report.

A few things to keep in mind while using auto text reply for business purposes:

  • Get permission from your customers first

  • Provide clarity with exact dates and times

  • Offer ways for additional contact options, such as a phone number or website link

If a customer sends a question to your company after hours, an auto reply example could look something like this:

Thanks for your message! We received your inquiry and a member of our team will connect with you directly during our business hours, 8am-5pm EST.

Chat-to-Text Tools

Online chat that converts to text messaging gives customers a way to get answers quickly in their favored method of communications: texting, after first engaging on the website through a chat bot, either from a smartphone, tablet or computer. 

“Offering multiple lines of communication enables customers to reach out or respond when it’s convenient for them,” says Travis Ringe, Co-Founder of ProSkill Services in the North Valley area near Phoenix.

The company uses Podium Webchat, which integrates with ServiceTitan’s field management software, to transfer a customer’s online chat directly to text messaging so the customer can communicate without staying on the website. The software also offers “smart responses” to automatically respond to FAQs submitted like business hours or service areas.

“Our goal is to remove as many roadblocks as possible in our customers’ journey, and one of the smoothest roads to booking a job is to be available on the customers’ preferred communication platform,” Ringe says.

Companies using chat-to-text features could use messaging like these automated reply examples:

“Welcome! How can I help you today?” or  “Hi there, have a question? Text us here.” 

When customers click on the website texting tool, they receive a prompt to enter their name, mobile number, and question. After they enter their information, they get an automated response telling them a company representative will text them back shortly. The key to success is making sure a live chat agent or assigned CSR swiftly follows up on each message and provides a detailed, helpful response. 

3. Keys to Successfully Implement Automated Reply Message

  • Know your goal

  • Make the messaging personal

  • Make communication seamless

The goal of your auto reply message is to communicate quickly and efficiently with customers so you can get a job booked, confirm an appointment, or thank them for their business.

After your customers give permission to receive automated email responses and texts, make sure your automatic reply messages and texting auto reply responses contain personal and customized content, not a cold and generic response. Use the customer’s name and other submitted information to personalize the response.

Making communication seamless across different communication platforms allows customers to respond how and when it’s best for them, so automatic reply messages should include a phone number or link for easy response.

4. Common Automated Reply Message Mistakes to Avoid

You want to make every automatic email response and auto text reply count, for your customers and your company.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Proofread and be professional

  • Collect and use customer data

  • Don’t annoy your customers

  • Allow customers to opt-out or unsubscribe

Successful automatic reply messages must be professional and grammatically correct, above all else. No one wants to receive spam emails or texts, so it’s important to use your collected data to target the right customers with relevant messages. Is it time for annual service or renew a membership? Has it been a long time since they’ve scheduled service?

It’s also important to include an opt-out or unsubscribe option, so customers can decide if they want to continue receiving emails or texts. With a feature like ServiceTitan’s Marketing Pro, customers can choose what content they want to receive—they may want to opt out of receiving a newsletter, but still want membership reminders or discount offers.

5. Integrate Automated Reply Message in Daily Operations

Through tools like field management software, your home service company can seamlessly integrate communications and company data so your entire team stays in the loop on customer interactions.

With ServiceTitan’s customer experience software, you can use SMS text to automatically send job confirmations, reminders and dispatch notifications, and customers can reschedule or text questions before an appointment. Online chat tools also allow a customer to submit important details about their property, like a gate code or pictures, and ask questions via text or online.

Tom Drexler Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Services in Louisville, Ky., uses ServiceTitan’s Chat to let homeowners decide the best way for them to communicate with the company.

“Some homeowners are at work when we give them a call to confirm someone is available,” Tom Drexler Services says about why the company implemented chat. “They can easily respond with a text saying their husband or wife is home to meet the technicians. Some homeowners receive our calls to book their maintenance [appointment], but are too busy to schedule this with a phone call and prefer just a quick text to pick a day and time.”

To send automated job confirmations to a customer, set the time interval before sending the customized text. Once customers text “C” in reply, the job automatically gets marked as confirmed on the dispatch board, job page, and the job audit trail. The customer also receives a customized auto reply text acknowledging their response. 

A customer receives automatic notification when a technician heads their way, and can see the technician’s bio and progress through a web-tracking app.

Once a job finishes, you can send a customer survey by email or a text asking them to submit an online review. When it’s time for a recurring service, you can send out an automated reminder prompting them to schedule an appointment, and to show appreciation to your customers by offering special discounts and deals.

These tools also allow you to track the number of leads your ads generate and how your particular customers prefer to communicate, so you know what’s working and what isn’t. Use those results to adjust spending and messaging to ultimately boost revenue and experience growth.

6. How to Set Up an Auto Reply Email

With the right software, your company can set up an autoresponder sequence that delivers emails to a specific subset of customers based on a trigger event, such as the renewal date on their annual maintenance agreement or an action the customer takes, such as downloading a checklist from your website. 

Email automation gives you the power to schedule a series of timed, personalized messages sent to a target audience, so your company stays top of mind and in constant communication with customers. It’s one of the easiest yet most effective marketing tools available to service companies. 

ServiceTitan Text and Email Features

Want to streamline communication, so your entire team stays in the loop? ServiceTitan software keeps your team informed before, during, and after jobs are completed, and customers can receive instant notifications, so everyone stays on the same page.

ServiceTitan’s customer experience software provides:

  • Job management: Send SMS texts to customers for automatic job confirmations and reminders.

  • Real-time tracking: Customers get notified when techs are on their way. Along with a tech bio, they can see real-time data through a web-tracking app.

  • Follow up: After a job finishes, send a customer survey by email or send a text to request an online review.

  • Customer retention: Send out automated service reminders, or offer special discounts and deals.

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help home service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.

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