|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2007)|
Canned responses are predetermined responses to common questions. Rather than typing the same answer repeatedly or pasting from some other resource, the operator can insert a canned response triggered by keystrokes or from a drop-down menu. Some programs have built-in functions which allow canned responses, and other software is available which can insert canned responses into any other application. a In fields such as technical support, canned responses to frequently asked questions may be quick and convenient for both the customer and the technical adviser. Imagine that technical support at an ISP is asked to explain how to add an attachment to an email. Rather than typing in all the details, the support representative chooses the response from a drop down menu and it gets inserted into the response. The representative is more productive that way, and the user receives a more carefully crafted answer.
Canned responses, however, can be a double-edged sword. Sloppy or pressured support people could end up using canned responses as a quick fix when they actually don't really resolve the customer's problem or are only tangentially relevant to the user's problem.