Marketing is all about personalisation. If customers don’t feel they are not being ‘taken care of’ – they are likely to switch off and take their business elsewhere. Today, consumers expect the way brands speak to them to be tailored to their past habits and preferences. After all, they’re the ones with the buying power.
Of course, the ultimate goal of a more personal, tailored and relevant service is to provide a superior customer experience. Air travel and hospitality are examples where upselling can generate incremental revenue and bolster customer loyalty.
The advent of email has been a major boon to small and mid-sized businesses. This has enabled to keep contact with customers in a more personal way and on a more regular basis. Email is considered the fastest-growing customer service channel.
Email can be used by your business to market to customers. It can alert them to new product offerings, and offer loyalty discounts or promotions. At the same time, it can be used by your customers to troubleshoot any problems. These can be regarding products or services. And they can provide you feedback, and ask you any number of questions. Whether you realize it or not, email has become a valuable tool.
Because of that it’s important to know how to use this medium correctly. Your business website most likely have listed at least one e-mail address. That email by which your customers are going to use it to contact you. So, it’s important to use it the right way to correspond with your customers.
Here are 4 ways to provide good customer service via email, and how to turn your email relationship with your customer into a marketing opportunity:
Create Great Content
Without this your message will get nowhere. Even if every email is easy on the eye, if the content is not engaging then you run the risk of your messages being deleted and unopened in the future. There are some email etiquette rules to emphasize to your employees when they are corresponding with customers. These basically include following standard rules of grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.
Although email appears less formal than a hand-printed letter, e-mail projects an image of you and your business. Misspellings and poor grammar will reflect poorly on the quality of your staff and service. Using a professional, yet conversational tone will really help. You are not talking to a friend here, these are your business clients. You should know how to deal with them. So that, you can get a “deal” out of them.
Avoid jokes, cliches and abbreviations. Only use abbreviations if you know your readers will understand them. “Emoticons” — smileys, winks, or other symbols used to convey tone — should not be use in business e-mails. Be brief and make your message easy to read. Lead with the most important information, in case the reader doesn’t finish the message. And make the subject line compelling.
Balance Quantity And Quality
It’s essential to keep your customers engaged with your business. And a great way to do this is to simply send better email, more often. Sending lots of emails may seem counter intuitive to providing a more personalised service. But, you can use automation technologies and continually develop a segmentation strategy. This means that as the volume of email goes up, so too does the relevancy of each communication.
Make your customers feel valued and appreciated. This can be done by personally thanking them for doing business with you. A little gratitude can go a long way in customer retention. Having to respond individually to each and every customer email can be time consuming and labour intensive for employees.
Create email templates. Use auto-responding messages. Consider an email response management system. These systems allow you to better manage and track customer complaints and service fulfilment, and even allow you to analyze customer interactions for better process management.
Be Visible Across Social Platforms
In this digital age, customers use an ever-increasing number of platforms to communicate with brands. While email is the glue that holds together any marketing campaign, it must be part of a wider multichannel strategy. Businesses need to be visible and active across a number of touchpoints. To ensure they portray a consistent message across all of them.
Additionally, using different channels gives marketers the opportunity to target different types of potential customers – for example, using LinkedIn can mean you’re on the radar of a more professional audience.
Today, customers expect a more personalised experience from start to finish. This means that customer experience must be at the heart of your business. It’s also worth noting that an initial responses ought to be received in less than an hour. Customers don’t want to wait to find what they need. And if you can’t respond to their issue, you might end up losing them.
Furthermore, your response, or lack thereof – can play a big part in your business’ reputation. You must remember that customers are doing more and more of their own research about brands and retailers, and part of that research is social sharing and reviews. Customers are likely to air their grievances online, where potential customers are likely to run into them.
Test And Refine Content
Everyone understands the importance of measuring the success or failure of specific campaigns. It’s just as important for email as it is for PR or advertising. It’s also okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. By A/B testing campaigns, you can understand what works and what doesn’t.
If you get a large number of unsubscribes from a certain campaign – then it’s time to change your strategy. Perhaps by varying the time of day you send your emails, the number of emails you send per day or even how your communication looks to the recipient.
It may be tempting to put off following up at the beginning of the customer service process if you don’t have a response to their query. However, a customer should never feel the need to check in on how their problem is being resolved. In fact, you want the customer to be up to date on the status of their service ticket.
Hearing little or nothing tends to lead only to customer frustration. This should start with following up as soon as a customer reaches out — let them know how long it will be before they will hear back from your staff with an update.