Have you ever received an email, or ticket response that says something like this “Thanks for your message, we are working on solving your issue”, and you thought to yourself, “Great, no one has even looked at this.” But, as a business that deals with countless customers daily, and especially if you are on the frontline, you need to understand how and when it’s ok to automate your workflow, and when you need to sit down and put in the man-hours.
Align your marketing with your actual customer experience
Kerry Bodine in her Mozcon presentation titled “Broken Brand Promises: The Disconnect between Marketing and Customer Experience” focuses just on how important it is to provide excellent customer service. Here are some legit statistics, that might surprise you:
- 81% of consumers are willing to pay more for good customer service
- 70% have stopped buying goods or services from a company after experiencing poor customer service
- 64% have made future purchases from a company’s competitor after experiencing poor customer service
In other words don’t let your customers down with your customer experience, and make sure that your company brand is reflected in your customer experience. The best way to do this is to keep the promises you make. Technology can help us save time and be more efficient, but it cannot keep our promises to our customers. Sorry, but promises can not be automated. Don’t tell your customers they will get a 1 on 1 with customer agents from the word go and send them “Thanks for your message, we are working on solving your issue”. That’s bad marketing, and even worse customer experience.
Automated messages, when are they ok
Almost never. The key to avoiding fully automated messages, yet being there for everyone with only 17 front facing employees to approx. 30 000 active customers, is knowing what to automate.
We marketers are the cheats. We use software that helps us schedule tasks, and that we can teach to be smart for us. Do you follow us on social media, have you received a newsletter from us? 90% of posts that go live on social media are scheduled in advance, some are reposts, others have been approved weeks before.
At the beginning of each week we know what will be live that week, what our focus is, and how best to draw our customer’s attention to product novelties. Monday morning, Buffer and my colleague Bojana spend quality time together. This means, 99% of our weekly social media is done in 30 minutes. This doesn’t mean that we don’t tweet, we do! We track all social media activity, because if anyone is having trouble they might do a tweet shout out and we can help them, or if a customer has a good idea, he might do a Facebook post, but we set the theme by automating our social media.
Newsletters. They go out monthly, thank you MailChimp. That is great email automation right there. Notice, however, it’s always personally signed, and any response comes directly to my inbox. You have anything to say about the newsletter, you will get a personal email from me. Not a week later, but within 24 hours.
Final one to mention is customer on-boarding. This is something that most companies automate, but the really good ones also know how to personalize. How? Know your customers, and not just what category they fit into, but what their needs are, that way you can personalize (and automate) the on-boarding process for them.
I am not telling you anything new here, right? MailChimp and Buffer have been around for a while, and we all use them. Here is the catch, you need to use them with masterly finesse. Automate so that no one know’s it’s automated.
Never ever automate …
If you ever sent in a ticket, you will know that our Customer Happiness agents focus on each individual in detail. You will never receive a generic message from us. They are not automated. They have created an excellent on-boarding process, user guide and FAQ’s that can help them, but they do not rely on ready made messages.
You should never automate responses in support, because customers are expecting a personal response. They are upset, worried, agitated – these are not the right moments to send a ready made message. What happens when you have hundreds of tickets a day and only 3 Customer Happiness team members working. You still respond to each person individually.
There are ways to lighten your workload, or help yourself with automation. Identify the most common problem in your tickets, and tell marketing. Remember they are the cheats. Marketing can push out a notice “Hello everyone, sorry for the trouble with Client Reports, bear with us, we are working on fixing the problem” – relieve the pressure. Let your Customer Happiness team be great at being personal.
One cannot be in two places at once
We all suffer from this, wanting to be in two places at once, or having more hours in a day. Whoever finds a solution for this will certainly be rich and famous, but until then we cannot be with all of our customers, or add 10 hours to a day to do everything personally, so we choose to automate.
Remember people like to feel special, they seek signs of relevance, and pay attention when something is obviously about them, so make their experience with your company about them, and automate the noise around that.
We created ManageWP, so that you can let it do all of the boring, technical work for you. Do your scheduled Performance and Security Checks, generate your Client Reports, One-click login: ManageWP is the noise around, you be the voice for your customers.