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Email is one of the most affordable customer service channels small business owners can use to keep in contact with customers in a personal way that encourages brand loyalty. But, to get the maximum benefit out of your email encounters with customers it is essential to use the medium correctly. We’ve identified five best practices that will dramatically improve your electronic correspondence with customers. Plus, we’re sharing some easy-to-implement ideas for email marketing campaigns you can launch this year to enhance the customer service experience you offer customers.
Using Best Practices to Create Dramatically Better Emails
Businesses that excel at using email to create better customer service experiences succeed because they consistently do five things across the board:
Respond quickly: The surest way to get on a customer’s bad side is to leave them hanging when they email you with a question or concern. Let them know your business is on top of things by responding immediately to every customer email. Even if it will take some time to research their issue, it is important to respond and let them know you are working on it and to give them an idea of when they can expect a resolution. Something as simple as scheduling an automated email response to this effect goes a long way in letting customers know you have at least received their message.
Solve the problem: Do everything in your power to resolve your customer’s problem ASAP and email them with that solution promptly. Keep in mind it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one happy according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs.
Follow Up: Check in with your customer a few days after you resolve their issue to make sure they are satisfied with the outcome. According to Lee Resources, when you resolve an issue to a customer’s satisfaction they will do business with you again 70 percent of the time.
70% of customers will do business with you again when you resolve a complaint in their favor. Source: Lee Resources
Send a Survey: With so many survey tools that make it quick and easy for customers to give you feedback about your customer service, it seems like a no-brainer to use email to survey your customers about their experience. Keep it short and sweet and you will increase your chances of getting good responses.
Nurture the Relationship: Once you engage with a customer via email, use the interaction as an opportunity to build an ongoing relationship. If the customer is not already a subscriber to your email list, ask them to sign up to receive your e-newsletter and other promotions.
Once you have a strong customer contact list, don’t let it collect virtual dust. Here are three great tips for using email marketing to support your customer service efforts.
Make a personal connection
Send personalized “Happy Birthday!” “Welcome” and “Thank You” emails that let your customers know you care about more than just promoting your brand. It is quick and easy to set these emails up using an automated email tool.
Teach customers to use your products and services
With the ability to add video and images to your email campaigns, it is easier than ever to educate customers about how your products and services work. You are certain to improve customer loyalty when you take this key step to show your customers you care about them getting maximum benefit from their purchase.
Offer discounts and deals
According to MarketingSherpa, 72% of customers prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media. Take advantage of the fact that many customers actually subscribe to your email list hoping to receive deals and discounts from you. Don’t be afraid to get creative with bundles and holiday offers that drive conversions and increase your sales.
Inspire your customers with articles on topics they care about
When you tap into what interests your customers and deliver targeted content to them on those topics, you become more than just another brand promoting a product. You add value. That makes customers look forward to your emails and actually want to share your content with others in their social circles. And, with social media integration features built in to many automated email tools, you can make it easy for your customers to share your content and expose your brand to a broader audience.
Segment your email list to send targeted messages to a particular customer group
If you have a great BOGO offer that only appeals to the women on your contact list, why clutter up the inbox of your male customers? With email segmentation you don’t have to. You can deliver the right message to the right audience every time. It typically only takes just a few clicks to create segmented lists, but the extra effort you take to eliminate the number of irrelevant emails you send out will go a long way in showing your customers you value them as email subscribers.
Of course, you don’t have to incorporate all five of these ideas at once. Start by introducing one idea each month. That combined with the email best practices is sure to make your business stand out in the mind of your customers.
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Alek is the CEO and Co-Founder of Campayn, one of the fastest-growing email marketing services. Prior to launching the online email service, Alek owned a design firm in Toronto. While building the brands of numerous international companies and helping them bring their products to market, he dreamed of having a product of his own. Campayn is the realization of that dream.
Great post! Here's an app which allows you to send that personalised birthday email: https://apps.shopify.com/happy-birthday-email
It captures the DOB of your customers at the thank you page and then the email is automatically triggered the morning of their birthday