MARKETING AUTOMATION: 5 JOURNEYS FOR THE PERFECT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Separated by the information they need by just a click, clients today have become more demanding and keeping them loyal has become a great challenge. Moreover, according to Salesforce's recent global research, 57% of clients claim to have swithec to competing companies just because of bad customer experiences, and as many as 84% of them claim that, for a company to gain their trust, it's important for them to be treated as individuals rather than as numbers.
However, building a quality customer experience is a time-consuming process that has different stages, just like a journey. Along quality information databases, effort is required for providing the best customer experience, but what's also required is time - that precious resource that marketing departments often do not have. That is why marketing automation is becoming more and more important, as it enables you to send a series of right messages, depending on the phase in your relationship with the client, that will nudge clients towards a goal you have in mind (e.g., purchase, conversion, greater loyalty, contract renewal...).
Below, we bring ideas for five such customer journeys that you can start applying today in your marketing activities.
◉ 1. „Early bird catches the worm“ – a "welcome" journey
Whatever situation we find ourselves in, we all love being greeted cordially. Oftentimes, companies establish first contact with a client by either a generic confirmation e-mail or nothing at all, but you can start building a good relationship with the client from the very start. Define what type of content can best approximate who you are and what you do, define what your goal is and start automating!
IDEA: for all new newsletter subscribers, you can create a series of 3-4 e-mails throughout a few weeks. In the first e-mail, besides the registration confirmation, let them know what to expect from your newsletter (type of content, how often it's sent), ease them in by presenting your social media in the second e-mail, and send them a whitepaper about your product or service in the third e-mail, for example.
◉2. „Who has time to look for instructions?“ - an onboarding journey for new clients
Buying a product or signing a contract does not have to end when the client exits the (web)store. You know your product or service the best, so why not share that knowledge with your client and create a bond of trust which will make them choose you over a competitor? Depending on the number of your products and/or services, prepare several types of content that you can automate. Along with a positive customer experience, an additional bonus is that you will also save time by reducing the number of queries to your customer service.
IDEA: types of content that work well in these campaigns are useful links to online support articles and FAQs, blog articles on how to get the most out of your product, YouTube video tutorials, or a white paper on the product.
◉ 3. „Has it really been that long?“ – a lifecycle journey for existing clients
You know the feeling when there's a contract renewal coming up and you suddenly have to avoid a thousand calls from random sales representatives? That's not exactly a good customer experience. Instead, use your automation tool to create a campaign that will send the client timely quality content throughout the year and then just remind them of their contract renewal when the time is right.
IDEA: halfway throughout the journey, include a survey in your e-mail to check whether the customer is happy with the product or service, so you can react in a timely manner. Also, we recommend one or two unobtrusive reminders within one month before contract expiration.
◉ 4. „You might also be interested in…“ – an upsell journey
If you've ever bought something on a global web marketplace, you must have noticed that they often give advice on which product would go perfectly with the one you've already bought. It's a very efficient practice that you can easily use in your own business. This is where dynamic content creation in your automation software really shines, as it will always help you to send a suitable offer to customers - for example, it'll prevent you from sending your new exclusive yacht offers to customers who usually only buy shoes.
IDEA: focus on the real benefits of the products you're upselling, use a friendly (non-sales) tone and try to avoid communication with customers who are currently experiencing problems with using your product or service.
◉ 5. „It's so good to see you again“ - a journey for inactive customers
No matter how good your product or service is, there will always exist a number of people who won't open your e-mails. That's life. But why wouldn't you isolate that part of your list and try to activate them with a separate campaign that you could pre-prepare and automate in advance? There's more than one benefit to this: the results of your usual e-mail campaigns will give you a more realistic view of your customer's actual situation, since the inactive ones are separate, but also, a good re-activation campaign might bring them back to the right track. Good practice is sending such a campaign after 3-6 months of inactivity.
IDEA: although whitepapers, blog articles and case studioes are useful, nothing says "come back" better than some special benefits, such as discounts on the next purchase or a month of free use.
Every journey begins with the first step. We hope that we've provided you with good tips that will help you, hand in hand with a quality marketing automation softwer, take the first steps towards creating a great customer experience and greater customer loyalty.
PS. We almost made it through the entire article without mentioning it, but don't forget to travel with (GDPR) consent. 🙂
Nikola Zubalj, Consultant, HSM informatika