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6 ways to exceed customer expectations with email marketing

Provide excellent customer service with email marketing

You have a great business with a great product that is really going to benefit people and you really want to ace customer service.

Your customer service team should be your biggest brand ambassadors and the goal is to surprise your customers with just how good the service is!

RightNow’s Customer Experience Impact Report says that 89% of consumers decided to go with a competitor after a poor customer experience.

The good news? 86% of customers would pay more just for a better customer service experience. This goes to show just how important customer service is in retaining and bringing on new business for your company.

Here are some customer service tips to incorporate into your email marketing which might help you pleasantly surprise your customers with just how much you care.

1. Random acts of kindness

Coming in at number 8 in Dialogue Marketing’s ‘Top 10 Customer Experience Trends of 2014’ was ‘random acts of kindness’. Send your customers something unexpected – maybe a voucher or a personalised video thanking them for being loyal readers of your newsletter. 

Surprise your customers with something nice – the customer will be amazed and your staff will feel great about brightening someone’s day.

2. Deal with complaints straight away

Set up a complaints form on your website and use an email autoresponder to thank the customer for their time and assure them you will be in touch shortly. And when the complaint is successfully resolved try to offer something extra to the customer to put a positive spin on the experience.

Customer’s have an expectation that their complaint will be handled but they probably won’t expect to have it handled and get an added bonus.

3. Be personable

Encourage your staff to write responses and talk to customers in an informal and personalised way. No-one wants to deal with a robot – Help Scout says that the number one customer service request is to receive better human service. So next time you’re drafting your email try pretending you are writing to a friend. Vinomofo do this really well.

4. Remove obstacles

It’s not always possible to change your business processes to make things easier for the customer. But it’s important to try to reduce or remove obstacles if you can. Rather than asking people to fill out paper forms, try collecting their details in an online web form.

Vision6 has a great autofill feature, so they won’t need to fill out details again that you already have on file.

5. Start and end on a good note

Due to something that psychologist’s call the ‘serial position effect’, people are more likely to remember the beginning and the end of something more so than what happens in the middle. So starting and ending emails to your customers on a really positive note is usually going to stick in their memory more than the rest of the email. It’s a great opportunity to leave a lasting impression!

6. Be social

More and more people are using social media as a support channel as well as an area to present questions and voice concerns. Have a positive online presence, aim to respond to all online questions and complaints within an hour, and utilise the social features in your Vision6 account to integrate your email marketing with your social accounts.

If your business is B2B, following other businesses through your own company Facebook and Twitter accounts gives a nice personal touch to your business relationship – it really demonstrates to the customer that you noticed them.

Have you had any great successes in going above and beyond in customer service? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Additionally, I’d love to hear any other suggestions you have for using email marketing to really surprise your customers with great customer service.

Brynnin   Posted by:
Brynnin Halliday
Senior Support Consultant

6 ways to add value to customers with SMS

SMS

As marketers and business owners we’re constantly thinking about new ways to effectively engage our customers and get our messages to them.

And that’s why SMS is on my radar big time at the moment. I’m seeing more and more businesses getting really awesome results using this channel.

If you’re not already convinced about SMS – check out these 8 reasons why SMS needs to be a part of your marketing strategy.

Once you’re on board with the concept the next step is to figure out how best to add value for your customers with SMS.

Here’s 6 different ways to add value with SMS.

1. Give your customers the information they need when they need it

Perfect for appointment and event reminders
Have you ever been on the way to an event and forgotten the address? Or maybe you can’t remember if you booked that dentist appointment for Thursday or Friday? This is where reminder SMS comes in very handy. By sending a reminder you’re actually providing an additional level of service.

Reminder: Innovation Series Lunch today @ Stamford Plaza, Brisbane. Registration from 11:30am. We look forward to seeing you there!

2. Give your customers peace of mind

Perfect for confirming appointments and meetings
By sending a confirmation SMS you’re actually reassuring your customer that you’re expecting and ready for them. Plus sending a confirmation text is the perfect way to address no-shows!

Hi Kelly, Adam & Eva Hairdressers confirming your appointment at 6pm, Thurs 15 April. Reply Y to confirm, N to cancel or ph: 073852 2676 to reschedule

3. Keep your customers up to date

Perfect for tickets, payment received and transactional
Sending out an SMS as part of your business transactions is a great way to give your customers a positive experience because it keeps them informed about their purchase or order. Plus it keeps your business top of mind.

Good news! Your Dan Murphy’s order #22082123 is ready to pick up from our Hamilton store. Don’t forget to carry a valid ID.

4. Ensure your customers never miss out on timely offers

Perfect for sales and promotional SMS
Create a sense of urgency and immediately reach your customers using SMS to promote limited time offers. It’s also a great way to engage VIP customers with exclusive promotions.

Active Living Rewards exclusive preview: Further 20% off sale styles today. Instore and www.lornajane.com.au LOVE20 to redeem. T&C apply. Reply STOP to opt out

5. Instantly alert your customers to time sensitive information

Perfect for local warnings, pick up information and courtesy updates.
If you have a time sensitive message SMS is an effective way to reach your customers. And as over 99% of SMS are opened, you know your customers will get your message.

QLD Severe Thunderstorm: Heavy Rain, Destructive Winds. Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast at high risk for the next several hours: bit.ly/17BTrLt Bris City Council

6. Let customers easily update their info

Perfect for updating profiles
Do you have an email address that keeps bouncing? SMS is a great way to reach out to customers that are hard to get in touch with. It’s also effective if you need to get a message to someone and they’re not opening your emails!

Hi we just tried to email your car insurance requested quote but the email bounced. Please reply with your current email address to update your info. Thanks, Bingle

A quick note about SMS compliance

While we’re on the topic of SMS it’s worth mentioning that like with email marketing you must comply with the Spam Act. Don’t worry, it’s easy to do! Just remember:

  • Before sending your message you must have the recipient’s consent
  • Identify yourself or your business
  • Give subscribers an option to ‘opt out’

Would you like to learn more about SMS marketing? Check out our webinar SMS: Marketing at Light Speed.

Have you come across any awesome examples of SMS marketing? I’d love to see them – share in the comments below!

Kelly Newbery

Posted by:
Kelly Newbery
Marketing Specialist
Posted on in SMS Marketing

8 convincing reasons why you NEED to do SMS marketing

It’s a bit of a given that email marketing is an awesome way to grow your business and engage customers. Rarely do I have to convince someone of the benefits of email marketing.

But what about email’s little sister SMS marketing? It’s a topic I feel pretty passionately about, in fact, I think SMS is one of the most underutilised marketing channels.

Unfortunately some business owners shy away from SMS because they worry customers wont want to receive an SMS message from them.

The thing to remember here is that if you have something of value to say then your customers want to hear from you! That’s why they subscribed to receive SMS from you in the first place. It’s just like email, if your message adds value and is timely then it’s more likely to engage your customers.

I’ll be posting an article shortly about different ways to add value for your customers with SMS, so make sure you’re subscribed to our blog.

But in the meantime, here are 8 reasons why you need to start using SMS.

1. Incredibly high open rate

How high you might be wondering? SMS open rates exceed 99%. Who can resist reading an SMS after all? This makes it the most immediate marketing channel currently available.

2. Unmatched reach

The majority of your customers use their mobile phones for text messages already so your SMS campaign will just be a natural extension of their daily life. Plus they have their phones on them 24/7, in fact, 90% of 18-29 year olds sleep with their phone next to them…

3. It’s quick to consume

One of the most appealing things about SMS for the receiver is it’s concise messaging. Being limited to only 160 characters forces businesses to get their message across fast. Additionally as an SMS is a bite size chunk customers are more likely to read the entire message.

4. It’s quick to send

Many business owners are short on time, so the good news is that planning and sending a promotion via SMS is relatively quick and easy compared to planning traditional advertising. Plus as there are no design elements it’s as simple as typing in your text.

5. Instant deliverability

As soon as you hit send your SMS is well on its way to your reader. Within seconds (under 7 seconds in fact) their mobile will be buzzing away with your latest promotion.

6. It’s reliable

SMS doesn’t need to battle against strict email settings and junk boxes. It’s delivered directly into your customer’s pocket, every single time you send.

7. Send customised messages

It’s easy to personalise your SMS messages with wildcards. This means every message you send can be engaging and targeted to your customer.

8. Learn more about your customers

SMS can work really well as a way to survey customers and collect info about them. Plus if you use Vision6 any replies will automatically update your customer’s profile which carries across to your email marketing. Not a customer? Start free.

Get started with SMS

So now you know why you should be using SMS, your next question might be how to get started. Well we’ve got you covered! Register now for our new webinar, SMS: Marketing at the Speed of Light.

The session will cover off some really awesome examples as well as demo how to send SMS campaigns.

Kelly Newbery

Posted by:
Kelly Newbery
Marketing Specialist
Posted on in SMS Marketing
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