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When it comes to customer service, personalization is the name of the game.
Remember hand-written notes? No, not the ones that come type-written and with a stamped or pre-printed signature, I mean like, get a note card and get out a pen and write a note to your customer. Remember those days? I sure do. We used to print hundreds of notecards and I'd typically go through a couple of them because I'd spell something wrong or the line break would come out funny or I'd run out of room at the bottom and I'd have to start over.
I remember getting responses (typically emails, ironically) or in-person comments about how nice it was to receive my note because a) no one does that anymore and b) clearly it meant I took the time to get a notecard, write the note, address the envelope, find a stamp, and drop it in the mailbox.
While the whole process really doesn't take that long, in today's past-paced, email-saturated, depersonalized environment, a little extra effort goes a long way.
Personalized emails...without having to write each one? How does that work?!
It's called email automation. And while it hasn't quite gotten to the point where technology figures it all out for you, it's come a long way. Now remember I did forewarn you that it'll take a little upfront work but wouldn't you rather do the work once and reap the benefits over and over and over, instead of having to do it...over and over and over for each client? Of course you would!
Basically, email automation, or sometimes called "drip emails" are based on a pre-written set of messages to customers or prospects over time, based on where your customer is in his/her journey (see our previous blog on customer journeys by clicking here).
Think of it this way...ideally you want prospects to want and need your product or service RIGHT NOW! Well, sorry to rain on your parade but that seldom happens. And when it does, that doesn't mean they'll seek YOU out amongst all of their other options (aka, your competition). So you'll need to devise a set of messages that meets them where they are, RIGHT NOW! Meaning...if they're just looking for information and starting to research, give them some tips...without trying to sell them anything! Then, when they download your tip, thank them and offer up another tip or something else of value that is essentially along the lines of, "I noticed you liked that, so you might also like this." Again, not pushing your own agenda on them and personalizing it based on their user behavior. By creating categories of users based on their common behaviors, you can create these personalized responses that work for many as opposed to just one. And over time, they'll build up a positive perception of you/your brand and when they ARE ready to purchase or refer, you'll be top of mind and won't have to work so hard earning their trust, because you'll already have it. How 'bout them apples?!