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Automate a Personal Touch

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When we hear the word “automation,” we think of a process that is mechanic and impersonal. Images of assembly lines and conveyor belts come to mind. But, automating certain aspects of certain interactions can actually lead to a far more personalized experience that creates higher revenue and a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Automation and Customer Satisfaction

Recently, Virgin Atlantic engaged in a high-tech experiment in customer satisfaction. Customer service representatives wearing Google Glass greeted first-class customers by name as they arrived. Greeting by name has been part of Virgin’s MO for years, and was previously achieved with through a cumbersome process that involved dispatchers radioing ahead to tell reps that customers were on their way.

However, with Google Glass, the customer service reps did not just have the customer’s name in front of them; through data collected in their CRM software, the reps had access to information that included the client’s loyalty information, flight status, their transportation arrangements at their destination and a weather report for the destination city. They could give customers information about local events, help them prepare for the weather and instantly give information about flight delays. By moving from the dispatch radio to data-enabled technology, Virgin was able to give a far more personalized and satisfying experience.

This sort of personalization is not just for luxury airline travel. Every business can find a way to keep customers happier through some level of automation. A few suggestions for using automation online to create a more satisfying customer experience:

Create Drip Email Campaigns

Most businesses will automatically send an email to thank a customer for a purchase. But, creating an automatic drip campaign allows you to continue a helpful dialog. The day after a purchase, send an email containing tips on getting the most out of your product. Then, have a message arrive a week later asking if the customer has any questions or needs help. A few weeks after that, it may be time to suggest related products or a reorder. According to Marketing Metrics, a customer’s chances of buying again from a known vendor is 60 to 70%. By automating all of these interactions, you keep your business in front of customers and increase your chances of a future sale.

Trigger Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Periodically checking in with customers to ensure that they are happy is a great way to keep them your customers. Why not use email automation to trigger a customer satisfaction survey? Surveys should be personalized with the buyer’s name and purchase. Make sure human customer service reps follow up to smooth over any issues right away.  About 96% of customers who have a negative experience will not complain, and 91% of those will never come back. But, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a customer who has a issue successfully resolved will tell 4 to 6 people about their experience. Taking the temperature after each purchase allows you to retain those customers and turn them into your advocates.

Make Customer Service Interactions Seamless

Have you ever sat on the phone with customer service and been repeatedly transferred? Chances were, you had to tell your story all over again to the next person you talked to on the phone. Automating customer service so that all of these interactions are recorded and the data easily available to your customer service rep allows your clients to get the service they need without having to tell a story that they doubtlessly find increasingly irritating. According to research firm McKinsey and Company, about 70% of a customer’s experience depends on how they feel that they are being treated. Demonstrate to your customers that you are aware of their issue and working toward a solution allows them to feel at ease and lets them know that you care about them and their patronage.

What will you automate to improve your customer’s experience?