Some believe that Lead Nurturing is the only process that can be maximized by automatic marketing. While the automatic process affects the relationship with the customer and increases the chances of conversion by 10% according to a report by Forrester, this is definitely not its only advantages. Automatic processes can also improve customer service, collection efforts, internal organizational communication, lectures and so forth.
At the beginning of every automatic process we should ask ourselves what is our destination and where are we going to meet our customer for the first time. Once we identify the starting point and the destination we will create a route with milestones that will direct back to the destination even if the customer turns right or left along the way. Each action performed by the customer will act as a trigger that will initiate an automatic action.
The following article will expose additional standard processes that exist within the business and how automation can improve them. For each process we identified the common trigger, simply put, the common action that is currently performed within your business sans the automation process, with an example of an action that will initiate an automatic process.
- Customer Retention:
The trigger: a “sleepy” customer that has not taken any action on your website for the past months.
The initial action: the submission of a newsletter to test the level of satisfaction.
The newsletter may include a feedback form that will find out why you haven’t heard from your customer. Once the customer submits the form, we can send her an additional letter that addresses the options that she marked. If she did not send the form, we can send her an additional email with a coupon or benefit that will motivate her to make another purchase. The process does not have to stop here, of course. The options are vast and the guiding principal is the creation of an appropriate response for any type of answer received from the customer.
The trigger: The customer has not paid his monthly subscription.
The initial action: the submission of a reminder to make the payment along with a the option to move to the website or to a payment landing page.
If the customer has not opened the newsletter, it can act as a trigger that will signal the system to send a text message about the due payment. A customer that opened the text message and wishes to continue the process will be transferred to a landing page or to the website for payment. A customer that opened the text messages but did not continue further, will have his information transferred to the collection department in order to initiate a telephone call.
- Customer Service
The trigger: service arrival date (magazine, newspaper, package, technician and so forth).
The initial action: the submission of a text message asking about the arrival of the service/product.
If the customer confirms receipt of the product/service she will receive a positive automatic response. However, if the customer mentions that she did not receive the product/service (condition) she will receive an automatic message along this lines:
“We apologize for the delay. Your request has been forwarded to the customer service department. The service/product will be resend to you (as applicable to the type of business and its policy).”
At the same time the automation process initiates a “manager alert” action that informs the service manager that the customer has not received the product/service and sends her information to him.
Naturally this is simply an example for demonstration purposes, but still, each business can develop its own route according to the scenarios applicable to it during the business routine, via its customer representatives.
- The submission of lectures/courses
The trigger: the submission of a text message to a virtual number.
The initial action: after watching the presentation / lecture one can personally receive the slides to his smartphone after sending a text message request to a virtual number.
Anyone that sends a text message requesting the slides will be automatically entered into a dedicated list with a pre-defined timeline for continued submission of material and presentations as applicable. This is most suitable for communication between students and professors.
Submitting courses can also be a great automatic process for businesses with a product that requires operating instructions. Once the customer confirms via text that the product had arrived, an instructional video or tips for proper use will be automatically sent . The customer experience will improve and the support representatives will have more time to solve more complex issues faced by the customers.
- Satisfaction surveys, feedbacks and questionnaires.
The trigger: conclusion of sale or service.
The initial action: the submission of a feedback form to the customer’s email or phone.
An excellent way to improve the customer’s experience is to enable her to voice her opinion regarding the service she had received (or not) via the submission of feedback forms and questionnaires immediately upon receipt or during any other predetermined time. The continued process can be planned according the replies provided by the customer, and through that to enhance the customer’s experience as well as the personal tone.
For example, an automation process that sends questionnaires to participants of a personal growth course will send personalized content automatically, based on the participant’s replies.
- Appointment system management.
Trigger: an appointment was scheduled through the appointment system.
The first action: integration with the mailing system that will send an email or text message to confirm the appointment.
One day prior to the appointment a reminder text message along with a Waze map and a call button and even a short feedback that can be leveraged to an up-sale at the end of the process, will be sent to the customer.
The Bottom Line
Automation is not only for marketing and sales but it can also improve many other organizational processes that the business faces via human manpower. The system does not replace people but it can support and assist the overall management of the business, and to free some time to think ahead, while daily activities go through the automatic process route and crucially impact the entire business.