For every customer who reaches out to your support team, there are many who don’t. Those people are dissatisfied with your product, but don’t care enough to reach out about it. This is where proactive customer service comes in. Put differently, 96% of your dissatisfied customers will not bother to reach out to you, and all but 5% of those will churn without a peep. They’re also probably people who could be helped by proactive support. Traditionally, when we talk about customer support, we think of the reactive type: answering incoming customer inquiries via email, chat, social media, or phone. However, 50% of customers would rather resolve their own issues, without talking to a support representative. Proactive support offers customers assistance and guidance before they realize they need it. This can come in the form of email, in-app guidance, or even social media touchpoints. Email marketing is one of the most straightforward ways to provide proactive customer service. You can target a specific segment of your customer audience, set up an automation to address their specific needs, then let it run with very little human interaction. This type of proactive support can be very attractive to busy teams because it requires little maintenance. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can implement this for your own team.Customer perception is incredibly important: 70% of a customer’s buying experience is dictated by how they feel they are being treated. When you take the time to craft an excellent onboarding experience that provides information about the key features that your product offers and how to use them, the customer feels like you’re working magic. Send information to your customer before they know that they need it, and you save them from feeling anything close to frustration or anger with your product. When creating your onboarding flow, identify the key parts of the customer journey that you see your most successful customers taking. Then, use data you’ve collected (think: in-app user actions, common problems) to determine when in the customer lifecycle most users start using those features. By lining up those key points and setting them within the context of your customer journey, you’ve determined both the content and frequency of your emails. This also helps to remove “low-hanging fruit” from the inbox: theoretically, you’ve answered any of the simplest “how to” questions in your email onboarding.(Source) Take the time to reach out via email about outages as they are happening. It’s always better to be transparent and honest about your issues than to wait and see if customers reach out about it. Don’t want to contact those who aren’t impacted? Target only those who are affected. Isolate them via segmentation if it’s specific to a feature or demographic that you can pinpoint.
1. OnboardingMany companies use an email marketing campaign for onboarding along with in-app training journeys. Trello is a great example of a company that does an excellent job of onboarding: they keep it simple, effectively target specific types of customers, and keep the onboarding strictly sales-free. Trello sends specific campaigns based on what type of plan the user is on, how long they’ve been using the product, and what support issues they’ve reached out about.
2. Documentation abandonmentBy now, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of abandoned cart emails. You may have received several yourself — like Amazon reminding you that something was left in your cart. Much like cart abandonment, documentation abandonment allows you to reach out to customers who abandon a search in your help docs to see if they need more information. The idea is that if they’ve abandoned their search, it’s likely that they could not find the answer they were looking for, or could not find it quickly enough. Either of those scenarios opens you up to customer dissatisfaction and churn. Much like the strategies used by eBay and Amazon, retargeting and reaching out can be some of the best ways to re-engage your customers. Check out this example from Bronto: Send an automated email recommending other related documentation and asking customers if they found the information that they needed can help with both ticket deflection and customer satisfaction. After all, you’re giving them the information that they were looking for without them having to do any additional work. If you’re looking for ways to do this, here are a few automated services that might help you track abandonment and send automated emails:
- If you’re using WordPress: WPForms has a form abandonment functionality
- Google Analytics
- Robly will soon have a full automation suite but currently has a Shopify integration that allows you to send abandoned cart emails.