As your business expands, it is most likely that your customer base will too. Eventually, it may reach a point when it’s simply impractical to manually manage customer relationships with each individual customer. So instead of burying your customer support department with all that work, why not turn to marketing automation to increase customer service and satisfaction?
What exactly is marketing automation?
You may have heard of the term or seen it floating around other digital marketing articles, but not many marketers actually know what marketing automation means. It is a difficult term to define and understand, but here a few good definitions we’ve found:
“Marketing automation is a software platform that streamlines, automates, and measures marketing tasks and workflows. This allows you to be more efficient, increase revenue and grow into a more powerful marketing team.” – Marketo
“Marketing automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration (CDI), and campaign management. The use of marketing automation makes processes that would otherwise have been performed manually much more efficient, and makes some new processes possible.” – Business Management Ideas
Ultimately, the goal of marketing automation is to automate marketing processes so that you can easily streamline and customize customer interactions and offer a more satisfying customer experience. This can mean serving ads or sending emails that are more personalised to a particular customer. When customers are satisfied, they are more inclined to continue the seller-consumer relationship with a business as their brand loyalty increases.
So how exactly can marketing automation really help your business? Let’s delve in.
“Patience is a virtue” but in today’s fast-paced society, it is impractical to expect customers to wait patiently for your response. On your business end, it may be difficult for your customer service personnel to address each customer immediately and effectively. This is where the automated response AI comes in to assist with customers’ inquiries; by informing them that you have received their message and are working on it, it sets customers’ minds at ease. It grants them the ability to feel that they are, indeed, important.
By delivering the right content to relevant customers and providing customers with a more enjoyable experience when browsing your website or app, you can drastically improve customer interaction and increase customer satisfaction. This, in turn, can effectively drive conversion rates and bring up your business revenue.
Pinterest sends notifications to users on their smart devices and via email suggesting Pins (images, gifs and videos) that they might like based on their browsing history. By personalizing content for users, Pinterest is using marketing automation to get users to constantly return to and use their platform, effectively increasing as well as retaining their customer base.
Improve follow-up service
Service should not end once a customer makes a purchase. Continuing on the seller-consumer relationship is crucial to retaining valuable customers. It also allows you to receive feedback on your products and/or services which aids you when making necessary improvements to any that may be lacking. Automation can be accompanied with follow-up emails that you can send within a customised time frame; you can send an email a week after purchase, and another 2 months later.
Provide value with rewards
Marketing automation can come in the form of a rewards program whereby incentives and rewards are recorded, calculated and initiated to customers in the form of app messages or emails. This provides value to customers and will generate more sales for your business.
A great example of a business utilizing marketing automation to provide value to customers is international coffee chain Starbucks. The Starbucks app allows customers to collect points (or “stars”) that they can use to redeem complimentary drink; it also sends messages to remind them of special rewards that they can use; it could be free drink upgrades or complimentary sweet treats on customers’ birthday month.
Nudge customers in the right direction
E-commerce merchants are familiar with unfinalized purchases, otherwise known as ‘abandoned carts’. This usually happens when customers get distracted and start browsing other websites or apps; they subsequently forget to finalize their purchases. Having an automated message reminds them of their incomplete orders. This can successfully nudge customers in the right direction to finalise their purchase. If customers abandon their orders because of the high cost of their items, you can provide incentives; these may be in the form of special discounts. You can also provide customers with options by suggesting similar items.
Fortunately, marketing automation is now cost-efficient and easily available. Businesses can opt to dramatically improve customer service without worrying whether it takes up a huge percentage of budget.
The most important element in running a successful business is having happy customers. If customers are disgruntled with a business’ customer service, they will most definitely choose to turn away from it, no matter how fantastic the product or service may be.
Ready to up your customer service game with a great digital marketing strategy?