Guest post by Corey Tyner
Think back to the last time you reached out to a business for customer service or received a message from a company. You might have been one of the lucky few greeted by an actual human being. As we rapidly hurtle forward into a high-tech age, more and more businesses are relying on computers and outsourced labor for communication. Communication is becoming less personalized as technology improves and business owners are forgetting about sounding human in exchange for technical writing tactics and descriptions. If your organization makes a concerted effort to personalize communications with existing customers, prospective customers, and business partners, your bottom line will benefit.
There is no need for your business to rely on a human being to answer every single customer inquiry. However, it is in your interest to implement the human element in SMS, phone, email, and social media marketing efforts. Read on to see how you can make your automated marketing more engaging and responsive.
Inject Human Personality Into SMS and Automation
Imagine dialing a local business and being greeted by an automated voice lacking in personality and useful information. If you are like most people, you tune out automated voices within a few seconds — or might even hang up. Automated voices are impersonal and slightly annoying as there is no way to engage in a true dialogue with a machine, and most customers know that any requests or questions will not be resolved with urgency. If you decide to automate any aspect of your customer interactions, be careful. Try to humanize your SMS messages and automated phone system as best as possible. Use your own voice or hire someone with a friendly, approachable tone. Adding a message like, “We know you hate waiting and listening to hold music, so we’ll be with you as soon as possible,” can bring a little humor—and empathy—to an otherwise annoying experience.
Additionally, it might be a mistake to send automated text messages featuring the exact same information presented in a plain and uniform manner to every single customer. Carefully select your words for these updates and it will prove that much easier to generate a lasting rapport, especially with the portion of your customer base that despises interacting with computers and receiving the same messages as every other customer. The best way to do this is by making your copy unique and interesting, and to include the person’s name or custom details about them as much as possible.
Engage Your Customers
Customers love to hear their name. Customers also enjoy engaging in dialogue, especially when they are the focus of the conversation. Foster engagement with your current customers along with your prospects moving through the sales funnel. Ask questions, listen closely to your customers, and identify their concerns. Make an effort to truly engage your customer base and they will feel as though your business genuinely cares about them.
Part of engaging customers is addressing them by name, whether it is at the outset of a phone call, on letterhead, a flier, e-mail, or any other form of communication. Use the customer’s name and he or she will feel as though they are at least somewhat important to your business. Even if you are simply responding to a comment, question, or complaint on a social media platform, it will help to begin your response by addressing the individual in question by first name. Add their first name to email subject lines and include it in your email copy as often as you can to show you genuinely want to connect with them.
Send Personalized Email Based on Online Behavior
It is now possible to send personalized email messages to customers after specific actions are taken. Such messages are transmitted in real time based on product use, website page visits, and more. Behavior-triggered emails should feature a few points of customer identification to make them feel that much more spontaneous. This strategy really does help convert window shoppers into paying customers. Just be sure to properly time the transmission of the automated email message so your customers are reminded of your value offering.
Make prudent use of personalized email and it will be that much easier not only to win new business but also to keep your current customers engaged with your products and/or services. The overarching goal is to connect with customers through personalized communication so they remain loyal to your business long after the initial purchase.
Customers Expect Personalized Communication
Nowadays, customers are well aware of the fact that businesses make good money collecting their information and studying their habits. As a result, people prefer highly personalized, and sometimes entertaining, communication. In order to truly personalize communications, data must be collected and analyzed before an effort is made to communicate. Once you have a firm understanding of customer needs, desires, purchasing habits, and other important information, you can begin tailoring your messages. When in doubt, over-personalize rather than under-personalize your communications.
Make it clear you are willing to address each customer on an individual basis with relevant information and your customer base really will respect your business that much more. Treat people as though they are truly idiosyncratic individuals with nuanced needs/tastes and they will be inclined to return the favor by patronizing your business. Alternatively, if your business does not make a concerted effort to provide helpful information tailored to specific customers, those customers will be more inclined to spend their dollars elsewhere.
Corey Tyner is the owner of Arizona Land Buyers and Austin Fast Sell Home Buyers. He is one of the top real estate investors in Arizona with over a decade of experience. His work has been featured on Bigger Pockets, Real Estate Agent Magazine, and several other real estate investor publications.