Using Email to Drive a Better Customer Experience [With Real Examples]
When you think of good customer experience, you probably think of things like short wait times, an engaged and friendly support/service team, marketing personalization, intuitive website/platform design, etc. But have you ever thought of email being listed among these topics? While email may seem like an old and archaic form of communication, there are few other technologies that allow businesses to create positive experiences for their customers quite like email.
Obviously, different businesses send different types of email. Some companies are focused more on marketing email to promote products and offers, whereas others prioritize transactional email to relay important information to their users like order confirmations, receipts, and password resets. But, no matter the type of email you send, this form of communication is a very important part of the customer experience. Let’s explore!
Transactional email and customer experience go hand in hand. Many of our transactional email senders completely understand the importance of optimizing the transactional email experience for their customers. Let’s look at a couple of examples:
Online Tax Company
An online tax company gets extremely busy for a couple months of the year. During this time, they need to send hundreds of thousands of transactional emails like password resets, account information, status updates, receipts etc. Email is the only way to relay this user-triggered information in a timely and effective manner to the user.
With their previous email provider, the tax company started noticing a steep drop-off in email delivery due to high volumes of email being sent that the infrastructure couldn’t handle. This infrastructure issue led to many serious customer experience drawbacks:
- Users who forgot their password were left waiting for a password reset email that they never got. This caused frustration and a general distrust towards the company. Many users eventually took their business to competitors and made new accounts with them.
- Users who were expecting immediate status update emails on their transactions were left waiting. As a result, these users contacted support. The support lines were flooded and customers were left waiting to speak with a support representative.
- This negative customer experience led to a loss of customers, a negative customer support rating, and generally unhappy customers, all because of their bad email infrastructure. Finding an email service provider that considers deliverability a priority is a must.
National Fast Food Chain
A national fast food chain that uses SocketLabs to send email relies on us for the reliable and secure sending of their customer receipts. During lunch and dinner hours they see a rush in customers. These customers are often looking to have their purchase receipt sent to them via email. With their previous email service provider, the email receipts they sent would often be sent unsecurely and unreliably, this resulted in a couple of things:
- Customers purchase information was left unsecured because the previous email provider did not have the necessary authentication and encryption capabilities. This meant unnecessary vulnerabilities for customers who had their receipts emailed to them.
- Lack of timely email delivery left customers waiting for their receipts. According to the hotjar State of Customer Experience Report, long wait times were the number one frustration customers had during their experience with companies. If there is one thing you can do to make the best possible customer experience, its minimize wait times.
With marketing email, companies are looking to maximize the reach and engagement of the email they send. The experience needs to be quick, clean, and most importantly personalized. Good customer experience covers a wide range of topics, but in email, personalization, design, and time relevance are absolute musts in customer experience. Let’s see what this looks like in practice:
National Restaurant Chain
A national restaurant chain came to SocketLabs with the need to reliably send very high volumes of email over short periods of time. If there was a new dish or offer they needed to promote on Friday or Saturday night around dinner time, they needed to successfully reach these customers and maximize their views at this time exactly. Their ability to promote this dish or offer to specific customers at a specific time in high volumes is only achievable via email, with the right email service backing their campaigns. Before coming to SocketLabs, this restaurant chain noticed a problem that was hurting customer experience:
- The restaurant would send out weekend promotions on/just before the weekend. With poor email deliverability, customers were not getting these promotions until it was too late. This not only looked bad on the restaurant, but it made customers miss important opportunities.
- Once again, a lack of concern for email deliverability results in costly setbacks for this restaurant. Always make sure this topic is a top priority for the email service you choose to work with.
Global Clothing eCommerce Site
A global clothing retailer does a majority of their business online. Email is one of the best ways for this company to reach their customer base with extremely smart and personalized offers. Before using SocketLabs as their email service, this retailer noticed a couple of problems that led to a poor customer experience:
- Sending highly personalized email was something this company used to promote the eCommerce side of their business with great success. Showing the customer visuals of best selling products in a pre-purchase time setting meant more conversions and average higher shopping cart values at checkout. With their previous email provider, these emails were not getting to shoppers until post-purchase. The timeliness of these emails was the difference between their email personalization strategy working and not working which contributed to a significant amount of revenue.
- If you want to learn more about this pre and post purchase checkout strategy to apply to your eCommerce business, listen to Tony Munday speak on the topic at our event, The Science of Customer Experience [Watch Video Here]. – please note that the example retailer used in the video is not the retailer referred to in this example.
Four Tips For Improving Customer Experience With Your Email
When its all said and done, there are four areas you want to have buttoned up before starting to use email as a tool to elevate your customer experience:
- Timeliness – People hate waiting, it’s as simple as that. Especially with social media and search engines in our pockets, the general public expects results very quickly. Email is no exception. Any kind of time-relevant promotion or transactional email needs to arrive one time, every time. Work with the right email service provider to make this happen.
- Reliability – There is no room for email errors, especially with high volume email senders. Customers want their email to arrive on time and fully functional. An email service provider needs to supply the infrastructure to ensure this reliability.
- Personalization – With modern technology, personalization, especially in email, is a quick and easy way to communicate with customers more efficiently than before. From the products they have looked at previously, to products they might like, personalization helps companies connect with customers to provide a better overall experience.
- Security – As technology advances, so does security, that’s why it’s so important for your email to utilize all of the latest authentication and encryption technologies to provide a better, more secure experience.
Customer experience is all the buzz lately. Our ability to create the most exceptional experience for our customers will determine our ability to beat the competition. And while email isn’t always the first topic that comes to mind when someone mentions customer experience, perhaps now you can see why this medium of communication is so important to your customer experience and your bottom line.
See what some of brightest minds in customer experience are talking about in our Science of Customer Experience event recap.