Automation 28-06-2019 0

You’ve Got Mail

Picture this. It’s a Monday morning. You’ve just got into work feeling breezy after a good weekend filled with your favourite things. Your computer is just starting to warm up, when your boss comes over to you with a concerned look on their face. They start asking about the prospective clients you were meant to get in touch with on Friday before you left the office. They ask if you’ve set up meetings with them for this week, and if you’re ready to sign them on. Truth is, you didn’t do any of this because you got side tracked helping Karen from the desk next door fix the office coffee machine (again).

That Monday turned into a day crammed with pointless meetings and an unglorified amount of paperwork. Just as you feel like you’re getting on top of things, you shift a pile of papers and see your scribbled note reminding yourself of an important client’s 60th birthday. Only problem is that that note was written last week, that birthday has come and gone, and you’re left feeling awful, and probably looking a little insensitive.

We’ve all been there at some point in our careers. You’re left feeling a little frustrated, because you know that those are the moments your clients will remember, potentially souring any business going forward.

The good news is that it isn’t all doom and gloom, and the even better news is that there’s a solution to make sure you don’t have to worry about missing out on these important things again.

Let’s look at those scenarios again, shall we?

It’s a Monday, and you’re pumped for the week ahead. Your boss drops in at your desk and asks about the prospective clients you were meant to get in touch with. Not only can you tell him that you managed to fix the coffee machine, but that you were also able to get in touch with each of them thanks to an automated, yet personalised mail that was sent out to each of them. If that wasn’t enough, you can even tell him that a follow-up mail is being sent to those who opened the email asking them to set up a meeting with you for that week.

Just as you step out of your third consecutive meeting for the day, you get a phone call from one of your most important clients thanking you for remembering their 60th birthday last week, and telling you that they appreciate you taking the time to send such a thoughtful message. Only you can’t remember exactly when their birthday was, because you had a mail scheduled to be sent to them at 8am that morning.

Much better, right?

Automation is a fairly big buzz word in the tech industry. In its essence, this means introducing some sort of equipment or technology to regulate a process or facility. In our world, this means letting a system regulate when and how communications are sent to clients based on specific triggers, such as a client opening an email, or reaching a milestone birthday.

For some people, the first thing that springs to mind is that this means robotic and generic emails that have little to no emotion attached to them, and that you’re going to have to mortgage your house to afford it. This is the part where I tell you that, if you’re one of those people, you’re thinking about it all wrong.

Automation has nothing to do with content, and everything to do with being able to deliver those important messages to your clients no matter what your diary looks like. It’s about being able to simplify certain tasks to allow you to do your job more effectively. It’s about you being able to improve your client experience without you having to lift a finger. And to be honest, it’ll probably cost you less than a new Winter coat from Woolies.

Sound good? Right, here are the three main things to consider when setting up your own communication automations.

1. Build your foundation

As with any great move, there is some ground work that needs to be done before you can reap the rewards. The first step in forming solid automated communications, is to understand your clients and their behaviours. Consider how you might interact with your closest friends. You know the best times to call them, you know if they’re more likely to read an email over a text message, and you know which social events to invite them to. While you may know these thigs about your friends, chances are, you don’t know any of this about most of your clients. Taking the time to gather meaningful data about your clients and your client journey upfront will make your automations that much more successful.

2. Set your goals

It doesn’t help sending communications to your clients without a clear goal in mind, whether it be to save you time, or to increase your revenue. Having defined goals will allow you to map out the communication journey with your client down to the last part of the process. This will help you to set a clear focus for each communication, giving every interaction with your clients a sense of purpose.

3. Content is king

It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard all too often, and that’s because it’s all too important. Generating content that’s aligned with your goals will ensure that you’re reaching those goals in the most effective way. Your goal should be to hit the right tone, but also to get those all-important interactions with your communications to guide your client through the client journey seamlessly.

Whether you’re looking to improve existing client relationships, or convert a few new leads, automated communications can do your business the world of good. And they might even give you time to get out and buy a new office coffee machine.

As ever, if this triggers any thoughts in your mind, we would love to engage to see where we can help you get on the path to automation!

By Catherine Tatham

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