We have said it before and we will say it again: Marketing automation isn’t just for marketing anymore. A marketing automation solution is an essential tool for both ramping up on creating a memorable customer experience and maintaining that experience over time. These technology platforms include a wide variety of features that can be used to enhance the customer experience, including those outlined below. This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the features you might find in a marketing automation system, but rather a glimpse at some of those that might be most effectively used in customer interactions.
1. Email marketing. According to Litmus, 72% of people prefer email communication. With a stat like that, it’s easy to see why the email marketing feature within a marketing automation system is a valuable tool for your customer experience efforts. From the first interaction with your organization to initial purchase to loyal customer, there are many occasions and ways that email can contribute to improving the customer experience. Email campaigns can be specifically targeted to specific segments of customers, and personalization tools can be used to address customers by name or to reference other details such as their most recent purchase, their account number, their birthday and much more. Email is a great way to stay connected with customers and address their ongoing needs.
2. Campaign automation. By enabling you to send the right communications at the right time, campaign automations can help you transform the customer experience from mediocre to memorable. Using various decision points, campaign automations help you respond to customer actions by sending messages that respond to those actions. For example, using campaign automation, you can send new customers a series of messages regarding training opportunities or other helpful information they will want to know as a new customer. Based on what they click within these messages, you could discover which customers may need additional personal attention and provide it for them.
3. Landing pages and forms. Landing pages and forms are often associated with leads and demand generation, but these same tools can also be used effectively once those leads have converted to customers. Customers love content too, and landing pages and forms are a perfect fit with content marketing efforts. The information gleaned from the forms completed for content downloads can help inform interactions and relationships with customers, and the content itself is a prime opportunity for improving a customer’s experience by educating, entertaining or helping them.
4. Surveys. Customer satisfaction surveys and surveys that follow customer transactions are an important part of the customer experience. Surveys can also be used in a variety of other ways to gain valuable customer insights while also engaging that audience. For example, you could ask customers to tell you what topics they would like to read about on your blog or in eBooks, or even use surveys to create a competition where customers vote for their favorite of your company’s products or services.
5. Event management. Many marketing automation systems have integrations that connect with popular event management platforms. ClickDimensions, for example, currently offers event integrations with GoToWebinar, WebEx, Cvent and Eventbrite. These integrations allow you to see event, registration and attendee information directly within Microsoft Dynamics 365, giving you greater insight into who registers for and attends your organization’s events. Events, both online and off, can be used to connect with and delight customers. Consider offering your customers regular educational or training webinars, or host an in-person customer reception or conference that offers information or experiences that are exclusively for customers.
6. SMS messaging. According to Mobile Marketing Watch, SMS messages have an open rate of 98 percent. With customers so tuned into SMS, it can be an effective channel for strengthening your customer experience efforts. Appointment or event reminders, special offers or thank you messages are all well-suited for SMS and can help make your company’s customer experience stand out, and help you win the hearts and loyalty of your customers.