The customer survey email was short, but not so sweet:
“Customer, We want to ensure that you are satisfied with your recent service experience here at [Organization]. Please reply YES to confirm your satisfaction or give me a call if your expectations have not been met. Thank You, [Manager],[Organization].”
The subject line read, “Customer Satisfaction”
Like most of the.”Can you believe this?” messages I receive each week, this organization has an exemplary in-person customer experience, this message was delivered to a customer who had been loyal for years. The organization simply had a blindspot. It’s leadership was not aware of their digital conversations. When conducting business from a distance, during a global health crisis, this mistake could very well be fatal.
The message wasn't personalized, and they invited a call, but forgot to include a phone number. Chances are, the customer won't reply YES, they won't attempt to find the phone number, and worse, they quite likely won't return.
Social distancing has created an environment where digital communication has taken the lead over in-person conversations. It's become critical to building and maintaining customer relationships. It’s no longer enough to make a good impression in person, it must extend to your digital communications as well.
The major crime of the message above is it bore no relationship to the tone and content of a personal in-person conversation. Here's a quick test to learn if your organization is "Breaking the Law".
Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the center. Label the first column “In-person” and label the second column, “Remote”. In the first column make a list of your customer service practices like, “We greet customers by name.” or “We provide customers with all our contact information".
In the second column, jot down your corresponding digital practice. If your organization uses an automated system, ask your IT department to print out the customer service email templates. Review the content and use this as an opportunity for change.
Don’t stop there. If your organization uses text messaging, review your text message templates. If you use voicemail for customer updates, document the scripts your people use to communicate with your valued customers.
Digital communication technology allows your organization to extend its reach, communicate faster, and maintain a better relationships with those you serve best. Don't let automated systems destroy the personal touch.
Social distancing will continue to be an obstacle to business operations in the future. Use your digital tools as an opportunity to maintain your valuable relationships with your loyal customers for all your conversations.