customer communications management

Sending the Wrong Email can be an Opportunity to do the Right Thing

We all get them every day. Emails that we delete without reading. Yet companies invest countless hours in developing email campaigns and messaging to try and catch our attention or interest just for us to ignore them. My wife and I were discussing last night the top email subject headers that means we will automatically delete a marketing email.

My wife’s top flag was anything that gave her an order to do something. Yesterday’s winner in that category was an email she received from a company that shouted “This is important information you need – Don’t Delete!” – The first thing she did? Deleted that email.

My pet peeve is over friendly emails from people I’ve never met, like this example from yesterday, “Reminder – Hey Alan, did you have a chance to review my email?” My response, check the company on the email address, not someone I do business with, then hit the Delete button.

Then there’s the emails from companies that you do interact with on a regular basis, but when you read it you think “How did I end up on that mailing list?” You delete it and don’t give it much thought beyond it ramping up an annoyance factor with the company that can eventually impact your overall customer experience.

But great brands and customer-aware companies can use a well-defined customer communications management strategy to turn that “How did I end up on this list?” moment into a positive experience rather than a negative one.

A case in point. My car.

Although my family changes cars on a pretty regular basis we are pretty brand loyal. At any given time you can bet that someone in the family is driving an example from this particular brand’s line up. At the moment it’s me, and I am driving a fully tricked out version of the company’s sportiest offering. It’s the tenth example of the brand we’ve owned.

So imagine my surprise to receive an email from the company that was headed “We’re sorry to see you go.” It continued along the lines that the company had heard we had sold the car and wanted to ask a few questions of our experience with the brand, and why we’d moved on. Looking out the window I could still see my car sitting on the driveway. Yep, definitely on the wrong mailing list. I deleted the note, and didn’t think any more of it.

Until two days later.

A follow-up email arrived from the car company apologizing for the wrong email being sent. There was a well- worded message along the lines of “we know that you still own your car, and thanks for being a loyal customer.” This was followed with a note that by way of apology a small gift was in the mail (which arrived the next day).

There was also an additional follow-up that laid out my ownership of the current car, and a note that as a token of thanks for my loyalty if I headed to my local dealer within the next thirty days they would upgrade me from my 2015 model to the equivalent 2017 model at a stated lower APR rate.

One mistake = good follow up + bonus gift + acknowledgement of my customer loyalty + upsell offer.

That’s good customer communications management, it helps strengthen relationships, develops good customer experience, and promotes more value and revenue across the customer lifecycle.

While I’m not ready to take up that trade-in offer just yet, but when it does come time to change my car again, guess which company will once again be top of my list?

About Alan Porter

Alan Porter
Alan J. Porter is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for the OpenText Customer Experience Suite. He is a regular writer and industry speaker on various aspects of Customer Experience and Content Strategy.

Check Also

video

Time-Based Digital Assets are now Mission Critical

How much video are you watching online? I’m pretty confident it’s more than last year, …

DAM

Digital Plants and Conveyor Belts – a Different Approach to DAM

The world’s largest museum complex is probably not the first thing that comes to mind …