There are two types of marketers; those who think “automation” is a buzz-word and those who have actually experienced it.

Marketing automation improves customer satisfaction whilst freeing up resource in both the marketing and customer service functions of a business.

Marketing automation is not about sitting back while the machine does all your work for you. Sorry, you’ll still need experienced, creative people to make things happen. Marketing automation is, however a great opportunity to provide better customer service, increasing sales and profit, in less time.

 It’s not just about targeting new customers. Automation can help you service existing customers. According to Econsultancy, as many as 70% of businesses find it cheaper to service existing customers than acquire new ones.

 Automation enhances the customer experience,  keeping people engaged and less likely to look elsewhere. The satisfaction of existing customers becomes a useful tool in attracting new customers. When we love an online experience, we tell our peers.

 Providing better customer service can increase the lifetime value of a customer. Here’s how automation helps you to provide better customer service.

1. Stop and Listen

Listen to individual customers, at scale. This allows you to think about all the ways that  your customers interact with you across channels – web, emails, mobile apps, social media and offline.  It allows you to quickly understand what website visitors expect from you, what they are looking for and how you can create an outstanding online experience for them.  

2. Lead Segmentation

It’s important to know from the start of a strategy what you want from an automation campaign. Using a content management system such as Episerver CMS, we can segment visitors based on questions such as:

  • Has the visitor already interacted with you?
  • Have they viewed a particular product or piece of content more than once?
  • Which content is most relevant to them based on their browsing history?

This helps you determine problems that visitors are trying to overcome so you can tailor a solution. This could be bespoke content, a targeted sales call or even a tailored offer.  You can build out these visitor groups as you find out more and more about customers and then automate their online experience through personalisation (Keep reading).

3. Personalisation

If existing customers continue to get value from you, they’ll stay as customers and be less inclined to look elsewhere. Every interaction with you can help you to understand customers more, providing offers, valuable content and relevant products.  For example, your Facebook and Google ads are most likely very specific. The landing page that your ad takes a customer to should be relevant to the ad that brought the visitor to it.  The problem starts when a visitors moves away from your landing page - is this relevant experience reflected throughout the site?  Most businesses have a number of products, services and therefore, customer segments. You need to quickly determine what type of customer someone is and make your conversion process far more effective.

Using Episerver CMS, as soon as a visitor enters your site, you can use contextual data:  whether they came to the site by clicking a particular ad, their IP address, and by extension their country, city and employer. With this information, Episerver’s marketing platform can deliver a relevant experience for the user, that goes beyond the first landing page that they see.  You can also use behavioral data, gathered when a visitor moves through your site and in between each visit to your site, to craft content on every page.

Episerver’s CMS is equipped to do this for you automatically, so visitors will see content that is most relevant to them, regardless of their entry point to the website.

4. Dynamic content management

Inbound marketing campaigns need variations of landing pages to ensure maximum relevance, depending on the message and channel.  Episerver allows you to automatically create landing pages for relevance (as well as saving you time).  You can use tags to create targeted landing pages. This means that you do not need to go through and create landing pages for every possible variation of what people might be searching for on your site. You simply tag your pages with different themes as you create them, then the Episerver search engine presents these pages as one landing page for any given topic. The result? Higher search engine rankings and relevance.

For example, let’s say that you have a website that includes information on financial services. If someone is looking for information about financial services online, Episerver’s solution will automatically group together every page that you have tagged as a financial services on your site, then present that to the user as a unique landing page. Without investing loads of time, your website has become a financial services hub.

5. Use a Customer’s Knowledge to Help Other Customers

Marketing automation is a way to make your live customer interactions more meaningful, more productive and more profitable.  It also allows you to communicate with customers on the channel that they most prefer to be communicated on.  For each return visitor, you could create a personalised FAQ section based on previous interactions or referral source. By making the most common questions accessible, you save your customer service team time and allow visitors to quickly find information.

Your customer service team can save time through a live chat function and you could even field the most common questions using an automated bot. Conversational commerce is on the rise.

6. Cut the apron strings

Digital customer service increases satisfaction and lowers service costs. Your customers don’t want to have to pick up the phone if they can find an answer to a query online.  Episerver’s search function means you can dictate which search results people see for which queries. For example you can look at Google Analytics, see which terms, information, products or services website visitors are most commonly looking for, and list them in the CMS.  You might even create content around these queries, making it even easier for customers to find what they’re looking for.

With Episerver you can even build your own customer service portal that allows customers to self-serve, performing transactions or other actions that would ordinarily require them to contact you. They can do this from anywhere with a smartphone and an internet connection.

7. Push Communications

You could create blast email campaigns for all of your customers, or you could choose marketing automation.  Sending targeted emails, to multiple user groups can be time consuming. You need to justify the time and resource.  We use IBM digital marketing cloud to nurture leads, understand customers and automatically send emails based on what is likely to engage them.  You can stay in contact with customers while you sleep. If a customer shows an interest in a product you can automatically add them to your database.

  • A new client signs up: Send them a welcome email and thank them for creating an account.

  • A loyal customer: Reward your most valuable customers by sending them a personalised offer through email.

  • The purchase of a product: Send a series of emails, offering your customer tips and tricks on how to get the most out of their product, or accessories that they may be interested in.

  • Re-engagement: Maybe your customer just needs reminding about you! Send an email reminding them of the best you have to offer and reasons to make a purchase, such as free delivery.

8. Analytics

Whether you’re a marketing manager, director or business owner, you’re going to want relevant reports that demonstrate how your online marketing efforts affect your bottom-line.  Better still, you want to use the data to make informed decisions. What’s working, what isn’t, and how quickly can you make changes to see a positive impact?  You should constantly get insights, new data and the ability to dig deeper (without getting lost).

 Do more in less time.

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