Consumers don’t tend to contact a company’s support team to say hello or thanks. More likely, they’re reaching out because they need help. Maybe they didn’t get an order, or perhaps they were overcharged. Regardless, their goal is to resolve the problem or question with a bit of help from a friendly representative.
If the representative helps them, they consider the interaction worthwhile. But if the representative can’t make things right, the customer may not have such good feelings about the exchange. Either way, when the conversation ends, customers tend to move on.
This is the typical rhythm for call centers. It’s hardly exciting. Although a pleasant call may result in a high CSAT survey response, it rarely turns a lukewarm customer into a raving fan. But what if you were to add an unexpectedly personalized touchpoint to the equation?
Folding greeting card deployment into call center exchanges
Let’s say a customer’s dear uncle dies unexpectedly, and the burden of calling all his utility providers to shut off service falls on her shoulders. These conversations are difficult, as explaining the situation to strangers deepens her grief.
A few days after she finishes these calls, she receives a greeting card in the mail. Curious, she opens it because she doesn’t recognise the return address. Lo and behold, it’s a sympathy card from her uncle’s water company customer service representative. Think she’ll remember the moment? She likely will for years to come.
From the recipient’s standpoint, this type of engagement can turn the customer care experience from good to great. And that can lead to quite a few positive outcomes for the brand that made the effort.
Upsides to leveraging individualized direct mail after customer calls
Some of the benefits to taking this unique approach are obvious, like making a favourable impression on the customer. Others are less apparent. For example, sending unsolicited greeting cards that correlate to an interaction cements the company as customer-centric, which is valuable to the bottom line. According to Deloitte, customer-centric organisations tend to bring in 60% more revenue than their less caring counterparts.
Another advantage to sending cards is buoyed employee engagement. Call centres have notoriously high turnover rates. Empowered representatives feel less like their hands are tied, and their satisfaction spills over to their treatment of customers. As an Aon report explains, organisations with happy employees enjoy 81% higher customer satisfaction.
Don’t forget about the publicity that sending cards can generate. I’ve heard about customers calling radio stations or posting on social media to gush about getting a greeting card from a company at the right moment. That’s high-ROI buzz that can’t be bought.
Putting a greeting card initiative to the test
How can you be sure that sending out greeting cards makes a difference, though? Even if you sense that it’s the right thing to do, you’ll probably want to measure its effectiveness as part of your customer care portfolio. It can be difficult to track the metrics around direct mail because the interaction occurs in a consumer’s home or office. But there are plenty of ways to track ROI. These strategies are a great place to start:
- Evaluate your ‘before and after’ CSAT scores.
You can’t afford to lose customers, which is why you probably collect CSAT scores. Adding a greeting card touchpoint can help boost CSAT ratings over time. Therefore, start weighing your CSAT scores after giving your customer care representatives the go-ahead to send cards.
Will your CSAT ratings skyrocket immediately? Unlikely. After all, not all interactions will necessitate a direct mail touchpoint. Look for a steady uptick, particularly after cards would be opened. For instance, you can explore correlations between when cards were mailed and subsequent CSAT scores.
- Keep tabs on your ESAT scores, too.
Employee satisfaction scores (ESATs) are just as integral to your brand’s longevity and reputation as CSATs. Start collecting ESATs and then gauging changes in collective ESAT scores as you empower your customer care representatives to do more outreach.
As you did with CSAT scores, attempt to connect the dots between card deployments and improved ESAT findings. You might also want to implement other measures of employee engagement, such as keeping tabs on turnover. The more valued your workers feel, the more they’ll pass on the good vibes.
- Train employees to deliver a unique, authentic customer care approach.
You can’t expect magic if you just hand customer support team members a pack of greeting cards and say, “Send these out when you want.” They need ideas and parameters. Yes, they want to give customers the credible, empathetic experiences they deserve. But they’ll probably need prompts.
Training on ways to build appealing emotional connections with customers will help — as will giving them digital tool kits that include multiple suggestions on how and when to send cards. If your company uses a CRM, set up automatic notifications to remind reps about the option to send a card. When you set your representatives up for success, they’re more likely to wow even the grumpiest shoppers.
Grabbing your customers’ attention can seem perplexing. They’re bombarded by so many messages and interactions daily. Nevertheless, thinking outside the box — and outside the digital realm — can help improve customer loyalty by leveraging the potency of a surprising, thoughtful touchpoint.