After my post last week regarding the customer support I received from one online store I started to look around for other instances of customer service emails either succeeding or failing. Instead, I stumbled on a press release from e-dialogue that had some report findings that distracted me. The report showed 76% of young consumers are still being influenced by e-mail when looking to make an online purchase compared to 24% who were influenced by social media.
Now, I don’t know about you but this surprised me when you consider just how active young people are on social networking sites, I expected it to be far more influential than that. When it comes to links to online shops with special offers etc the majority of my friends post the links on Facebook or Twitter and rarely mail them around (unless its a Threshers discount voucher!).
The follow up email.
One statistic in the press release that really caught my attention stated that 46% of their respondents would be more likely to return to an online store if they received a follow up e-mail reminding them of the items that they had been looking to purchase.
When I thought about this figure and my own browsing/buying habits the figures started to seem more real. The last item I bought online was prompted through an email from Amazon and before that it was Play.com. The last time I bought online via a link a friend recommended on a social networking site..? Well, it was that far back I can’t remember.
A little customer service goes a long way.
It just goes to show that once again, good customer service and taking just a little time to interact with customers can go a long way. I can’t talk for others but our e-commerce carts have the facility to view abandoned carts and allows the store owner to contact the customer once they have left an abandoned cart. It’s a great little feature and if the stats are correct, it could encourage buyers back onto your site far more effectively than a Twitter post.
So, while an e-mail newsletter is a fantastic opportunity to engage with your customer it’s worth remembering the gem that is the follow-up email. Not only does it show you care about your customers, if the customer replies you may find out some valuable information about your cart. Maybe the checkout was confusing, the shipping too high or maybe they just found a cheaper option elsewhere. Either way, it’s an opportunity to improve your users experience for the next customer that comes along!