As Christmas shopping rolls in to January sales, it’s easy to become fixated on revenue targets. The rise of online shopping, click-and-collect and convenience means that brand loyalty is being eroded. But it’s important that brands remember to focus efforts on customer retention too as we move in to the New Year.
In the summer, Mailjet commissioned research into business critical emails such as purchase confirmations, e-tickets and receipts and account notifications ahead of the festive season, which 28% of consumers across the UK and France say they now receive four or more times per day.
However, something that brands might not have necessarily been mindful of, is this post-purchase ‘transaction’ and the effect it has on experience and loyalty for customers.
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The report discovered that 93% of consumers would consider choosing a rival brand following a negative experience with a brand’s post-purchase communication.
One of the biggest issues for consumers is the speed of email delivery, for one fifth (21%) this is one of the most important things for them once they have purchased an item or made an enquiry. 41% of consumers in the UK and France won’t wait more than one minute for a transactional email to arrive in their inbox before getting annoyed. By the 10-minute mark, 81% of UK customers have lost patience.
It is always the worst case scenario
Despite the notable change in attitude after a minute, almost a third of UK customers (30%) will wait for more than four hours before reaching out – 6% will even hold off right until the last minute, when they go to retrieve the ticket or reservation.
For businesses like ticket-vendors, failure to notice their transactional email offering isn’t working as desired until it is too late could be catastrophic. You only need consider the implications of thousands of eager fans left trapped outside a venue such as the O2 while their favourite artist performs. Without that booking confirmation, your customer probably will:
• Avoid booking with your site and/or app ever again, instead going to a competitor.
• Get so angry that they not only voice their concerns very loudly at the venue, but also call your support team or go on social media to complain about your reliability.
• Tell all his friends about what a bad customer experience they had, and how they will never book a gig with you again.
No matter what happens, your company’s reputation is damaged and your customer satisfaction decreases. Because of that, your number of bookings drops, and so does your revenue.
Always-on, real-time monitoring
Without a doubt, brands should never allow an issue go so far that a customer has to report it back to said brand. They have to monitor these email distributions very closely, and rectify this from their own end to limit the risk factor.
Fortunately, tools like Mailjet’s Real-Time Monitoring now allow for communication anomalies within transactional emails to be flagged and resolved at no risk to the customer relationship and overall brand experience. Alerts can signal unusual sending volume, timing, statistics and errors, providing clues to investigate the possible root-cause of delivery issues.
It also allows you to group important documents, or divide them in different categories such as billing, travel documents or booking confirmations, to ensure you’re tracking these messages together so you can react quickly to solve problems before they become serious.
Consistency is key
Whilst deliverability of purchase confirmation emails is one of the most important things companies should be monitoring, it is also time they placed a focus on the message itself.
The central issues that cause UK customers to lose confidence in a brand are brand emails that contain poor spelling, grammar or foreign languages, which ranked highest at 60%. Additionally, 51% picked out variations in how the brand is visually represented in communications as a concern.
With GDPR now hurtling towards us at an alarming speed, UK brands need to consider the security measures taken around email communications and the data their customers feel comfortable sharing.
51% of people agreed including sensitive data such as login details or a password in plain text would heavily affect their confidence in a brand.
From May next year, the ability to continue to re-engage customers will entirely balance on continued, active consent to brands using data to issue direct marketing communications.
Rather than an added piece of sales administration, marketers should be grabbing the chance to fine-tune their transactional emails as an unrivalled opportunity to show how well they understand their customers and value their loyalty.
Sourced by Judy Boniface, CMO of Mailjet