On Sunday I had to reach out to my grocery delivery service for help. I sent an email and almost immediately I received an automatic reply. The reply was simple, just letting me know that my email had been received.
Thanks so much for getting in touch!
We have received your email and will respond shortly.
While you wait, take a look at our FAQ’s at http://www.hellofresh.com/faq/, in case your answer lies there.
Lastly, if you need to make meal choice, update your payment details, cancel or pause your account, please login https://www.hellofresh.com/customer/account/login/.
Talk to you soon,
The Friendly Freshers
I appreciate getting an immediate response to my query, even when I know this is an automated computer generated response. It lets me know my email successfully reached the company. It puts me at ease.
When I’ve contacted this company over email in the past, the response from a service rep is pretty fast, usually within 1-2 hours. But nearly 24 hours had passed and I hadn’t heard back from the company. It was Martin Luther King Day and I thought perhaps they were short-staffed with people taking the day off. My kids were out of school and my husband and I had also taken the day off. But, to my delight, exactly 24 hours after my initial email, I got a second automated email from the company.
We’re sorry we haven’t gotten back to you yet. We have received your message and will respond to you very shortly. Thank you for bearing with us.
If you have anything else to add, please just reply here http://hellofreshusa.zendesk.com/hc/requests/854899 and we’ll get back to you shortly.
I loved this second email, so much so, that I took time out of my holiday weekend to sit down and talk to you about it.
Hello Fresh normally replies to emails within 1-2 hours. But this time they didn’t, but they proactively updated me. This little update, timed perfectly at 24 hours after my initial communication, assured me that my email did not get lost and that they were on top of things. This update kept me from losing confidence in the company and it took away any need for me to reach out again by email or telephone. It protected me from becoming upset or even worse; it protected me from defecting.
Keeping customers apprised via automated emails is brilliant. It puts customers at ease, helps customers feel confident that the company is working on the problem, and it keeps customers from feeling they need to reach out to the company a second time.
The customer experience needs to reduce customer effort, keep customers apprised and it’s a treat when the experience can delight customers. Hello Fresh did each of these things by simply having an automated response built in to launch 24 hours after my initial email.
When you don’t immediately acknowledge a customer a customer’s inquiry, they may wonder if their communication even reached you and this may prompt follow-up communication that cost you time and money. Failing to acknowledge customer inquiries and not providing updates can result in losing customer confidence and trust.
What You Can Do
Review one aspect of your customer experience and explore how you can reduce customer effort and keep customers apprised. If you’re feeling really creative, consider how you might add surprise or delight to this aspect of the customer experience.
The Bottom Line
The outcome of an automated customer apprising strategy is customers who are updated and less likely to have to follow up to check in, and your organization will build customer confidence and trust through proactive communication.
Myra Golden is a customer experience keynote speaker and trainer who travels North America looking for great stories to share, and new ways to help her clients deliver the best possible customer experience.