I absolutely love the notion of keeping my customer experience consistent and saving time. This year I've really dialed up my customer automation efforts. I thought I would take a few moments to jot down some ways I'm automatically sending messages with Check Cherry for my photo booth and mobile DJ company, Local Boy.
Generally, any email to the customer should be sent with intent to provide value and/or helpful information to the customer. Setting up automation is super easy, so don't feel overwhelmed. We have a video showing you just how easy it is to get started.
The Proactive NotesI've been laying the groundwork for delivering an amazing customer experience by automatically sending out emails leading up to the event. I recommend a check-in at six, three and one month before the event. Keep it short, sweet and open ended. Something along the lines of:
Just checking in. I'm looking forward to your event and available to help should you need anything.
Let me know,
Frankly, most of the time, people don't request much, but they are overwhelmingly appreciative of the effort. But it assures them I'm on top of their event, professional and value their business. I find these notes are especially good for those bookings you accepted well in advance.
New Booking / Welcome NoteAfter a new booking comes in, send an introduction email which includes a quick thank you for choosing us and a link to fill out any pre-event forms. A huge plus of sending these notes is providing my contact info right off the bat to continue developing the relationship. Should they need to get in touch or have any questions, they know where to come.
Post Event / Thank You NoteA few days after the event, I schedule an email to be sent thanking the client for choosing my photo booth company and asking how they like the service. This provides them another opportunity for feedback and insights into ways I can make my business better. When a client is very happy, I jovially remind them we're always accepting 5 star reviews online.
Upsell Existing ReservationsI'm all about increasing sales and have thought a lot about various points in the sales cycle to tweak. I've come to realize not all those knob are before the reservation is secured. For some events, I promote my add-ons and offer them to the customers at a discounted rate. Something along these lines:
I just wanted to send a quick note with a special offer for you: 10% off any additional add-ons for your upcoming event. Just let me know what you'd like to add and I'll make it happen. Also, if you interested, I'd be willing to provide some recommendations.
Looking forward to the event,
Coupon Offer / Refer-a-friendA few months after the event I send out an email with a special coupon code for their next event should they choose to book again. I also let them know they can share it with a friend. Basically, I see this as nurturing a new sales channel and increasing word of mouth of my photo booth business.
Payment Due ReminderWe all handle when payments are due a bit differently. For me, if it's a week away from the event and the customer still has a remaining balance, I send an email out informing the customer they can make a payment online. Naturally, I always include a link to pay online within my customer portal and this one is only scheduled to go out if there is a balance for reservation.
Electronic Signature Still NeededThere are times we add a reservation on behalf of a customer but need photo booth e-signature. In the email, I remind them the event is not secured until they sign the agreement. This is one of those task I love making more generic as if it's just "coming from the system". Something like:
"REMINDER - SIGNATURE REQUIRED
We still have not received your signature for your upcoming event. Click here to sign and secure your date. If you have any questions for would like to make changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.
My Company Name Staff"
The Side Effects of Good AutomationGood automation efforts often initiate the personal touches my clients expect. Before having an automated system I spent a lot of time executing the tasks above in order to ensure my service would be outstanding. Sometimes things would slip through the cracks and we'd scramble to get everything lined up to deliver the service. While I still have to make last minute adjustments, there are far fewer "fire drills" at Local Boy and life is a bit less stressful.
However, by far the best benefit is simply having more time available to focus on growing my business and spending time with clients. When one's mind is free from monotonous tasks, the creative juices start flowing and one can really make progress on developing and nurturing new sales channels. Best of all, the same work is getting done without me lifting a finger