Have you ever browsed a favorite retail website and received a relevant offer that you actually want to use? For example, “Thanks for being a loyal customer! Enjoy a 20% discount on your purchase.” That’s nice, right? And it’s definitely much better than returning to a favorite website and receiving a promotion for first-time buyers that you can’t use.
In some corners of the web, we’ve gotten so used to sites knowing whether we’re frequent or first-time visitors that it can be jarring when a brand doesn’t recognize us. And though many websites are setup to be “smart”—providing tutorials, widgets, and wizards that take us for a spin through site changes or new product features—these tips tend to be “one size fits all”. Proactive messaging is rarely personal, taking into account which pages we’ve already visited, which help topics we’ve searched, or what our particular pain points have been.
That’s because tracking the customer journey can be tough. The relationships your business builds are unique to each customer and the myriad ways that customer interacts with you.
For support teams in particular, it’s easier to help customers when you are confident you can make a difference—that you can catapult a customer forward on their journey, and not off in some other direction. But to do this, the team needs to know what the customer’s journey with your business has been like so far. Are they new to your product or service, or do they have a long support history? Where have they spent the most time on your site? It’s always easier to help when you’re equipped with context—and the more you know, the more you can begin to anticipate each customer’s needs in advance.
That’s exactly why we built Zendesk Connect, the latest addition to the Zendesk family of products. Connect gives you actionable knowledge. It allows you to better understand where customers are along their journey and to proactively support and engage with them.
Message the right customers at the right time
Zendesk Connect allows you to import customer data from all your Zendesk products and to view a timeline of events and conversations for each customer. This provides you with a clear picture of where a customer has been on your site and all the times they’ve needed help.
You can also use Connect to segment customers based on their user profile or behavior, and design personalized messages to appear on your website—but only for the customers you’ve selected. As you might imagine, this opens up endless possibilities for running targeted campaigns that offer real value to customers, and that are more likely to yield results for the business.
Five reasons to proactively message customers
Here are a few ways some of our customers participating in the Zendesk Connect Early Access Program are using Zendesk Connect to proactively message their customers.
- Onboard new users. Create segments of customers based on behavior or profile and proactively send targeted messages. This can be a great way to welcome new customers, provide tips for getting started, share resources they might want to check out, or offer a promotion.
- Nurture existing customers. Don’t love new customers and then leave them. Instead, segment existing or long-time customers and nurture them with suggestions or best practices, special promotions, or request their feedback. Relationships are a long game, after all.
- Share news. With the ability to proactively send messages, you can easily announce new products or features as they come available, provide news updates, or give customers a heads up when there’s a change to your site.
- Mitigate issues before they happen. Get ahead of customer tickets by reaching out before the customer is affected by service updates, planned outages, or known issues. Include a link to a help article that addresses common customer questions.
- Upsell, cross-sell, convert to a new plan. By segmenting customers based on what product or plan they’re currently using, you can easily offer the next level plan, or an add-on product, to the most relevant group of buyers at a time when they’re ready or most likely to expand.
The more you can deliver messages or help content before a customer needs to ask, the more you can pre-empt issues or confusion that result in support tickets. Even better, well-timed outreach makes for a better customer experience and stronger customer relationships. Customers will see that you recognize them, that you appreciate them, and that they can depend on you to meet their needs in the future.
Outbound is now part of Zendesk
To better meet the proactive messaging needs of customers, we have acquired Outbound and plan to phase out Connect. With Outbound, businesses can easily automate and measure the impact of targeted messages across email, web, and mobile channels.