Automation is all the rage right now and it’s easy to see why. Let’s be honest; business owners are busy people and manual sales and marketing is hard, time-consuming, and prone to human error and forgetfulness. So it is no wonder that many businesses are creating automated sales funnels, automated social sharing, automated administration… etc.
BUT there is a downside to automation if it’s not done well. It can be detrimental to your customer experience, your brand and your business.
No-one wants that.
You work really hard and often spend a lot of time and money to get people engaged, on your list, on your website, into your sales funnel, becoming clients… don’t ruin all your hard work by using set-and-forget automation or worse still, by creating automated processes that you have not tested!
4 traits of detrimental automation
1. Not enough personalisation.
Especially further into the funnel, vague content and messaging just doesn’t speak directly to your customer. Automated content that makes customers feel like you know them, understand them, and can help them specifically converts so much better than any vanilla catch-all content.
Whether via generic emails, product spiels, social statuses or sales messages it’s important to know your customers; how they speak, what they engage with, what problem/s you solve for them. This knowledge is needed to ensure you deliver quality automated sales sequences.
2. Content is not authentic or brand specific.
Ensure your ‘brand voice’ is consistently delivered in all automated content. This way you, your offering and your brand come across as authentic and your content continues to build a trusting relationship with your leads and customers.
This is why videos in sales and social content are so popular – and why good copywriters are worth their weight in gold – because conveying your voice and building your authority and trust with customers can be really hard and take longer to convert with text.
No-one likes talking to robots or reading similar bland sales pitches from multiple different businesses. Make sure your automated clearly and consistently represents your brand.
3. The automated system is broken and content is not tested.
Primary culprits here are broken links, broken forms, inability to check out, not optimised for mobile, failed delivery of emails or downloadables. Check them all – including image links, headers, footers and most importantly your call to action and buy links.
Review if your content actually speaks to and engages your customer, and check that your automated content replicates the brand voice and imagery that your social media, personal emails and website have.
Test. Test. Test. Test. TEST!
4. Customers don’t get to talk to YOU until they pay for premium service.
This is often used as a sales tactic to push people to the bottom of the funnel. What is also does it put a lot of pressure on the rest of the automated content, offers, and systems.
Removing yourself from the bottom and even middle of your sales funnel also removes you from your customer’s experience with your business. It almost puts up an invisible barrier between you and your customers. Video can be a great tool to overcome this barrier as it adds that personal touch and enables your customers to learn more about you without actually meeting you or emailing you personally.
To make this approach work for your business you need have your automation managed and absolutely nailed. Your automated systems need to deliver. All the time. Every time.
How to ensure your automated systems and content are working for your business
If you have (or are thinking about introducing) automated systems in place to attract and retain clients it is a good idea to keep tabs on the performance ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE FUNNEL. From start to end.
Lots of business owners focus on the performance of bringing people into the sales funnel (such as ad clicks, traffic generation or list growth) and occasionally even give attention to the numbers of leads converting into the second stage of the funnel… BUT it is also extremely important to focus on the systems moving customers through to the bottom of your funnel or through to your premium services.
After all, the premium services are your best work.
They are where you can deliver the best results for your clients.
They also have the highest return for both you and your client.
Therefore, it is imperative that your automated admin, sales and marketing WORKS and works well.
Take some time each month or quarter to check in on your automated processes that are bringing your customers in and through to the bottom of your funnel.
Things to review:
1. Test. Test. TEST YOUR AUTOMATED PROCESSES.
For example: Use your funnel like a customer. Perhaps invite a friend, assistant or colleague to do it with you in case you miss something and to get a different perspective.
- How easy is it to find your opt-in?
- Do you form fields work on mobile devices?
- What emails do the customers receive and how do they look in the inbox?
- Are there any spelling errors or broken links?
- Are your sales messages easy to read, is the offer clear, and can you find the CTA (especially on mobile devices!!)?
- Are the details still accurate? (watch your videos for any out-of-date references)
- How long do customers wait between notifications?
- Is the checkout process easy on a mobile device?
- Are all aspects of your automated funnel delivered as you expected?
- Is the content and messaging valuable to your target customer?
2. Review traffic quality.
Do the people coming into the top of your funnel closely resemble your target client in terms of gender, age, location, job type, time in business, revenue, business goals etc?
If the customers you are attracting are not your ideal customer this could be hindering the flow of customers in your funnel. Adjust messaging at the top of the funnel to appeal directly to your target.
3. Review traffic and customer numbers at each stage of your funnel.
Note the conversion rate between each stage. If you can, compare numbers to a previous month or quarter to see if there are noticeable changes anywhere.
4. Optimise for and improve conversion rates.
Review the funnel stages with the lowest conversion rates and optimise the copy, offer, delivery, feel and overall customer experience at these stages of the funnel to optimise for higher conversion rates.
Take some time to really add some WOW to your automated content to ensure you are delivering the best service and providing great value to your clients ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM OF THE FUNNEL.
Even if your funnel is still delivering customers all the way to the bottom there is always room to optimise for better results. And we all want great results, right?!
The best thing you can do when implementing and using automated systems in your business is to test and optimise. A broken system will not delight your customers, and an optimised system will create an enjoyable experience for your customer and deliver better results for your business.
Content personalisation and the option to speak to a real person can also be very beneficial for building customer rapport and improving results during an automated experience.
How do you ensure your customers have a great automated experience with your company?