Many of our loyal readers/followers/members/clients are customer experience executives or executives charged with launching and/or evolving new products and services. That means you’re often hip-deep in customer-facing activities—planning customer advisory board meetings, pulling together cross-functional teams and customers to gather requirements and brainstorm new possibilities. Many of you ask us for help and advice when running, planning, or facilitating these activities. You also ask us to provide you with templates, best practices, and what not to do. So, it’s in that spirit that we try to publish and disseminate what we’ve learned over the years in an easy to use and accessible manner. This week, Ronni Marshak offers detailed advice and examples of how and when to use email to build and maintain your relationships with customers in and around planning a customer event.
Tip: When Group Emails Are Welcome. Here’s something that most customer experience or marketing professionals balk at doing that I have found to be amazingly effective: Right after you’ve gotten a group of customers together to co-design and/or to discuss their and your strategies, send them a group email. Include all of their email addresses in the clear so they can see each others’ email addresses and they can reply to all. This might seem counter-intuitive—after all, people value their privacy. They’ve already swapped business cards. And you usually provide them with an official follow-up list of contact information. But the informality of a group email right after the event tends to rekindle the emotion and fun of learning and sharing together. You’ll be surprised at how many people will “reply to all” about how much they enjoyed the event and/or new ideas they’ve had. You can build on that “group email” to continue the dialogue using a simple list/serv type group communication. You don’t HAVE to create a formal “workspace/private community” for every group of customers you interact with. Often a simple email list is all you need to keep the conversation going!
Tips for Email Communications for Customer-Facing Engagements
The New CSM Guidebook: Part 3: Communicating with Customers
By Ronni T. Marshak, Executive VP and Senior Consultant, May 10, 2012