Would you let someone else write your emails, answer your text messages, or post on your social media channels?
It depends on how much you trust that person to represent you publicly. Some celebrities have entire PR teams dedicated to just that, and they still have problems and accidental miscommunications. While it may seem luxurious to outsource all that work, the trouble is you lose control of your message.
So why are you letting anyone else handle communications with your ecommerce customers?
It’s a risk to let another platform (*cough* Amazon) control how and when you talk to your buyers. You should carefully consider every message you send out to your customers because it informs their opinion of your brand, your products, and much more.
Don’t lose control of the conversation — learn the benefits of fully owning all of your customer communications.
The Importance of Customer Communications
Every time you interact with a buyer, you’re building your brand’s reputation. Every email, every ad, every customer service interaction, and every click on your website is all an important part of that brand. The toughest thing about building a brand is that it takes constant effort to build a positive association with customers, but it’s incredibly easy to lose that goodwill with just one mistake.
Anyone that has dealt with customer service knows how difficult it can be. One broken link in an email or an awkward targeted ad and your brand is immediately called out on Twitter. It’s risky enough to manage customer communications on your own, but leaving that delicate task to others is asking for trouble. Unfortunately, many ecommerce brands today have accepted that Amazon will handle a large chunk of customer communications. However, Amazon’s generic messages don’t help your brand grow. Amazon is always looking to improve their own brand, and doesn’t incentivize buyers to return and buy again from your specific company.
How Marketplaces Get in the Way
In an ideal world, every message you send builds trust with your buyers, giving them a positive association with your brand. That includes everything from an order confirmation email to the website copy that describes the product you’re selling. Unfortunately, a lot of ecommerce brands allow Amazon to act as a middleman, handling all transactional messages. It’s true that if there’s a problem, you can share the blame with Amazon. However, you’re allowing another company to interfere with your relationship with the customer.
Every single message is an opportunity to engage directly with your buyer, including a confirmation email. By controlling the communication channels, you can add in your brand colors, your tone of voice, and much more. For example, a confirmation email can be an opportunity to upsell a customer, encouraging repeat purchases.
Rather than just confirming an order, this email from Levi’s also offers the buyer the opportunity to continue shopping and shares information about customers service and returns. This email is far more useful to the buyer than a generic message from another provider and helps build a direct relationship with your brand.
Every Message is an Opportunity
By fully owning all of your customer communications, you know exactly what experience every buyer is having with your ecommerce company. Because your team sends all the messages, you are able to market more effectively to your customers on a continuous basis. You now have the power to test out different messages, experiment with various marketing tactics to create deeper segmentation and more personalized experiences. Ideally, every message will improve and deepen your buyer’s relationship with your brand, turning them into fans for life.
It’s certainly more work to own and manage all of your communication channels, but it’s completely worth the effort. Great brands are built slowly over time by creating a consistent and powerful message to buyers. Your brand can improve results by taking full ownership of all customer communications. Don’t be afraid to strike out on your own and talk directly to your buyers.