Elevating eCommerce: Session 1 — Balancing Automation and Personalization in CX

Catch 4 key takeaways from Session 1 of the Elevating eCommerce webinar series: learn how top brands are building stellar CX programs with automation and personalization.

Customer expectations of eCommerce brands have hit new highs in 2021, particularly when it comes to their interactions and relationships with brands. In order to meet and exceed those expectations while continuing to grow and scale efficiently, brands must strike a delicate balance in their businesses between over-personalizing (and having out-of-control CX costs) and over-automating (better for budget, much worse for customers). 

If you’re one of those brands who’s growing quickly and debating how best to handle offering a great customer experience without setting your budget on fire and learn some customer experience tips, read on. We’re chatting with leading eCommerce brands to learn about how they're personalizing, automating, and innovating in order to offer unique and stellar customer experiences. Let’s jump into some highlights from Session 1, where we talked to experts from Dr. Squatch, Tushy, AutoBrush, and Wandering Bear Coffee.

If you want to catch the full webinar on-demand, you can watch it here:

Automation vs. Personalization in CX: 4 key takeaways

  1. Elements of Customer Experience to Automate

First, preemptively automate WISMO (“Where is my order?”) inquiries. Automating WISMOs is an easy CX win that will save your team a ton of time, because they are not value-add CX interactions. A simple way to do this is to combine the powers of Klaviyo and Shopify: set up an automation that runs on a time delay. If a shipping update has not gone out 2 or 3 days after an order has been placed, send the customer an email letting them know that there will be a delay. The panelists uniformly agreed that customers usually appreciate being informed when there’s a delay because it means you are keeping them in the loop. 

Second, automate responses to frequently asked questions. Enhancing your FAQ page or Answer Hub (or your chosen branding) is crucial, but if you provide automatic responses via email and/or an on-page chat box, your CX team will thank you. And, it may pay dividends: AutoBrush found a 21%-25% conversion rate from pre-purchase chat automations alone. 

  1. Elements of Customer Experience to Personalize

First, a CX team member should personally respond to negative reviews and negative survey responses. If you have an auto-reply in place for all reviews and survey responses, that’s fine, but make sure to segment responses by rating and have a CX team member reply as quickly as possible to address the issue(s), or at the very least, to learn from the opportunity. This is also a reengagement opportunity. If the personalized response can be fixed, the customer may not churn; you can also offer reengagement incentives to encourage the customer to return. 

Second, another opportunity for personalization is reaching out to churned customers. AutoBrush managed to re-engage with 1300 customers when members of their CX team personally reached out to their churned customers. 

Next, a general shared belief among panel members was to back up and enhance automations with a live team member on standby for certain situations: how you might implement this strategy for your brand will likely require testing. Here are a couple examples of automation+personalization wins from the panel: 

  • If a customer asks a question on a product page via a chatbot, it’s an opportunity to upsell. If you ask them whether they’re looking for a suggestion, you can offer them a bundle. A CX team member can be on hand, ready to field the opportunity.
  • If there is an extended delay on a shipment, and it falls out of the range of automations you may have in place, a CX team member can jump in to offer a personal response to explain the situation (and perhaps offer a small discount or incentive for the customer’s patience). 

You can also consider giving your CX team members the opportunity to show a little bit about who they are: this shows customers that they are actually talking to a human via a chat box or via email, and it gives them a greater appreciation for the person behind the keyboard. Tushy’s “Purus” (Poop Gurus), for example, have funny or lighthearted profiles. 

  1. Optimize CX Over Time

To optimize CX over time, consider investigating both quantitative and qualitative data. Information from surveys and other numerical data that you can slice and dice will undoubtedly lead you to understand more about your brand’s performance. For example, Dr. Squatch found a direct link between NPS (net promoter score) and speed of delivery. That said, don’t underestimate the power of qualitative data: you may gain insights about holes in your helpdesk, continue to add to your FAQs, discover a comment that can lead to an adjustment in site copy, find ideas for product improvements, and much more.  

You can also direct your CX messaging depending on the type of customer (that’s right, another kind of segmentation!), and improve the messaging over time. For example, you may want to be more proactive with your automations or personalized responses when you’re responding to subscribers, high-value customers, or customers who have a certain rank in your loyalty program. 

  1. The Tools of the CX Trade

If you’re looking to enhance your brand’s CX game, check out the panelists’ preferred technologies:

Customer Experience: 

Gorgias

Data Analytics and Segmentation:
Daasity

Email:
Klaviyo

Returns Management:

Happy Returns

SMS:

Postscript

Surveys:

Typeform

We hope you enjoyed these webinar highlights!