Replying Instantly to Customers Online

by Alex Morgan

by Alex Morgan

by Alex Morgan

by Alex Morgan

Never a day goes by where I don’t see a post or advert about how to get more customers for my business. Most are ignored, those I am curious about offer aggressive sales tactics training in exchange for £1000s. In reality, dealing with customers, especially online, is simply about reassurance.

When someone gets in touch with your business online they don’t expect to wait three days for a response. Providing an immediate, or at least fairly quick, response can help reassure customers and exude confidence in your brand.

The problem

Well, you already know the obvious problem. How the hell can you reply instantly to any message or request online? Am I really expecting you to sit with your phone to your face all day waiting for a customer to get in touch?
Absolutely not. With minimal effort and minimal cost, you can set up several automated systems to provide a near-instant reply to your customers.
Customers can get in touch via your website forms, Facebook pages or any other social media platforms. Automating responses to these channels can make customers feel you’re dealing with their request. It can also make even the smallest business look impressive!

The solution(s)

There are several simple solutions that can be quickly implemented to provide a rapid response to your customers’ online messages. Linking your website forms to an email marketing platform can ensure you provide quick, branded replies. Responding via SMS to people can give the illusion that your team are working to answer their question. Using Facebook Messenger‘s automated responses helps explain the message is received and will be dealt with promptly.
Ultimately, having automated solutions in place can just provide a simple reassurance to your customers that you care and you have got their message.
Does it really matter that it’s an automated response and not an immediate solution to customers? As long as you do provide a real response within the shortest period of time, it really doesn’t matter.
Let’s look in more detail at the types of automated systems you can use.

Email auto-responses

“Did you get my email?” It must be one of the most frustrating questions to ask and answer, especially when the answer is “no!”. As intelligent beings, we expect to be listened to. So, when someone takes the time to fill out a form on your website, they will expect a response.
By linking your website’s forms to an email marketing platform, you can provide immediate responses to people’s form submissions.
Our website is built using the Elementor page builder. All of our forms are built using the Elementor forms widget. Our Elementor installation is linked to our MailerLite email marketing account. It’s very straightforward and requires no coding and no technical wizardry.
When someone fills out a form on our website or using our price calculator, their details are sent from the form to MailerLite. Then, the automated email is sent by MailerLite to the user.
The prebuilt automated email is a simple one to say “thank you” if you’ve filled out our contact form. It will say “thanks, and here’s a link”, if you download an ebook. If you use our web design price calculator it will say “thank you and here’s your quote price”. That one’s a bit more technical!
Simply, by linking our website to MailerLite we can provide an instant response to any form submissions on our website. If someone sends a message and asks for help with a website, the automated message gives the customer reassurance that we’re on the case. All the meanwhile I may be busy dealing with clients, my children or sleeping. When I’m ready I can respond to the form submitter.
It provides peace of mind and reassurance to not just the customer, but also to me as a business owner that people feel valued for getting in touch.

SMS messaging

A recent addition to our automation is SMS messaging. I was finding very occasionally my automated emails were going to people’s junk folders. While my analysis shows a near-perfect score for email validation my end, I can’t legislate for the mind of a spam filter!
To increase the likelihood of messages getting to people, recently we’ve added automated SMS messaging. When someone fills out a form on our website or uses our price calculator they are not only sent a thank you email but also a thank you SMS text message.
By linking our website forms to TextMagic, via Zapier, just like with the email system, we can provide the form data to TextMagic and they do their magic and send a prebuilt thank you text to the person who filled in the form.
Is it free? Sadly not. MailerLite and Facebook Messenger are free to use, but for only a £0.080 per message, you can’t complain too much about the cost.
Just like with the email messages, providing that quick response gives reassurance to customers that you are dealing with their message. Using both email and SMS certainly also helps to increase the perception of your business and exudes professionalism.

Facebook Messenger automated responses

Not every request comes via your website. An awful lot of people prefer to use Facebook and Facebook Messenger to interact with a business.
Regardless of whether people get in touch via your website or Facebook, they can still expect a quick response, starting with an automated reply.
In the past, we’ve promoted chatbots for Messenger. That’s not the case anymore. Chatbots have their use, but they don’t work for every business. For some, they are a nuisance and prevent people from easily getting in touch via Facebook Messenger.
You don’t need a chatbot to automatically reply to Messenger messages. With Facebook’s built-in Messenger automated responses you can provide a simple thank you reply to any message.
You can pop a fair bit of useful information into an automated response. I recently reached out to a local house clearance company to get some old furniture and books taken away. When I sent them a message on Facebook their autoresponse said thank you, gave a detailed list of the sorts of items they could take and finally requested I send photos of the items I needed removing.
By being able to check my items were valid it was reassuring to me. By providing photos and details of what I needed to be removed, it meant the company could respond back to me full of information and quickly provide a quote. Everyone wins in that situation!
Automating your responses on Facebook can certainly make life easier for your business and easier for the customers.

In summary

In our fast-paced world, people don’t have time to wait. When we popped into shops in person or used the phone we would get a quick and helpful response.
By being online it doesn’t mean people have to learn to wait for responses. With automated replies to messages, you can provide immediate reassurance to customers. You can even convey important information before an actual human has had a chance to respond.
While all of what I’ve mentioned is either free or cheap and very easy to set up, if you feel lost or would like some expert help and advice, get in touch. We can help automate your responses and improve your customer interactions. Providing reassurance to all!