As customers become accustomed to engaging with their service providers across channels, it becomes incumbent on the retailer or financial services institution to make them aware when new channels become available. During COVID-19, many companies added remote or virtual appointments to their bag of tricks, as a complement to their existing websites, apps, and social profiles.
Many broadened their scope by offering remote appointments to provide the human, conversational elements of an in-person engagement with the safety and social distance that the times require. Their goal? To provide the same level of personalized service that consumers are accustomed to, while keeping employees and consumers safe. Even now, as many businesses have reopened with some level of in-person service, remote appointments provide flexibility, efficiency, and convenience.
To boost remote appointment volume, it’s essential to make customers aware of its existence and utility. Wondering where to begin? These five channels are a great starting point regardless of industry:
Email is a staple in any marketing plan. When promoting your appointments via email, consider the following:
How can I personalize the email?
How can I segment my database to make the email more effective?
How can I test my messaging around this service?
Don’t be afraid to test so you can learn which elements yield higher open rates, click-through rates, and appointments.
2. Social media
Social media networks have seen a substantial increase in traffic during the pandemic, and continue to be a main source where customers check for up-to-date business information. In fact, there are currently 3.78 billion social media users worldwide, and research shows that 44.8% of social browsers use social media to research products and services. Ensure your offering is front and center as users spend more time scrolling through their feeds and absorbing new content.
Need inspiration? Check out how BHLDN is promoting their remote appointments on Instagram:
3. Website placement
When businesses closed during the pandemic, their website became the new “storefront.” Websites remain a vital source of information for your current and prospective customers, so ensure that your site is updated to reflect your current offerings, and add remote appointments as a service.
Check out how Bank of America features appointments on their website:
In retail, it’s becoming de rigeur sales associates to establish personalities online. In fact, associates are opening Instagram and TikTok accounts to tout their favorite items and provide tips and advice to top prospects and customers. Each post ends with a call to action to set up a remote appointment.
Similarly, we’re seeing the same trend in blogs. From banks touting experts in saving or long-term investing, to retailers introducing opinions and interviews with product experts, blogs are a great vehicle for offering remote appointments. They capture interest, educate and leave the consumer wanting more. And it’s direct and personal.
See how British jeweller, Ernest Jones, is doing just that.
5. Customer outreach
Have employees reach out directly to your VIP customers. Your top customers and prospects would welcome the white glove approach, the personalized, one-to-one, and convenient experience that remote appointments have to offer. Not only is this a great way to schedule more appointments, it is also a great way to build deeper customer relationships that improve loyalty.
And as a follow up to each remote appointment, leverage the follow-up survey to find out how each customer found the experience. The feedback can provide great quotes for the site, especially the Contact Us page, or provide insight on how the solution might be optimized.
And since it’s been a rough year, we’re going to throw in a sixth suggestion on how to promote remote appointments. Leverage hold time. When a customer calls into a business, include a recording that says “head to the site and sign up for a remote appointment with an expert.” It’s instructional, prescriptive and a great alternative to some of that awful hold music!
Want to learn additional ways to promote your remote appointment options? Then don’t miss our helpful, industry-specific guides! Each has promotion ideas, industry examples, and tips to help supercharge your campaigns.
Don’t miss our helpful, industry-specific guides! Each has promotion ideas, industry examples, and tips to help supercharge your campaigns.