Your customer hasn’t gotten back to you. Does this mean they’re happy and busy? Or are they quietly researching other vendors? Or maybe you caught them while traveling and your non-urgent email is now buried in an inbox.
Either way, you’ve spent time emailing, calling, and following up to ensure that every customer is progressing and achieving their goals. Here are 3 helpful tips to help unresponsive customers engage with you.
How do you make it easy for clients to get back to you while saving them (and you) valuable hours?
3 Tips to Help Unresponsive Clients Respond
1. Send a Calendar Invite
Calendar invites are the unicorn of customer success. A magical being with unexplained powers that no one can resist. I’ve sent hundreds of invites and only a handful have been turned down with no explanation.
Invites can happen a few ways:
a. Send a Calendar Invite on the First Email
“I’ll send an invite for Tues, Feb 16 at 2pm, but let me know if another time works better.”
“I’ll put a time on the calendar to get things started, but we can adjust based on what’s convenient for you.”
If the topic at hand can be resolved via email, this could be overkill. While some people prefer to get a calendar invite as soon as possible (like me!), others find it pushy. Especially if it’s the first interaction.
b. Use a Scheduling Tool
Scheduling tools (we love Calendly) can be a very effective, non-pushy “first email” option. Clients can opt in and pick a time that works best for them. These tools are also great when clients proactively ask for a call. It adds a few steps for clients, but saves time and hassle on scheduling back and forth.
Scheduling tools can be seen as less pushy and gives client a chance to reply via email if appropriate. Explain that you’re sending an invite to make it easier on the client. It’s more efficient rather than going back and forth on times.
c. Send an Invite with the Time You’re Going to Try to Call
Send an invite for the time you are going to try them via phone. I use this technique if I’ve emailed twice or my other invites have been declined with no response. This can increase the likelihood that they’ll be at their desk. Bonus: it also holds you accountable to follow up.
Protip: Put your company’s name and their company’s name in the subject of the calendar invite. It gives both parties context about the meeting. It’s easy to name it something that makes sense to you instead of what will make sense to your customer.
Some time ago, we were onboarding a very smart and busy customer. We knew they could handle most things themselves (see: very smart), but we still wanted to give good service and understand what was happening on their end. After 3 outreach attempts with no reply, we sent the following:
When Multiple Choice Answers Work Well
Multiple choice options also work well in support when you’re wondering if the client is:
- All set! Instructions worked and everything operates as expected.
- Busy and hasn’t had time to revisit yet. A check-in one week from now would be great.
- Running into some challenges or questions. 20 minutes for a call and screenshare?
You can turn these into official surveys but they lose the personalized feel and may not elicit the same response. (Then you have to create personalized templates to follow up with the automated survey…) We keep the emailing efficient with aText.
3. Ask Only One Question.
We want to know what’s going on with clients. Client success professionals are drawn to the work because they genuinely care about people and businesses. They want to help and they need information to help.
Some clients will share lots of information or will answer any question you ask. But if your questions are wallowing unanswered in an inbox, it’s time to adjust the strategy and…
Ask only one question.
Marketing professionals are familiar with the concept of “call-to-action.” If a page has too many links to click, conversion rates go down because people get overwhelmed with too many options.
So keep it simple. What is the one question you really want to ask? What is the key piece of information you need to know?
If the client replies, you can always follow up. Less is more, shorter is better.
Make it easy on your clients. Save them time. Keep the monkey off their back by making it quick and efficient to engage with you.
There you have it. 3 tips to help you engage unresponsive customers. For me, the goal is to find ways to start the conversation again. This is how I can really start making a positive impact as a customer success leader. I love this simple truth— the art of true relationship building starts with honest and open communication.
Have you found other ways to get replies from unresponsive clients? Or ways to make it easier and more efficient for clients to interact with you?
Check out our resources below for more customer success best practices and insights for how your organization can approach customer success with the customer at the center:
6 Listening Techniques of Great Customer Success Leaders
Learn more about how ClientSuccess can help your company develop a strong customer success methodology and strategy with easy-to-use customer success software by requesting a 30-minute demo.