Full disclosure: I used Canva to craft the header for this post.
I really do love your product and rely on it every day but your customer relationship building could use some work. (aka don’t do this)…
As you can read, Zach from Canva sent me an email to “personally” talk to me (to me, or at me?) about…
- How much I use their product..apparently a lot.
- How blown away they are by the stories they hear about someone like me using their product…a lot.
- How much their work feels vindicated because of these stories they hear about my activity.
- Me being such an active user that I should give them more money.
I have so many questions. Who is telling these stories? Doesn’t Canva use data to confirm site visits so they don’t need to rely on stories? Is there a campfire that these stories are told around? If I’m such an active user, wouldn’t I have heard of “Canva for Work?” And if this was such a personal message, wouldn’t they know that I actually do use “Canva for Work”?
Sorry, I’m really not trying to be snarky. I’m just trying to prove a point: we can communicate better. The intent from Canva was a good one, to reach out and personally connect with a loyal and active customer. This is the essence of building strong customer relationships that last for years. Not just relying on the purchase, but really trying to build a loyal following through a personal connection.
However, when you send an email like this, it can actually have the reverse effect.
Here are three ways it can actually damage your relationship, and some solutions on how to get back on track:
- DAMAGE: The tone comes off dick-ish. “It’s not everyday that we reach out to users personally“. So you’re doing me a favour by treating me special by taking the time out of your busy day to grace me with your presence. That’s not the kind of person I want to have a relationship with.
SOLUTION: Actually do reach out to customers personally, everyday. The best way to build a relationship is to be a part of their lives. Treat them as creative humans who are expressing themselves, their non-profits, their communities, their businesses with your tool. These are interesting people doing interesting things. You should get to know them.
- DAMAGE: When you say “reach out to users personally” and then express it in a form letter that is anything but personal, you’re not showing you value me as an individual customer. “Hey there” to you too.
SOLUTION: Look at your customer data and opportunities to personalize your communication. Do you know where they are from? What kind of content they create with your product? How frequently they use your product? There has to be something there where you can actually be personal in your approach. Hell, even using my name would make this email more personal. Just one or two personal touches can really make someone feel they are valued.
- DAMAGE: Sending a “personal” note that really is just a way to get them to buy something.
SOLUTION #1: By understanding your customers better, you’ll have a better idea if your product is or isn’t right for them. Talk to them like people, who you know and care about, offering your service as a fix to a problem they may have. The reason Amazon is considered a leader in customer service experience and not “creepy” with its spot on product suggestions is that it’s offering people what they want based on their search preferences. Why would I want Canva for Work other than that it provides you more money? Help me. Our relationship will only benefit.
SOLUTION #2: Just say thank you. Period. No selling. Appreciate your customers for being your customers.
I love Canva. I think it’s a great product that allows me to quickly put together some pretty great graphics. But I’m not loyal to them at this point. This email was a great opportunity to tip the scale in their favour, but sadly came off as uncaring and self-serving. Please communicate better.
Treat relationship building as if you’re sending a message to a friend, and you want to strengthen that friendship. We’re talking about relationships here after all, so let’s look at it as if it’s a personal, human one. If you were my friend, sending me this email, I’d be pissed.
Any form letter fun you’d like to share? Please do so below. I’d love to hear them.
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