Episode 98: Using Automation To Create A High-Touch, Authentic Customer Experience

Before we get started talking about marketing automation, I want to share a story that is highly relevant to the topic at hand. 

As you may (or may not) know, I live in the Seattle area, and it's pretty rainy around these parts for a good chunk of the year. And I don't mean a deluge of tons of rain falling down, but just damp all the time. My husband and I bought our house when it was just the foundation poured back in February of 2007, and we worked with the builder to customize a few things, and we moved in in August of 2007. So we've been here for a while.

Everything was brand new when we moved in, obviously, and over time, we have had to restain our decks so many times. I think maybe eight times in that twelve-year period. And I was just sick of doing it. The decks kind of always looked not so great. We would get them all restained, and then we would go into the fall, all these leaves would be coming down, the damp would be happening, and pretty soon, our decks just looked awful again. Our house is three stories, and we have three decks. The main entrance is on the second story, so there are 16 steps that go up to our front porch, plus there's a huge deck there. We have a deck off of our master bedroom, and then we also have a deck out back.

This year, I hit a point where I was SO sick of having to deal with this almost every single year and having it just look awful all the time. I hated having people come over and go through the front of our house because I just didn't like how it looked. Even though we take really good care of it, it still looks terrible.

We decided to replace our deck with composite decking so that we wouldn't have this problem. We started working to get bids and quotes back in March, and we finally got somebody to start the project. As we got into the project, they found that our builder had taken a bunch of shortcuts. Our front deck with the 16 stairs plus this 30-foot huge long deck wasn't properly supported, which meant we had to add all this budget for putting in support beams and all sorts of other things.

Then they started working on the deck off our master bedroom, and we found out that the whole deck was completely rotted.

Suddenly, this decking project that we were excited about had turned into a home improvement nightmare because our budget at this point was almost three times what we thought it was going to be.

Because our budget had spiraled so out of control — and we hadn't even touched our back deck yet — we needed to figure out a plan B for our funding here. 

We decided to take a look at a home equity loan or a line of credit. And I don't know about you, but when you're self-employed, trying to get a mortgage or a home loan can sometimes be a little interesting. You have to find a lender who understands how to read tax returns for self-employed people. I started looking around at all the different options that we had, and we ended up applying at three different places for a home equity line of credit.

One was Boeing Employees Credit Union, BECU. I won't tell you what the other two are because we ended up going with BECU. The other two were really interesting experiences because as soon as they saw I was I self-employed, they kicked me out of the automation, and I had to bring everything in before they would even accept the application. They essentially declined us before we even really applied!

So we ended up going with BECU, Boeing Employees Credit Union, and it was the coolest automation experience.

And that's why I'm telling you this story. A lot of times when people think of automation, they think that it's pushy and salesy and really not very customer friendly and all these kinds of things, and I had the opposite experience with BECU.

 the marketing funnel show, marketing funnel, marketing funnels the marketing funnel show, marketing funnel, marketing funnels 

Biggest Show Takeaways:

  • Automation should be designed to make things super easy for your customers. 
    • In my example with BECU, they gave me all the information that I wanted and the opportunity to self-serve. 
    • I could go through and do the calculators, and I could figure out what to ask for our loan and all that kind of stuff, and they made it really easy for me to just apply.
    • They automatically assigned me to a loan person who specialized in people who are self-employed (which is REALLY cool because that's somebody who knows how to read our tax returns and isn't going to get freaked out because I don't have a W2).
  • Automation can help you create a memorable and pleasurable customer experience. 
    • I applied at 10 o'clock on a Monday night. On Tuesday morning, I had an email and a call from the person that we were assigned to that said, “Hey, I'm really looking forward to working with you on this home loan. Everything's looking good. I just need a few more things from you, and here's how you can automatically upload them for me, so we can get this rolling right away today.”
    • We got the approval, and we figured out when we were going to go in and sign our documents. The person who did our loan wasn't going to be there to sign our documents because that person works in a central area, and we were going to go to a local place to sign our documents, but he made an appointment for us.
  • Automation can help you simplify your processes. 
    • I probably spent an hour and a half on getting this whole thing done. I was thinking it was going to take me weeks trying to gather everything and talk it all through. But because we were able to do so much through automation, the whole thing went so much faster than expected. 
    • Marketing funnels are an excellent place to begin looking at automation. 
      • At the beginning, there's a lot of stuff that you can automate. You're kind of giving your audience a buffet of things that they can learn from you, download from you, etc. You give them a lot of ways to interact with you, so they can decide if they want to move forward with you.
      • This frees you up so that you have a greater capacity to focus on the high-value, high-touch interactions with your audience that will get them to where they want to go faster.
      • You're not constantly having to, for example, write emails to stay in touch with new people. You can automate those sort of emails with a marketing funnel, and people can decide, yes, this is for me, or, no, this isn't. 
  • Ask yourself: How can I automate things upfront, so it feels really good for my audience?
  • Create Profit Without Worry — one system at a time. I’ll show you how to attract a steady flow of buyers without all the hustle with this free download →  5 Steps to Profit Without Worry.


Links mentioned in this episode: