Making email confirmations more useful

13Mar09

Although online pioneers like Amazon provide very detailed emails after you complete a transaction, some companies are going the opposite route. Rather than telling you what took place, they just send an email with a generic message, e.g. “We completed your transaction — please log in to the website to view the transaction details.” This might seem like the easy and secure way to handle things, but it’s also a hassle. By requiring another step beyond reading the email itself, these confirmation messages take up more of the customer’s valuable time.

As a compromise, email confirmations should include just enough detail to see what took place, without disclosing any private information. For example, a mutual fund confirmation might show the name of the fund and whether shares were bought or sold, but probably shouldn’t say the number of shares, price, or account number. With this small improvement, customers won’t have to log in to the site after every routine transaction. They’ll spot the relevant details in the email, and in most cases, that’s all they need to feel confident in what took place. And by saving them time with every interaction, you should end up with higher customer retention and increased word of mouth referrals.



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