Customer service and marketing are the new power couple of 2018.
The customer journey is a huge buzz word right now; there are more and more jobs cropping up for ‘Customer Journey Managers’ and ‘Head of Customer Experience’ and nailing your overall customer experience has become a core way of creating competitive advantage.
But it isn’t easy to deliver a seamless experience, there are many ways in which things can get duplicated, left too long and even wholly missed.
Businesses are assessing their internal set up to look for ways to keep continuity for the customer, and through this, an emerging synergy is developing between the customer service department and marketing.
Customers have numerous channels to be able to interact with a business, and many of these channels are open and in the public eye.
Businesses are more accountable than ever for the way in which they conduct themselves, and it is an ever-increasing challenge for marketing to keep a disaster at bay.
But, with the challenge comes high reward. Businesses are analysing the interactions they are having with customers to help shape their marketing strategies regarding both retention and acquisition.
The alignment between customer service and marketing means creating a formal programme in which the objectives for both marketing and customer service are defined yet both departments have common goals that encourage collaboration and communication.
Companies who have implemented an internal programme that aligns customer services and marketing have seen some impressive results including 7.6 times greater increase in annual retention and 55% greater annual increase in customer satisfaction.
So, what can marketing and customer service do to ensure they’re keeping the spark alive between their organisation and their customers?
1. Make your customer services a priority, not an afterthought
There is nothing worse than feeling you’ve been duped into purchasing something. You had a great relationship with the sales representative, and they were on hand to answer all your questions, responded in record time and found you the perfect solution. But, fast forward to purchase and suddenly the sales rep has disappeared, and your queries have been left unanswered.
The effort that has gone into acquiring that client should be the same effort that goes into retaining that client.
If the marketing and sales team have done their job correctly, they will have brought in new business through a genuine ability to solve a prospect’s issues. Therefore, customer service should not be about managing expectations set out in the sales process but resolving minor hiccups and answering customer queries that inevitably happens in every organisation.
Have marketing take customer service through the way in which they communicate with potential buyers. This will help keep continuity for the customer, and it will also set expectations for the customer services team. If the customer service team see a spike in queries of a particular nature, they should feedback these areas that marketing may not be efficiently explaining.
2. Always use the feedback from customer services to shape your marketing strategies
“your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”
But did you know that the average business only hears from 4% of its unhappy customers?
We work with companies on their client retention through over the phone interviews; it also acts as a customer service function, we catch up to see how things are going and what can be improved.
One significant finding we’ve concluded while offering these services is that customers are excited to be asked what they want to see next.
You’re essentially killing two birds with one stone here. You’re showing your current clients how much you value their input into your organisation by making your next business step about them. But, on top of this, you’re finding the unhappy customers before they up and leave without so much as a goodbye.
Your customer services department should be the putty in your leaky bucket, and their feedback should be a key ingredient to your future marketing strategies.
So, customer services had previously been seen as a necessary evil, but in a time where rivalry for market share is aggressive, marketing is using customer service as an opportunity to add value and diversify from the competition.
Customer Interviews by Sonnet: Find out more