Linking Marketing and Customer Service

08/02/2014 | By | Reply More

Customers ViewLinking Marketing and Customer Service

According to a recent survey it was noted that 75% of marketing activity is used for customer service within social media. Proving that marketing teams and customer service teams now need to collaborate to consistently improve the customer relationship with the company/brand.
Also identified within the survey it was established that only 26% of the respondents would describe the customer service department as a contributor to leading social media strategies to enhance customer experience. This is obviously the wrong way round!
To help you understand why it is important that customer service teams and marketing departments would benefit from being aligned we have outlined some potential reasons why they should:
Let’s start with social media as we have already made reference to it….
Many companies are using social media as a customer service support function. However the question is this, is a marketer as qualified to answer customer service issues/challenges in comparison to the head of customer service? Would it not make complete sense that you would utilise the skills of the customer service team to improve the customer experience? You would think that seeing as they are the front line there experience, training and understanding of what the customer challenges are would be invaluable input to the marketing strategy?
In today’s internet society there are so many easy to use apps and software that could be given to customer service to aid the marketing team in their social media strategy. These apps/software are easily configured to direct support queries/issue directly to the team that has the right answers and solutions. Creating this system of support through the use of social media and apps/software is a cost effective and speedy solution to linking both departments with the end goal of the customer receiving an excellent overall experience with your company/brand.

Creating ContentSocial Media Training

As we are should all be aware content is king when it comes to ranking well on the internet. Unique, engaging and useful content across all internet channels makes a huge difference to the perception of the company, its brand and products/services. To furnish this requirement marketing departments are in constant need of fresh/new content that can be posted around their mediums.
Of course customer services departments are in constant dialogue with your customers day in day out, they are receiving both good and bad news direct from your customers, they will be the first to know about how well a product has been received, any issues with it, good news stories about successful service as well as the horror stories where it has failed. This department by default is a rich deposit for content if mined properly.
Setting up a system to mine this information should be a priority for any marketing team, as they say a problem shared is a problem halved, case studies, faq’s about products, reassurance statements that you are fixing a product defect, or service issue all come from the customer service department.
This type of interaction between the two departments is also extremely current and follows what’s on the customers mind right now; regular interaction and data mining from customer service should enable you to become a proactive marketing team with fresh and current things to say to your customers each month. As compelling reason in itself to ensure that customer service and marketing are allied.
Mining this resource shouldn’t be too complicated or time consuming either, set up an internal blogging system where customer services team members can quickly input their content daily/weekly without long drawn out meetings!

Customer perspective Do you know your Buyer Personas?

We should understand the types of buyers our company attracts and marketing teams spend a great deal of time and analysis trying to get to know who their target customers are. This information helps you to understand the customer needs/wants issues and interests. Gaining a deeper insight into the buyer persona has a multitude of benefits to the marketing team and the marketing strategy.
So we have agreed that a better understanding is vital to successful marketing but where could you easily get this information, you’ve guessed it from the customer service department. Again, they are in direct daily contact with the client base and understand very well the types of customers that are using/buying your service/product.
All you have to do is create a simple to use system to mine this information from your customer service teams, perhaps, as we mentioned before you could utilise a third party app or piece of software, providing a low cost data flow from them to you. Set the right questions that can be answered easily and quickly (they do have customers to deal with!), discuss with the team why it is important and how it benefits the company and of course, them! If you can solve a customer problem through effective marketing the less communication the customer services team will have from complaining customers! As with anything what’s in it for me always works well when you are asking the customer service team to invest just that bit more in to the company. We understand that spending all day usually dealing with customer issues can be at best soul destroying! By asking the teams to help you identify your customers and the related issues can only be a long term benefit to both the customer service team and the customer!
From a sales aspect too, understanding the buyer persona more deeply often can lead to better quality sales leads and faster buying cycles, the most successful companies understand the symbolism between all 3 areas and exploit the relationships to their full potential – see our article on marketing and sales click here –

Customer Perception magnifierCustomer Expectations

Customer churn is an on-going battle with marketing departments, although we all think we get it right our customers often tell a different story and with the internet being such an easy tool nowadays for our customers to be wooed by our competitors the prevention of customer loss is even more important. Why would you have a customer service team if this wasn’t the case? Even the big boys have recognised this and have set up retention teams for this very purpose, ever tried to more away from a mobile supplier! Doesn’t matter that you want to leave because you can’t actually get a signal and can’t use it you are still sent to the retention team!
To help the churn the management of customer expectation is crucial as if your customer thinks they are going to receive gold and only get silver then the likely hood for churn is extremely high. So how do our new found allies in the customer service help here?
Well, customer Service can notify you of instances when inadequate or misleading expectations have been set, since members of your customer service team will likely be the ones to stumble across these inconsistencies. Then, as a marketer, you’ll be able to modify your campaigns to better set expectations for potential customers, thus mitigating the churn with the correct expectations set, in our analogy – they asked for gold they got gold and not silver.
Messaging & Communications

So we have established that the customer service team are a rich resource right on your doorstep, but we bet you also forget to let them know about promotions and offers, the sales team of course will be the first to know as they will be hungry to sell, but have you made the customer service team aware?
The easiest number to get for your company is not the sales number but the, right you’ve guessed, the customer service number. Spend time with them as not only can they provide the answers to the questions but we’re sure they may well drum up some sales themselves. Don’t just tell them it’s happening either, show them. What if you are setting up a webinar or selling a new eproduct does your customer service team know who to access it and could they direct a customer over the phone to right location, or indeed if they need to do something else to claim the offer.
So in conclusion using your customer service team wisely is an untapped resource that could provide huge benefit to the company, its marketing strategy and its customer base. To find out more about strategic marketing click here

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Category: Marketing & Sales Strategy, Recent Posts

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