Many brands and organizations are making it a priority to create a consistent and satisfying customer experience no matter what channel, department or individual the customer (or potential one) connects with.
But making the experience easy, consistent and consistently satisfying for the customer is hard work for most brands which are still typically departmentally and technologically siloed. And one of the most noticeable disconnects usually lies between marketing and customer service. Have you ever called or emailed customer service with a complaint about a product or service only to receive an email promoting the same product or service after?
With more and more marketing departments being told they own the customer experience, and more and more brands competing on it as a differentiator, close collaboration with customer service – which 76% of consumers view as the true test of their value to a brand – has never been more important. Here are five ways customer service can support marketing:
1. Deliver knowledge on what customers love (and hate). Front line service representatives and the feedback and insights they receive can let marketing know whether the brand should be investing in and launching that big product promotional campaign next month or whether customers just aren’t into what’s being pushed. Perhaps something needs changed or fixed – your customers can tell you.
According to Microsoft’s own State of Global Customer Service Report, 48% of global consumers don’t believe most brands take action on customer feedback. Imagine the positive perception – and greater connection on campaigns – for a brand that does.
2. Surface brand advocates. Customer service is a prime place to surface satisfied customers to serve as a voice of support for your organization – from a customer delighted that day by an above and beyond service experience, to an individual who’s used a brand’s product or service for decades.
Bestselling customer service author Shep Hyken says it best: “the company telling the story is one thing, but the customer telling the story is even better.” Make sure customer service is actively connected to customer story collection and creation.
3. Keep social sentiment and communications positive. When customer service and marketing collaborate closely, the brand’s social media properties and communication channels can proactively alert customers of, and with the help of customer service, address trending issues.
According to Microsoft’s own State of Global Customer Service Report, 77% of consumers have a more favorable view of a brand that offers proactive customer service alerts and notifications. Is your brand doing so?
4. Generate ideas for content. Customer service insights and analytics showing what keywords customers are searching for and the questions they’re asking via support channels, portals and communities can generate terrific topics for marketing to cover in communications.
These service-inspired keywords in blogs and online newsletters don’t hurt a brand’s SEO standings either. According to a recent survey, 60% of shoppers begin with a search engine to find the product or service they want.
5. Drive a customer service and customer experience differentiator. Customer service interactions usually represent moments of truth for a brand or organization. According to Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report, 60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a single poor customer service experience. Customer service can help drive the organization's brand promise, customer-focused messaging and service consistency across the channels and at the times that matter most to your customers – turning its view from a cost center to a value center – and driving a new differentiator for your brand.
Is your organization collaborating as well as it should be, or could be, across marketing and customer service?