If you own a business, you probably know that marketing can make the difference between its success and failure, but have you considered the importance of customer service? Good marketing can get you through the door, but it will only take you so far when it comes to actually retaining your customers.
That’s where customer service comes in. Excellent customer service, according to 89% of companies, greatly affects customer retention. In this article, we’ll teach you how to leverage this fact to your benefit, boosting overall customer satisfaction and ensuring that you have plenty of loyal clients for years to come.
Customer Service as Part of Your Marketing Strategy
Marketing generates leads, but it does little to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Meanwhile, customer service is all about the latter.
How can you achieve both?
The solution is a simple one: Unify your marketing and customer service teams. The difficult part, however, is finding out how to do just that. You’ll need to facilitate clear and effective communication between the two departments and make sure everyone is on the same page. Both teams must understand the overall business strategy, professional goals, plans, mission values, and brand identity.
Here are a few tips for making the most of your marketing and customer service teams:
1. Share roles across teams
There are many activities where a cross-over between marketing and customer service can be beneficial. With a little creativity, the sky’s the limit. To kick off your brainstorming, here are two examples to consider.
- Let CS help with marketing activity planning. Naturally, your CS teams have the most insight into the features and benefits that your existing customers value the most. Use their expertise to improve your promotions and ad campaign content. Let marketing focus on finding the most engaging ways to communicate it.
- Help CS upsell with marketing data. Marketing has access to data concerning the products and advertisements that people engage with the most. They can advise your customer service team on popular products and services to recommend to help solve common customer problems.
2. Build unified user personas
Creating user personas is a great way to measure the needs, wants, frustrations, and limitations that your customers encounter when doing business with you. Consolidate data from the customer service and marketing teams to create personas that account for multiple aspects of the customer experience. This will allow you to communicate more efficiently across both teams and increase customer retention.
Consider using personas to create customer service training materials for employees. Personas can assist in improving their communication skills or prepare them for stressful situations. Check out these customer service training examples for more ideas on how to make CS training more engaging and effective.
3. Use social media support
Most companies view their social media accounts exclusively as a vehicle for marketing. But these platforms should not only help you sell your product but also engage with your customers and provide excellent customer service.
For example, consider giving your CS team access to your social media sites so anyone can reach out to you via their favorite platform. Marketing can complement this by driving conversations around your brand through these channels, such as polls, surveys, social media campaigns, and advertisements.
4. Integrate support and marketing workflows
You’ll encounter several challenges when trying to improve customer service and satisfy your customers. Many of these challenges will require your support team to work alongside your marketing team. But these two departments frequently work in silos, making collaboration difficult.
Let’s say, for example, that a customer reaches out to your CS team due to a misunderstanding and a subsequent issue regarding one of your advertisements. Maybe the customer couldn’t get access to a free trial or discount that they thought they were entitled to. If CS has no idea what the client is talking about, they can’t appease them or satisfy their request.
Or perhaps, CS gets numerous reports of a feature not working but keeps it to themselves, while marketing continues to promote it, resulting in even more complaints.
By integrating shared workflows between departments, you can blend tasks and allow for easier collaboration, nipping these issues in the bud. And the best place to start is to integrate CRM tools that both teams can use.
Why it pays off to have good customer service
1. Good customer service turns first time buyers into loyal customers
Research has shown that 52% of customers go out of their way to purchase from companies with a loyal consumer base. Loyal customers reduce churn and keep your business profitable because it costs much less to sell to an existing customer than to a new one.
For example, take the concept of the “whale”. Whales are clients who purchase from you repeatedly and in large quantities, sometimes driving up to 90% of your revenue.
Later on in this article, we’ll address some techniques for identifying high-quality customers like these. We’ll also look into ways to create a fitting and nurturing environment for them.
2. Happy customers are your greatest advertising asset
Studies have found that 62% of customers will recommend a brand to a friend if they experience great customer service. At the same time, leads brought in by word of mouth were scored as a 4.28 out of 5, according to marketers. In a way, this makes existing customers more valuable than new ones.
So, what does this mean for you? If you want your business to grow steadily, efficiently, and at a minimal cost, invest in your customer service team. The money you spend on onboarding, training, and tech will translate into long-lasting, positive customer relationships. This will exponentially expand your customer base and revenue over time.
3. Lower customer churn rate
Customer churn rate is the percentage of customers who ditch your business over a given period. It tends to increase the more dissatisfied people are with your service.
If you’re losing customers rapidly, poor customer service could be the culprit. We’ll discuss how to fix this issue shortly, but let’s first take a look at some ways to reduce customer churn:
- Speed up ticket resolution through automation and more efficient processes.
- Personalize customer interactions.
- Diversify your communication channels.
4. Customers that feel understood invest more
Your customer service team is naturally close to your customers. After all, they are who customers reach out to first after encountering challenges. Training your customer service agents to listen and pay attention to your customers promotes understanding, cultivates a sense of trust, and aids in keeping them loyal to your business.
How to improve your existing customer support and service
Depending on your customers’ satisfaction following their interaction with your CS team, they will either remain or leave.
Here are a few tips to help your marketing and customer service teams work better together.
1. Build context-based support
Your customers want to feel valued. They are especially sensitive to your approach to solving their problems. Consider context-based support, which is when you provide customer support based on the customer’s unique situation and pain points. This is easier to do when your customer service team understands the scope of your customers’ challenges.
To achieve this, give out surveys asking customers how they feel about your product and services. You’ll receive all kinds of feedback and suggestions from customers. By analyzing survey results, you can sharpen the way you train your customer support team. This will help them meet new challenges with newfound accuracy, resulting in higher customer satisfaction.
2. Innovate your channels
Keep up with current trends to improve customer service and consistently satisfy your customers. To do this, keep an eye on your competition, subscribe to the social media channels of significant publications or idea-makers in the industry, deploy employee training, or do it all. The choice is yours; just keep your processes creative and innovative.
3. Balance human touch and automation
Your customers need to know that they are conversing with a human who understands them and not a chatbot that gives pre-recorded responses, or worse, humans reading off of a script monotonously.
On the other hand, if your customer service team handles all customers on an individual basis, they will be worn out and unable to perform effectively. Hence the importance of creating a balance between human touch and automation.
Issues can be directed to customer support when needed, while minor challenges should be handled with the appropriate software. In our other blog post, we go into more detail about this.
4. Personalize customer interactions
As previously mentioned, customers are people. They desire to feel heard, understood, and treated with respect. This is where personalization comes into play.
Some personalization best practices include:
- Addressing the customer by name
- Relating solutions and benefits to their unique use case
- Using language they understand
Try these out for yourself. You may find that having personalized customer conversations is a skill in itself.
Also, consider unique ways to train your customer service team. For example, playing fun CS-related team building games with them will result in happier, more informed employees, which means happier customers and a better-performing CS team overall. Taking initiatives like this will prepare your customer service agents for a wide variety of situations. You’ll discover the best ways to communicate with your team so that they know how to treat your customers the way they want and deserve to be treated.
In conclusion: Customer service is your best bet in marketing
By now, you should have a good understanding of what it takes to level up your customer service, unite it with marketing, and improve your business’s overall performance. But as always, this is only a part of the bigger picture for your marketing success.
Luckily, we can help with that, too. Check out our blog for more tips on growing your business, like the Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Brand Voice and Tone, where we outline everything you need to know in order to craft pitch-perfect advertisements.