How strong is your relationship with the head of customer/client services?
In my experience, so many businesses get it wrong when it comes to the relationship between their marketing and their customer service.
From small firms through to business owners and corporate giants, many businesses prioritise opening up the funnel to attract new clients, instead of focussing on the loyal ones with which they already have a relationship.
I’ve worked with so many customers over the years who request a strategy to entice in new customers, but it often becomes apparent that the customer experience that currently exists is not as good as it could be.
Putting existing customers first
In a lot of cases, businesses don’t actually need more people in the funnel. They already have a vast network of customers that subscribe to their services, and yet companies are not tapping into this vital resource.
These people are the most obvious to target first and foremost – those that know, trust, and use your business already. A lack of understanding about the power of customer service is frustrating, and I’ve witnessed it many times first hand.
Businesses can have an excellent product or service that they believe in, and that’s authentic, but they then neglect the customer service. Good customer service IS your marketing, especially online, and the same in return. Yet, this fundamental premise is often missed.
When you start to talk it through with clients and explain it, there is usually a lightbulb moment. I’d even go as far as to suggest that 50% of marketing budget should be about pleasing existing customers. Work hard on the people that know and trust you, and they’ll be sure to spread the word for you.
I often find it is the top down that is the problem, the board don’t value marketing enough, and the structure of most organisations puts a barrier in the way for marketing to work well with customer services.
When marketing and customer service works well
Strategies used by big companies to engage customer are often the result of the effective overlap between Marketing and Customer Service teams:
We’ve all seen debates on social media where someone asks for advice on whether to switch from an iPhone or Mac to an Android phone or PC (or vice versa).
It usually only takes a matter of minutes before loyal Apple customers quickly come to the passionate defence of the brand and list a host of reasons why their products are “better.”
As an early adopter, I first got a mobile phone back in 1992 – wow it was a brick! So, what did I love about Orange? They took the worst moment in the customer lifecycle – getting the bill – and created an atmosphere of excitement around it.
A great customer service and engagement strategy is making ‘exciting moments.’
With each bill came a free gift, from a blow-up beach ball through to a squeezy toy! A negative experience was transformed into a positive one, I couldn’t wait for my next bill!
I recently came across this footware brand when looking for a present and what a marketing strategy in customer service they have!! I instantly loved their consistent visual marketing on social media. I even made them first in my newsfeed in anticipation of offers – that was the impact of their correspondence!
When their sale started, love it or hate it I entered a queue to get onto their website. It was a very clever tactic. Leave the page, and you go to the back of the queue. Stay, and once you’re in, you only have one hour to shop.
This created an experience that was high-end, exclusive, and exciting. Now I was in the buying mindset, I bought some full-priced shoes anyway. The page content, email confirmation, delivery and exchange process were all quick and efficient; I was left feeling they were rocking it with their customer service!!
I recently saw the Nando’s Peri Peri Success StoryChannel 5 documentary. Although the show got awful reviews, what jumped out at me was the story of paying at the start of a meal, taking the pain away of ending the night and not thinking about how much it just cost!
The whole experience is also personalised – you order everything just the way you want it, which makes you feel like you have created your own bespoke meal. All in all, a great customer experience that people talk about.
6 Reasons marketing and customer service should work together
- Customer insight– Marketing teams can get to know their audience better by working directly with those who deal with customers every day. By understanding the data, profile, and needs of customers, Marketing can improve campaigns through more targeted channels.
- Social media support– Customer Services can help Marketing deal with customer queries and complaints via company social media accounts. Issues can be resolved far quicker, leading to better experience and reviews. However, training in the company brand and persona is vital in how responses are crafted online.
- Content generation– Customer Services can help Marketing with a steady flow of direct feedback, case studies, and positive reviews from customers. This frontline news is great when trying to think creatively about regular content creation.
- New products and services– customer feedback can also lead to the creation of new and innovative services and products offered by companies. The knowledge of Customer Services and the feedback they hear can influence how the business is shaped to the needs of customers.
- Unified messages– by working together, all messages are consistent in tone and language use. Both Customer Services and Marketing are ambassadors for a company. Marketing can also assist Customer Services with branded templates and content.
- Shared vision– both teams need to have the same goals and strategies in place to represent the business in a unified manner. If done well, this should result in better reviews, PR outcomes, and the retention of clients.