People may remember specific ad campaigns, funny commercials or posters they see on public transport, but it’s often your excellent customer service that customers end up telling their friends about. What comes first, though — the marketing or the customer service? The truth is, while these two separate parts of your business — a marketing team and a customer support team — are indeed distinct groups, there’s profound potential for them to work together for the ultimate success of your company.
Here are seven reasons it’s time to start lowering the walls and integrate customer service with the work of your marketing team. Together they create the ultimate customer relationships that will keep business booming for a long time.
1. You can create a more cohesive experience for your client.
The first thing to realize is that these two areas of your business — customer service efforts and marketing strategy — have a unique relationship and therefore a special opportunity. Your marketing team draws customers in with brand ideals and sets the bar for their expectations. Meanwhile, your customer service teams have the responsibility to deliver on those ideals and bring the brand experience to life.
Your marketing and customer service teams depend on each other to deliver the ultimate customer experience. However, marketing and customer service are traditionally two separate teams of any business. To achieve the best possible outcome — for your customers and longterm business success — it’s important to lower the walls between the two departments and find ways to work together.
2. Work Together for Social Media Support
Lots of people reach out to brands online through platforms like Twitter and Instagram when they have a customer complaint or experience poor customer service. They’re often looking for help — and quick. There is where open communication between marketing and customer service departments can really help. Social media managers traditionally fall under the marketing department, but your customer service department is much more adept at handling specific customer complaints and any issues that inevitably come across your brand’s social media platforms.
While your brand’s social media management team carries out effective marketing campaigns online and are experts at speaking in the tone and voice of the brand, they won’t know the detailed ins and outs of what can be done to remedy customer experience issues. How customers are treated on social media platforms will make a lasting impression and speak to your overall brand (not to mention easily watched by thousands or millions of bystanders) so you may want to consider a few options for building cross departmental collaboration:
- Regular meetings between the departments
- Having customer support reps on call for your social media marketing team to contact to with questions and issues
- Extra training for your social media management team on the most frequent customer service issues
3. Content Creation
Social media managers are tasked with consistent content creation. They are constantly having to create content for the various platforms they manage. While these professionals absolutely have a knack for online marketing efforts, have you considered how your customer service teams can collaborate as a source for content? Think about it: these teams interact with customers, hearing their stories, issues and questions day in and day out. Interviewing customer service team members may open a vault of great potential content for your marketing team to spin into social media gold.
4. Developing Brand Personas
All brands develop buyer personas for the customers they are targeting for business. These characters are well developed and layered, built to answer questions related to your target audience — everything from the persona’s deepest emotional desires to favorite weekend hobbies — through layered market research, interviews, and marketing team meetings. What the marketing teams might not be considering with these profiles, though, is how much real-life data a customer support team can add.
Think about it: it’s your customer service team that speaks with and serves these actual living, breathing people day in and day out. They’re having the conversations with all the good intel on customers’ likes, dislikes, interest about your product, questions, issues, and more. They understand customers with the kind of insight marketing teams dream about.
So, as marketing teams continue to build these personas, they would do well to consider who within their own company interacts with and understands customers — and then dive into the treasure trove of information and valuable insight customer service reps have to offer.
5. Customer Service Teams are internal brand reps and should be trained as such.
Marketing departments have a real opportunity to continue building a customer’s experience as customers interact with the customer service team. Because your service team is fielding customer related questions constantly and has a huge impact on customer happiness, they should be seen as a critical piece of the process and pulled in as successful marketers themselves.
We all know from our own experiences that every conversation a customer has with a service rep will leave an impression that’s tightly connected to the company. It’s in the company’s best efforts, then, for the marketing team to train customer service reps on how to represent the company. This training will always be more successful when there is an overall comfort level between the two departments. Working together and seeing each team as an asset in the overall goal of serving customers with excellent service will go a long way in the success of the company.
6. Find Future Brand Advocates
If your marketing team is searching for stories for a new campaign, getting ideas for new marketing initiatives, or looking for new brand advocates to represent the company, a great place to start is a conversation with your customer support team. Think about it — these are the people who are on customer calls regularly and hear all kinds of information, including great customer stories. They are the people in your company who are constantly communicating with happy customers, target customers, existing customers — and everything in between. No one knows your customers, including the extra enthusiastic existing customer who can become a brand advocate, better than them.
Building a a strong relationship between your marketing and customer support will only lead to this kind of valuable information being shared more freely. Brand advocates can reach new customers in ways that you cannot and no one knows customer needs like the customer service team.
7. Work together to create and run loyalty programs
Another area of business where your customer service and marketing teams will excel as a duo is the creation and running of customer loyalty programs. A loyalty program can achieve a number of goals:
- Better meet customer expectations
- Continually improve customer service
- Gain a better understanding of your most frequent customers, reward them for their loyalty, and keep them aligned with the brand
- Attract potential customers
- Up your company’s overall reputation
Because it’s crucial to understand what customers are looking for before marketers create a loyalty program, once again there’s no better team to turn to than customer service. A marketing team can glean a lot from their customer support representatives and then take that information and build a truly fantastic program. To market the customer service relationship (which is absolutely what a customer program does), any marketing department will need the help of their support teams.
Your Overall Marketing Strategy Depends on Both Teams
If you are looking for help in creating great customer service, integrating your support teams, or stepping ahead of your competition in the marketing and customer service arenas, the team at J.O. is here to help. We are passionate about customer feedback, dynamic marketing strategies, and helping you understand your customers. Let’s build a better customer experience together. You can start by contacting our team today.