Part 2: Why Customer Service should be tightly integrated with your marketing strategy—and vice versa
The Internet has been both a blessing and a curse for businesses. Through the web, far more customers are exposed to a business’s products and services. At the same time, however, the Internet also de-emphasizes the personal bonds that have traditionally been forged between a business and its customers—largely a consequence of the difficulty making personal human connections online. Increasingly, customers make purchasing decisions based on impersonal factors like price and convenience. To combat the increased commoditization of the marketplace, businesses need to stand out. And the optimal way to accomplish this is by providing a first-rate, differentiated Customer Service experience from the very moment someone engages with your brand.
Customer Service is an intangible factor that can quickly set a business apart from its competition and foster an intense emotional connection with the marketplace. That’s why it’s such a powerful and essential addition to any marketing strategy. As we explained in ourprevious blogpost about CSM Marketing,even having a 360-degree view of a customer by way of your internal Customer Service Management platform is only part of the bigger whole of “knowing” your customers inside and out; customers today are simply exposed to too much information and involved in too many interactions that are not being captured by 360-degree customer views. Let’s explore five reasons that it makes sense to tightly integrate your Customer Service into your marketing strategy:
Your customers are connecting with you via multiple channels: A traditional marketing strategy is built around connecting with customers through email programs, advertising, website visits, etc. These channels, however, are not where your customers are connecting with you on a human level. The human connection happens primarily via your contact center—home to perhaps a dozen Customer Service channels, from web chats to social media to traditional phone calls and follow-up emails. That’s why you want to build a marketing strategy that integrates with the activities taking place within your contact center—and vice versa. It’s more critical than ever to have marketing and Customer Service work together to create a consistent brand image and meaning.
Sales and marketing are moving onto channels designed for customer interactivity: While the idea of building a marketing strategy around your Customer Service channels may sound like too much work or perhaps a pie-in-the-sky concept, consider that sales and marketing also have started to embrace these channels as well. For example, it’s common for sales and marketing to view social media as more than just a self-promotional tool; sales and marketing often will partner with Customer Service to respond to customer queries on social media as well. As sales and marketing increasingly migrate to customer-facing channels that involve a human-to-human live interaction, it will be logical to partner with Customer Service to build robust, next-generation marketing strategies.
Customer Service Management is designed to optimize outcomes: Through sophisticated Customer Service Management platforms like the one offered by ServiceNow, you can aggregate and analyze Customer Service data to track what resonates with your customers and what they respond to. By pulling in this data and placing it alongside data from your marketing automation platform(s), your 360-degree view becomes more complete. You’ll be able to use these actionable business insights to build a data-based marketing strategy around enhanced customer interactions and engagement.
You can use Customer Service analytics to predict what your customers will want: The goal of marketing-based analytics is to predict customer buying patterns and trends—before your customers even realize what they want. Customer Service analytics add an entirely new dimension of insights to these predictive analytics, enabling you to more accurately understand what motivates customers to act on vs. delay a purchasing decision. Arming your Customer Service agents with these insights allows them to offer further assistance to customers, as well as contribute to generating more revenue through upsell opportunities. These changes, in turn, will give them a greater sense of purpose in their day-to-day functioning.
You can seamlessly connect other departments to your customers: Customer Service is a department that connects customers—directly and indirectly—to numerous other departments across your organization, including engineering, IT, field services, operations, and finance. When you tightly tie together Customer Service with your marketing strategy, you’re tapping into the power of this interconnected ecosystem to deliver added value to your customers. This added value, in turn, translates to additional business insights that increase customer satisfaction and sales.
A marketing strategy that only relies on the traditional promotional and branding actions is no longer adequate to remain competitive. Customer Service is increasingly where customers engage meaningfully with your company—and thus where actionable business insights are just waiting to be mined. Tightly integrating these two areas through process and platforms truly completes the 360-view of the customer. Moreover, with the evolution of Customer Service Management platforms, the field is riper than ever for you to glean actionable insights from Customer Service and to use its analytical capabilities to proactively predict what your customers will want. In turn, these insights will help other departments across your organization to build strategies for improving and creating new services and products.
In the next blog post, we’ll explore how Customer Service Management has evolved to a point where you are no longer just reacting to your customers’ queries. Now you can use sophisticated data analytics to proactively anticipate and respond to your customers’ needs—before your customers even realize they have these needs.
Other posts in this Customer Experience blog series: Part 1