Customer support is among the most crucial services you provide, and if you do it well, then you can turn your customer service into your greatest marketing tool.
Small business marketing and customer service are often treated as separate entities within many companies, and this can cause problems for prospective clients, existing customers, and your business’s bottom line. Overall, when customer service and marketing work together, it creates a seamless and positive customer experience that will create brand loyalty, a positive reputation, and satisfied customers who spread the word about you.
The Problem with Dividing Marketing and Customer Service
When marketing and customer support teams don’t work together, there’s one main consequence: customer dissatisfaction. Not only is this bad for the customer, but it’s also bad for business. Unhappy customers won’t come back, they won’t sing your praises, and they will write bad reviews. In other words, unhappy customers can give you a bad name, and that means you’ll have to work doubly hard at reputation management. Here’s what can happen when marketing and support don’t align their goals and approach:
• Prospects get promised one thing but delivered another
• Marketing and support may reach out to the same customer separately, wasting resources and annoying prospects
• Your brand won’t be cohesive
• Uncoordinated efforts will lead to missed opportunities
• Customer service requests won’t be dealt with in a timely manner
Benefits of an Aligned Approach
When customer support and marketing work in tandem, your brand becomes a united front, and this is great for brand development and recognition. It’s the difference between calling a company eight times and getting stuck in an endless loop with an interactive voice response system versus calling once and having your call answered by a real human who takes care of your concerns.
When marketing and support work together, the result is a streamlined process that makes customers feel important, and this generates loyalty to your brand, creates repeat customers, and turns past clients into advocates.
Putting It into Practice: Turning Customer Service into a Marketing Tool
Instead of seeing marketing and customer service as separate entities, both departments must realize there’s a shared responsibility for the overall customer experience. To start, open the lines of communication between marketing and support, and get everybody on the same page in terms of goals, roles, responsibilities, marketing messages, and knowing exactly what you provide customers. A good way to do this is with a customer relationship management program that lets you manage and track the interactions you have with individual customers.
Next, make sure everybody is familiar with the buyer’s journey and your specific buyer personas because having a solid understanding of your customer base, their needs, their wants, and their pain points will allow both marketing and support to provide the best experience possible.
Finally, it’s crucial to realize that customers today are demanding multichannel options for customer service. Most customers want immediate results when they seek out customer support, and that means making yourself available on all the channels where your customers are, such as:
• Online chat
• Social media pages
• Self-serve portals
Along with great content, local SEO, and customized strategies, customer service is one of the best marketing tools you have at your disposal, because happy customers will come back, will tell their friends and family, and will become loyal advocates for your brand. FireRock Marketing specializes in helping businesses build and manage positive brand reputations. Schedule a consult now.