Many small businesses don’t, upon first inspection, realize the crucial interdependence shared between marketing and customer service. This is from a failure to recognize marketing as much more than the attraction of leads and their progressing down the funnel. Marketing tools, like live chats on your website, surveys, social media, content, etc. all act as extensions of your customer service. These tools that you created to bring customers in are actually just as crucial, and, in some cases and contexts, more important as a customer service tool. Part of any good customer service effort should lie in ascertaining the satisfaction or dissatisfaction from the people you serve, both positive and negative. This is where strategically employed tools can delight customers, or, if they had unmet expectations, help them have a good experience with your brand before they take it to the public by spreading negative reviews.
With more tools than ever now that collect data on what your customers are most likely to have questions about or what they want to find on the website, you can design automated chatbots to anticipate these inquiries and help visitors get to the content they want as easily and efficiently as possible. People want to get to the information that they are looking for quickly. They simply won’t spend the time searching and need a seamless experience. If they feel that the process is cumbersome and non-intuitive, they’ll simply go to another competitor that can offer a website that will lay things out more clearly. This is why you simply must have the means to quickly help out a website visitor in as few steps as possible and point them to content that is thorough, helpful, and easily accessible.
Social media is many times underestimated in its capacity for customer service use. Lots of customers follow the businesses they buy from and they see it as a platform to ask questions, voice complaints, keep up to date with urgent announcement, etc. Don’t forget that social media is a two way communication channel. Social users consider this to be a customer service line and they expect to be answered, and relatively quickly. Here are some interesting statistics:
- 76% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand they feel connected to on social media than its competitors.
- 42% of consumers expect a response from a brand within an hour of contacting them through social.
Wow, this is a big responsibility and one you can’t ignore. You have to be delivering engaging, valuable content and you have to be there to field inquiries that your users have. Not to mention, responding quickly to each person that inquires on your Facebook page will get you a badge that shows visitors that you’re a responsive and reliable company. This gives immediate clout and reassurance to potential customers by demonstrating that they’ll be able to reach out and get their problems/feedback addressed.
This isn’t the only use of social media, however. One of the biggest implicit benefits of social media is social listening. This is done by searching conversations that are happening about your product and/or industry. Not everyone is going to tag your business when talking about a product or service you sell. You need to seek out conversations that people are having within the sphere you do business in that contain positive/negative views, experiences, and apprehensions towards buying or using the product or service you sell. After you gather this feedback into a significant data set, you can classify the highest volume and most prominent issues that your customers run into. Leveraging this insight, you should be taking this feedback and supplying the answers to these questions in social media content for both prospects and customers.
When someone converts on your website as a prospect and they get enrolled in a drip campaign, make sure they’re getting emails that contain or connect them with content that answers the things they should know or will want to know at each stage in the buyer’s journey (whether it be before, during, or after the sale). In this effect, content is also acts as a form of customer service. The more content you can produce before and after a transaction that give people the relevant information they are looking for; it will make your audience both happier and less likely that they will need to reach out for simple requests that tie up your personnel.
If you anticipate the information visitors will need (much like the chatbot), then you can craft great content they can refer to that will help them utilize your product or service to a greater extent because they will know more about it by guiding them through the best ways to use it that will help them benefit from it the most. This not only empowers your consumer, but it offers reliable, consistent material for them. Therefore reducing the amount of time spent occupying your customer service personnel and allowing them to concentrate on tasks that can deliver even greater value to your consumers.
An integral part of any good customer service plan is doing your keyword and search term research to see what information searchers are seeking. Once you have this, you want to develop thorough, helpful, and easily accessible content that answers those inquiries. After all, being the company that supplies the answers to the things visitors need to know before they’re even a customer or after they’ve bought will attract potential customers and keep current customers happy.
I hope I have made things a little bit clearer in the interdependence of marketing and customer service. All of your marketing tools, methodologies, and workflows should be cognizant of and designed to enhance the reach and effectiveness of your customer service. It isn’t always clear how existing marketing facets interact with marketing or how they can be tweaked to make your customer service experience more efficient. You need to first figure out what each marketing channel is trying to accomplish. After you have the marketing objective, think about the implications that your marketing has on or for customer service aspects. How can you create well-optimized marketing efforts that also meet the needs of closely related customer service functions? If you take a little time to think about this, you can create content, workflows, and processes that help to augment the effectiveness of the entire organization through leveraging strong inter-connectivity.