Marketing is a vital part of the customer experience but is not the only one. Even if marketers can manage and activate an abundance of data, they’re still challenged to create connected customer experiences. And they can’t do that alone.
Marketers aren’t the ones interacting with customers at the point of sale. They’re not guiding customers via an online chat. And they’re not on the phone fielding customer complaints or routing service cases.
Nonetheless, marketers’ roles are changing, with 54% of high-performing marketing teams leading customer experience initiatives across the business, according to our State of Marketing report. If companies want to make great customer experiences an organizational imperative, they need CMOs and other marketing leaders to unite and amplify commerce, sales, and service.
Connect with commerce
Customers expect to shop without hiccups along the way. To streamline the customer experience, companies need to build a cohesive path to purchase. In fact, just over half (51%) of companies have synced commerce systems with digital advertising.
If marketing teams know when a customer has purchased a pair of shoes, for instance, they can stop serving that customer digital ads about the product. Beyond that, however, marketers can also determine what additional complementary shoelaces or socks this shoe purchaser will most likely buy. This knowledge enables marketing teams to pivot their efforts to more relevant customer communications.
Get close with sales
Heightened customer standards make sales and marketing alignment a priority — and ubiquitous challenge — for many B2B organizations. After all, business buyers are used to consumer-like experiences.
According to our State of the Connected Customer report 73% of business buyers want instant engagement — notably higher than 63% of B2C consumers. Still, only 45% of account-based marketing programs are jointly executed by marketing and sales teams. This collaboration gap can be detrimental when trying to engage prospects for conversion. If a prospect attends a webinar after interacting with a marketing email, for example, sales teams may not know exactly how to deliver the next best action in a timely manner.
If marketing and sales teams align, however, customers can reap the benefits of a seamless experience.
Make service seamless
Many of us have been the recipients of an ill-timed promotional message. Wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air if after you spoke to a customer service representative via phone or live chat, the marketing or promotional offer you received after was based on your preferences?
Companies hoping to create more fulfilling, positive service experiences must consider how marketing can play a pivotal role. As one example, marketers can suppress marketing messages, such as emails, when a customer has an open service case. However, only 32% of companies currently do this, highlighting a major gap — and opportunity — to align marketing and service teams.
As marketers move forward, they seem to have clear marching orders: lead the way in customer experience by becoming the catalyst for commerce, sales, and service alignment. If marketers don’t heed the call to lead, they risk losing customers. Fifty-seven percent of B2B customers will switch to a competitor if they don’t have a good experience. On the flip side, 67% of customers will pay more for a great experience.
Start providing better customer experiences today. Download marketing insights from Salesforce’s State of Marketing report.