The Role Customer Service Plays in Marketing

Why synchronise marketing with customer service?

Customers feel frustrated when each touchpoint of a business is siloed in its own department. It can lead to misunderstanding, a feeling of not being valued, and ultimately a negative view of the brand. Organisations who leverage customer service as a marketing tool understand that by sharing data and feedback, they’re able to offer an optimal customer experience. These businesses can: 

  • Offer a personalised and consistent campaign journey

    According to the Salesforce State of the Connected Consumer report, 78% of customers expect consistent interactions across departments. When marketing and customer service teams combine to share their knowledge of customers, both groups are able to approach them with an understanding of how the customer likes to be contacted, what they want to be contacted about, particularly within the context of a consistent brand message.

  • Boost productivity and efficiency using automation through streamlining manual processes such as customer onboarding, issues resolution, and campaign approvals and make better use of resources.
  • Integrate client views across marketing and service departments

    When customer information is disconnected between departments, the possibility of disappointing the customer along their journey is very real. It’s as simple as a marketing team reading an enquiry message to the company Facebook page, and forgetting to pass that on to the service team. Or the service team neglecting to inform marketing about a customer’s preference to only be contacted via email. In both scenarios, a holistic view of the customer through customer service marketing would mean any enquiry (through any medium) would be visible to either department, or in fact any other departments within the organisation.

How can customer service and marketing work together?

Using customer service as a marketing tool starts with taking advantage of the knowledge they have of your product, your customers, and your organisation as a whole. While only 53% of marketing teams share common goals and issues with service teams, the opportunity for collaboration across departments allows for a unified brand voice, consistent, personalised communications (backed up by customer history stored in a CRM), and ultimately a more satisfying customer experience.

1. Content creation

All too often businesses fail to realise the latent expertise they have in their staff that could be mined for content. Even if you don’t have highly-skilled writers to hand, jot down bullet points and hire a freelancer to craft it for you. Alternatively (or additionally), produce videos or podcasts.

Your customer service team is well-placed to inform marketing on content ideas - as the first point of contact, particularly for issues resolution, the service team can tell you what customers are struggling with.

2. Social media customer support

40% of consumers won’t do business with a company if they can’t use their preferred channels. Particularly if your business targets Generations X and Y, it’s important to be where they are, ready to answer their queries - and often they’re on social media.

Intrepid Group wanted to take their vision for travel to a like-minded audience globally, but first, the business had to adopt new ways of working. The company had the data but lacked the technology to personalise the customer journey across its brands.

By using Salesforce Social Studio they were able to schedule their social media posts, allowing their team to deliver quick responses to customer support needs. Their transformation using social media customer support helped them to a 17% year-on-year growth as well as a 31% increase in sales.

3. Product development

Customer service and marketing can collaborate to inform other parts of the business on what the customer wants and how the organisation can improve its product. 

adidas wanted a better understanding of customer journeys and their preferences. Using Service Cloud, adidas were able to capture what they knew about the customer’s preferences to improve and innovate products and keep them one step ahead.

Beyond simply presenting information or content to a shopper, adidas uses its knowledge of individual consumers — and their preferences, gained through Commerce Cloud — to create better products and, in an increasing number of cases, even custom-made products. These products can be manufactured on the fly and delivered to consumers remarkably fast.

4. One voice across multiple channels

Ensuring messages are consistent across channels from social media chats through to emails, MMS, TV, and online advertising means a connected customer experience with a solid brand voice.

As REA Group began to expand globally, they needed to align customer service responses  with marketing and brand operations to make sure their communications were consistent regardless of the medium.

Their solution called for a single customer view across seven businesses in seven countries, with multiple languages, currencies, and tax systems. It provided each business with a standard and scalable process that allowed automated quoting and invoicing to increase turnaround time and service delivery to customers - all with the same brand voice.

5. Improved customer understanding

Customer service and marketing can bring forth new insights on customers.

M Capitol recently made the switch from mortgage broking to mortgage management, and are aiming to provide a more personal and digital-centric experience to their customers. They implemented Sales Cloud and Service Cloud to better understand customers and use predictive intelligence to recommend additional products. They’re also planning to use Marketing Cloud to further personalise customer journeys and send automated alerts at each stage of the origination process. These products are tools that support M Capitol in better understanding their customers, which has led to a 10x increase in average partner referrals per week.

Download the State of the Connected Customer report

To learn more about service trends and start putting together your customer service marketing plan, download the State of the Connected Customer report.

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