Customer service is one of the most important aspect of overall marketing campaign. A good customer service program can only help you to convert potential clients to paying customers keep them happy.
Here’s how the cycle of a customer looks like.
What’s wrong with a traditional sales funnel?
Three things, actually:
- The process looks linear: a lead becomes a prospect and only then a customer. That implies that consumers have only one way of finding out about you, ignoring the variety of digital channels available.
- No attention to what happens to a customer after they completed their way through your sales funnel. Many sales guides suggest one more stage called “re-engagement” but it’s rarely depicted.
- Assumes that all the work should be done by marketing and sales teams. Meanwhile, customer satisfaction consists of many elements of interaction with a company.
However, attracting customers is in the interest of everyone in a company. So, everyone should work towards that goal. That’s especially true for a customer service department as, with the rise of technology, they can communicate with both interested suspects and the entire target audience.
Here’s what customer service can do to elevate your marketing activities:
01. Customer service can cut costs of acquiring new customers
Bond Capital founder Mary Meeker prognoses rising costs for customer acquisition in her report. At the same time, the lifetime value of business-customer relationships has been going down.
This means companies will have to spend more and more on advertising, and they are also going to lose more of the hard-earned customers due to competition.
On the other hand, yet in 2020, studies had shown that a 5% increase in customer retention rate results in a 25-95% increase in profit. Now, let’s look at the factors that can help with retention.
Thus, over 70% of consumers said they would return to the company after receiving excellent service, and half of the respondents said they would recommend it to others. The same report states that customers who continue to receive the best experience tend to spend 140% more compared to the upset ones.
The conclusion is: outstanding customer service establishes customer relationships and deserves to be a part of your customer retention strategy. Loyal customers spend more and can get you even more clients by word of mouth, granting you with an ad that doesn’t cost a cent for your company.
02. Customer service can give you valuable ideas
Seeing that over 70% of people expect to be able to message businesses with customer service questions on Facebook, it’s easy to say that social media are becoming a popular customer service channel.
Simultaneously, social media can provide you with many customer insights through easy interaction. Thus, you can throw a survey asking your audience’s opinion and use it to improve your product or service.
Many top companies don’t shy away from asking their audience what they want directly.
Walkers put UK customers in the center of the company decision process by letting them vote to choose new flavors for potato chips to be produced. And BestBuy offers a reward for writing a review on their product.
Then again, CEO of Groove Alex Turnbull even sent out emails personally asking customers if they’re happy with Groove. As a result, he improved buyer personas, fixed issues that made many clients unhappy, and made changes to the company onboarding process.
Even if you’re not yet ready to let your customers govern your decisions, you can always use the information from surveys for effective promotional video creation.
03. Customer service is tech-savvy
Customer service isn’t limited to picking up the phone anymore. Instead, they have many channels of communication with customers and leads. In fact, now customers expect customer service to be proactive and teach them about the importance of using a company’s product or service rather than wait to be contacted. That’s an outstanding marketing opportunity.
As you spot a visitor on your website, reach out to them with a greeting and offer a short overview of what your product or service can do for them. Similarly, as a user contacts you with a question, go beyond answering and display your brand.
Ruffwear does an excellent job of sending targeted chat invitations depending on what visitors look at on their website.
Of course, if you are a global business, being always there to send out proactive greetings requires 24/7 support. If that’s hard to implement, do-it-yourself customer service is an option. Offer your website visitors to seek the needed information on their own and only turn to support if they couldn’t find an answer.
04. Customer service can make customers talk about you
More than 85% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase — and that number continues growing. That means that by focusing on great customer service, you can get brand advocates that will genuinely validate the high quality of your product or service.
Yet, excellent service alone may not result in numerous happy reviews. The truth is, out of those asked to leave a review, only half actually did. So, to build your brand reputation, include collecting client reviews in your customer marketing strategy.
Contact customers after they made a purchase and personally ask them to share their experience. By reaching out to customers gradually, your customer support agents can control review quantity and react promptly to negative comments.
Besides the importance of online reviews, offline word of mouth is believed to be a trusted source of information by 92% of consumers worldwide. To trigger, companies usually use free gifts, post relatable things on social media, engage in charity, or collaborate with other brands.
IHOP (International House of Pancakes) once announced they would change the company’s name to promote burgers. The post got people talking even though the name remained unchanged.
05. Customer service makes or breaks the positive association with your company
According to PwC, 65% of U.S. consumers think that a positive experience with a company matters more than great advertising. No wonder, as customer service is usually the first means of contact with a brand for a soon-to-be customer — and it sets the emotion people will feel when hearing about your company.
As the Forrester VP Kate Legget puts it, customers expect the same experience every time they interact with a company on any channel about any issue.
To meet their expectations and keep your service at a high level, you should ensure easy communication between support agents. This can be done using team chat apps and granting access to a database with information about former interactions with a certain client.
One more thing to pay attention to is keeping your customers aware of what’s happening each time as they completed an interaction with your company — subscribed for a newsletter, created an account, or made an order. Survey shows that confirmation emails are believed to be the most valuable messages in clients’ email boxes.
To be great, customer service cannot be segregated from marketing anymore. Think of it this way: to create an effective marketing campaign, you need to know what your audience is about. And when you attract customers through marketing, they go to your customer support to ask questions.
If your customer service team is not up-to-date with the details of your marketing campaign, or marketing isn’t aligned with consumers’ expectations — you’re going to find yourself in trouble.