Good customer service is great marketing because it captures word of mouth buzz and spreads it around. By building on customers who have already had a positive experience, companies have the chance to create forward momentum, reaching a broader audience than they would otherwise.
Even though, historically, we love to share stories of things that have not gone well, we do share positive, happy events. And even more importantly, when our friends ask for recommendations for a product or a service that we enjoyed, we’re more likely to mention the company where we had a great experience.
All too often, companies treat marketing and customer service as if they are two completely different areas of the business. After all, marketing brings customers in, and then customer service takes care of them, right?
In strong, robust businesses, CEOs understand that marketing and customer service should work together. After all, great customer service is a fantastic marketing strategy, and great marketing will reduce the need for intense customer service. Having these two teams working together to create a cohesive strategy will build a stronger business. Let’s look at all of this in more detail.
Good customer service is a fantastic marketing strategy
Successful companies don’t need marketing as much to sustain their business. One of the key goals of all marketing is to generate word of mouth buzz. As we have more and more statistics and reports cluing us in to the power of circles of influence, and the amount of attention our customers pay to reviews, this becomes even more true. If you offer excellent customer service, then your customers are more likely to talk about your business in a positive light. This goes for Amazon reviews, Yelp reviews, and general social media posts.
When your customer service team goes above and beyond, creating a happy customer, that happy customer will often go on and do your marketing team’s work for them. You can also work on building your happiest customers into ambassadors for your business. Your marketing team could offer them free products in exchange for posts or shares on social media, or they could create a video extoling the virtues of your product in use in day to day life.
Customer service and marketing teams have the same goals
There was a time where marketing and customer service seemed to have opposite goals. Marketing brought customers in, and then was done with them; customer service fixed the problems that marketing was accused of causing. If this was ever true, it isn’t true in the best modern businesses. The goals of both marketing and customer service overlap, and at times, are even the same.
Marketing wants to reach out to customers who are enthused about the product or service that your company offers and convince them that the product is for them. Customer service wants to make sure that they’re satisfied with the product, and that everything goes smoothly during their experience with it. The bottom line is that they all want to sell more products or services.
In dysfunctional companies, marketing sets expectations way too high, and customer service ends up needing to apologize for mistakes that they didn’t make, this is true. But in strong, well-run companies, marketing is making promises that they know customer service is able to back up, and the relationship between the two departments is simple and calm.
By sharing talent and ideas, a smoother process can be created for the customer
Because of all the potential overlap, customer service and marketing function most smoothly when they regularly meet, share ideas, and make sure that everyone is working on the same page. When the two areas can create a sense that they are two segments of the same team, everything works better.
By bringing these two groups together, companies can get an idea of whether customers are regularly misinterpreting a piece of marketing, or if there’s a regular issue that needs to be addressed before customers are clicking Buy. Both teams can also make sure their scripts match, so that customer service isn’t contradicting marketing, or vice versa. They can also share stories of great customer interactions on both sides, so that both teams have all the data they need to continue to make good choices.
Good marketing is great customer service because it sets the expectations properly for customers. They understand what they’re getting into, have done their research, and are ready for the product to arrive in their hands. They are excited and enthused about what’s happening, which makes them more likely to participate in future product events and share future marketing.
Don’t fall victim to old stereotypes about marketing versus customer service. Embrace the synergy between these two areas to create new, positive opportunities for your business.