Why Customer Service is Your Sharpest Marketing Tool


Share on LinkedIn

Thanks to the advent of the Internet, it’s easier than ever for customers to stumble upon brands. Through search engine results pages and organic social media content brands can connect with an endless stream of enquiring visitors without allotting exorbitant outbound campaign fees. But what happens when internet amblers click on an SERP link or social post?

Inbound initiatives are sufficient at intriguing customers enough to click through and explore, but they don’t tell the whole brand story and they certainly don’t communicate all of the value that a brand can offer. Too often, companies think that inbound marketing ends at a click; at that point the content has served its purpose and the homepage can take it from there. But that’s not true. Securing inbound clicks are the halfway point of the journey, but the final leg – the experience visitors have while on the website for the first time – is just as important.

In today’s oversaturated digital environment, customers don’t linger if they don’t find immediately informative or entertaining content. In fact, 55% of blog readers spent 15 seconds or less consuming the content – just enough to read the headline and get a sense of the overall content offering. 15 seconds is not a lot of time. It’s certainly not enough time to expect visitors to adequately understand your brand’s unique value proposition. While you can’t fight online users’ waning attention spans, you can incorporate customer service elements to keep visitors on your website longer and add more value to their overall experience.

Just as the concept of inbound marketing has enjoyed a regeneration thanks to the digital evolution, customer service has also been forever changed by the prominence of digital experiences and mobile-first customer mentalities. Customer service used to be a reactive brand practice. When a customer had questions or concerns, they’d have to seek our brand information through FAQ web sections or make the effort to call or email brand representatives. The onus was completely on the customer; and ask anyone who’s ever been on hold with a call center, and they tell you that quite often the trouble required to obtain brand information was not worth it. For years companies missed out on key consumer interaction opportunities because they waited for consumers to come to them. Implementing customer chat technology and creating service-oriented content are assured means of adding more potential value to inbound leads your site receives.

Offer Immediate Assistance

Customer service management tools are popping up on brand sites spanning all verticals. These tools make customer interactions and service requests intuitive and instantaneous. When a new customer visits your site a service rep is able to guide them through the experience and the content efficiently – pointing them in the direction of what they’re searching for to add value and save time. The more helpful customer service reps can be through immediate messaging services, the more likely companies are to retain visitors, and hopefully, convert visitors into customers. Although users don’t necessarily want to be bombarded with questions and offers every minute on the site, it’s reassuring to know that representatives are on standby to offer immediate consultation should any questions arise.

Create Service-Oriented Content

FAQ sections are powerful online resources, but often that content stays relegated to FAQ sections. First-time visitors often share the same questions and apprehensive, so why not turn some of those topics into featured blog and content series? Hair vitamin and nutrient company, Hairfinity, executes a blog strategy to cater to new visitors and first-time customers. The brand regularly features content around commonly asked questions on their blog so that audiences don’t have to sift through the site to find the exact answers they’re looking for.

Today, however, customer service practices have made a complete 180; brands realize that they cannot afford to let customers slip by without any interactions because it may be the only chance they’ll get to engage with individuals. It’s exponentially more difficult to attract new customers through in and outbound marketing campaigns, than it is to retain a visiting customer; on average, it costs companies 7x more to sell to new customers. Overspending on new customer acquisition can be avoided through comprehensive customer service strategies.

AJ Agrawal
I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here