Customer Service is Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Henry Ford, an innovator in personal transportation said, “A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” Nearly a century later, the number one reason a customer recommends a business to another customer is still outstanding service. Some things never change and they never will. But it’s up to brands and the senior leadership team to truly embrace this and support it with resources: people, process, strategy and technology. The right technology with the wrong strategy, only means you will be doing the wrong things, faster.
While delivering superior customer service has continued to be a key differentiator for companies, some things have changed forever. Today there are more channels, devices, and technologies. Customers’ behaviors have changed and so have their expectations. To win business and your customers’ loyalty, you have to deliver a modern service experience.
Marketing Maybe Bring You Customers, But Sales and Customer Service Keep Them
If no one knows about your product or service, no one is going to buy it. Marketing is very important to get the word out and make sure your customer acquisition is high. The content for marketing is one of the most important aspects on marketing, especially in the digital era. People do a ton of research on products and services online before they buy – either online or in a store. So making sure you are reaching your key target audience is key — but so is making sure your content is relevant, humanized (doesn’t sound like boring, corporate speak), authentic and genuine is key to getting or keeping the attention of our attention deficient audiences that are so prevalent today.
Is your marketing modern? Have you changed your marketing practices? Are you listening to what customers are saying? Often times creatives struggle with how to come up with new “catch phrases” or how to describe a new product or service. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Often listening to online conversations (just like many companies held in-person focus groups) you will understand more about the customers you are targeting and be able to kraft messages that are truly meaningful. And you’ll want to use analytics in your marketing to make sure you are targeting the best audience with the right messages at the right time. And then there’s channels and distribution of content on those channels. Marketers have more to do today than ever.
Sales Is Dependent on Both Marketing and Customer Service
Often customers read what’s posted in social networks about a product (think product review sites) or posts about how they have been treated as well as garner insights and research from respected analysts, journalists and bloggers.
Most information that decision makers collect and act on comes from their network. People—not databases or reports—form the primary source of information they use to formulate and validate decisions. And today’s personal network extends far beyond just the people they talk to in person. It reaches out to hundreds and even thousands of people, in nanoseconds, via social networks. And that’s in part, why it’s important to make sure your Marketing Content and Customer Service are aligned with your Sales initiatives.
It’s all about being in-tune with the customer and seeing the entire experience from sales, marketing, and service as a complete customer experience journey. Here’s a short video and my point of view on this topic of how intertwined marketing, sales and customer service really are. It’s time CEO’s put their foot down and demand that these three functional areas stop thinking of themselves as independent departments, but rather focus on how they can work together to make the best possible customer experiences:
What’s your take on intertwined marketing, sales and customer service?
VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to Deliver Great Customer Experiences