Most businesses build their departments as silos: self-contained units that operate independently of each other, with one directorial vision aligning them. However, sometimes it’s better for these independent sectors to work in unison with one another for mutual benefit.
Marketing and customer service
This phenomenon is perhaps most evident in your marketing and customer service departments. One is designed to attract people who have never heard of your brand before and turn them into customers, while the other is designed to serve people who have already become customers. In this way, they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, but the information and control held by your marketing department can significantly influence your customers’ ultimate experience.
How marketing can facilitate better customer service
Try these strategies to keep your marketing and customer service departments working well together:
Individual client dispositions. In customer experience, one of the most important factors for a successful and satisfying experience is personalization, especially in the B2B world. If there’s an individual client or customer who has specific needs, or may encounter a specific problem, your marketing and sales teams will have the earliest insights about it—and they’ll be able to help your customer service reps prepare. For example, a marketing rep may be familiar with an inbound lead from social media and be intimately familiar with their history and current needs; with this information, your customer service department can cater to those needs specifically and provide a better all-around experience.
Promotions and angles. Your marketing team is responsible for coming up with most of your new promotions, including sales, ads, and even new angles for securing business. If your customer service department is aware of these, it can do a better job of anticipating customer questions and concerns. For example, if your latest marketing campaign is one that emphasizes the durability of your products, they’ll probably see an increase in the number of people asking about durability—or complaints if the product doesn’t seem as durable as originally advertised. Knowing these angles in advance allows them to develop a more effective strategy.
Market research and audience insights. Market research is fundamental to your marketing strategies’ success, and your marketing team will be the ones doing it. This research helps them understand the broad consumer patterns and demographic trends that make people tick; traditionally, that information is used to make more persuasive ads and place them in more visible, attention-grabbing ways. However, it can also be used to better approach a customer service situation; knowing what’s going through a customer’s head is indispensable to being able to better serve them.
The buying cycle. For businesses with long buying cycles, your marketing department can also prepare your customer service reps for customers at different stages of development. For example, you might be able to differentiate between first-time customers and repeat customers based on the amount of knowledge they have on your products. Your marketing team members will know how to handle these customers at different development stages in the appropriate way, which can help your customer service department achieve higher satisfaction rates.
Content for customer service. Your marketing department is probably in charge of developing most of the blogs and content for your content marketing campaign. This might be mostly reserved for blog articles and offsite guest posts, but with a simple change, you can also use it to develop content for your customer service department. For example, you can take some of your most popular blog posts on a given subject and repurpose them to create user guides for your products, or buying guides for incoming customers. You can also develop new content in a FAQ or self-help section of your website; in any case, customer-targeted content can play a huge role in supporting your customer service staff.
The relationship doesn’t have to work only one-way, either. In fact, your customer service department can inform your marketing department just as much. Customer service reps learn about problems customers have with products, the demeanors, needs, and unique qualities of target customers, and other information that can be incredibly valuable when planning new campaigns. Try to keep your marketing and customer service team leaders working closely with each other in a mutually beneficial relationship to enhance your effectiveness in both areas; the better informed your team is of the other departments at play, the better you’ll ultimately fare.
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