Business owners are always finding new ways to increase their sales and add more clients. With all the resources available nowadays, it’s more competitive than ever, and marketing strategists have to keep upping the ante on their approach. After all, being stagnant in the business industry is like being left in the dust.
Customer habits are ever changing, trends come and go, and new brands and business establishments seem to pop out of nowhere like mushrooms. Basically, nothing is set in stone in the business world.
You could have a monopoly or be the biggest brand out there, but one day a seemingly harmless competitor could quickly rise to the top and become a threat or, in dire cases, even leave you bankrupt. Just look at how Netflix rose and sent Blockbuster to the shadow realm; it even recently made a comedy series featuring Blockbuster employees. Talk about dragging their bodies around the battlefield.
It’s difficult to be unique in terms of business ideas these days; being the first to an idea isn’t even a guarantee of success. Look at Go-Bots—they were there before Transformers, and Kiddicraft preceded Lego.
Instead, one way other businesses compete is by delivering a fantastic experience to their customers. When it comes down to it, isn’t the experience part of the transaction process? This is why customer service should not be a separate entity from marketing strategies but rather go hand-in-hand.
But first, let’s define customer service.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is a type of service offered to customers before, after, and during a transaction. It can be done personally or virtually through the use of multiple communication channels like email and chat.
The aim is to give the clients a positive experience that will encourage them to come back for future transactions. It is estimated that acquiring new clients is more expensive than retaining old ones. Good customer service does both by helping with client retention and attracting new clients by way of recommendation or reputation.
Perhaps due to the changing times and the effects of the worldwide quarantine, more and more people prefer brands that prioritize them. In fact, people wouldn’t mind a higher price if it came with a better overall experience.
Customer service involves interacting with the clients. Marketing strategies are directed at clients. Do you see the direction?
To give you some ideas, here are four ways you can integrate customer service into your marketing approach.
- Use Social Media Channels
The various social media sites offer a variety of tools for interaction and communication, hence why they are a communication channel for customer service. Everyone and their mother and even their dog is on social media these days, so people can be easily contacted
Instead of going the usual salesy route, why not make use of social media’s full potential? There are a lot of tools available; there’s a platform; and you have your audience.
Inject some of your marketing strategies, like user-generated content. Invite your clients to take part in questions and surveys, quizzes, games, or any of your ongoing campaigns.
- Use data gathered from customer service to create new marketing strategies.
Customer service representatives are able to gather a lot of data about your clients and will be able to pick up on common concerns and suggestions. These data are gathered in several ways, such as surveys, questionnaires, direct calls, and more. The marketing team can use this data to come up with new strategies and greatly improve the customer experience.
Thanks to these client profiles, the marketing strategies will also be tailored to your common demographic and help attract attention and interest. You may have designed your product with younger users in mind, but you soon discover that the majority of your customers are in their 30s and 40s.
This is also great for creating more diverse and inclusive strategies. Perhaps features that help people with specific disabilities use a product more effectively, such as make-up and clothing for underrepresented body types, and so on.
- Gather customer testimonials for promotional purposes
Remember the quotes from publications or other famous authors on the cover or the back page of a book? Those are called testimonials.
Testimonials are a common form of advertising in the business world. They show a quote from a customer that praises or recommends a product or service. Testimonials can come from anyone, be they popular figures or regular customers.
Back then, the default was for brands to use celebrities because of their fame and influence. The current plan is to focus on certain niches and give rewards to customers who buy from them often.
You trust your friend more than that McDonald’s logo over there, don’t you? This is why comment or review sections and sites exist. When people see a positive experience from customers who are like them or with whom they are familiar, their trust in a brand increases.
You can gather these testimonials through customer service and use them in various ways. You can feature it on the front page of your site, in a tagline on your advertisements, or even show a video of the customer using the product or sharing their experiences with it.
- Don’t be afraid to try a creative and whimsical approach.
What’s stopping you from flavoring your customer service with your brand aesthetic, or with any theme in place? Even if it means becoming a mini-theme park.
If it’s “Speak Like A Pirate Day,” why not sprinkle some pirate terminologies in our customer service? For a day, translate your FAQs or help boxes into pirate speak; use a pirate aesthetic; and so on.
Of course, you should also know when and when not to use this. When addressing concerns, especially those from irate people, tone it down. A minor irritant could set off someone who is having a particularly bad day. You don’t want your marketing strategies to hurt your business in the process.
The various departments in the business industry don’t always have to be strictly separate units. There’s always some kind of overlap in between. An effective collaboration between these departments creates a well-oiled machine that continues to grow.
This collaboration can be seen in the partnership between customer service and marketing strategy. The data and direct communication with the clients provide ample inspiration and ideas for the marketing team. And the fruits of marketing’s labor lead to fewer problems and a better customer experience for customer service. It’s really surprising how a little teamwork can open up more doors and make everything a little smoother.