6 Ways to Integrate Marketing with Customer Service & Support
Customer service and marketing: two things which are essential to businesses, and also two things which can also complement each other marvelously. Noticing this connection and utilizing it can really help you to optimize sales. Here are 6 ways to integrate marketing with customer services.
1. Customer Service as a Marketable Feature
Let’s imagine you’re selling electronics, computers, or any other complex sort of product. These are the kinds of things which customers often have issues with. Things break down, or customers can’t understand how to use their product properly. If you can say “we offer 24/7 support services to all our customers” they’ll be more inclined to purchase from you, rather than a competitor who doesn’t understand the importance of maintaining long-term customer relationships.
If a customer knows that your customer support team will help them out in the event of any trouble, they’ll feel that this service is included in the price of the product. So you should let your customers know about this whenever you can:
- In marketing emails
- On product pages
- On social media
- In advertisements
If you make it out to be a big deal, your customers will start to see it that way themselves.
2. Clinching the Sale with Customer Support
Integrating sales with support is something which is particularly useful to businesses selling products which require a certain level of knowledge from the customer. Make your sales process more about knowledge sharing, less about promotion.
- Helping the digital customer: If a customer has questions about a product when shopping online, you could have an online pop-up which says “Speak to an Expert.” Using a live chat feature (like Olark), the customer can instantly have any uncertainties cleared up any and will be so much more likely to make a purchase. (Especially with expensive products, customers won’t buy something unless they have been 100% assured that it’s what they want).
- Team collaboration: The importance of collaboration between the customer support team and the sales team is often ignored or downplayed by businesses. When people call in, make sure that their questions are all written down/captured, and that the findings are sent to the sales team. Once they know what’s holding customers back, they can make that information more easy to obtain and hopefully boost sales in the process.
3. Customer Support on Social Media
Lots of businesses use social media to respond to questions from their customers. This has several benefits:
- It gives customers a convenient, low-pressure way of getting in contact.
- It allows customers to see the answers you’ve given others, potentially saving them having to get in touch themselves.
- If you’re responding to people in a polite and friendly way, it will reflect the business well and endear you to customers.
- People will follow these accounts for the customer support benefits, but you can use them for marketing too.
Some businesses make specific customer service accounts, while others provide customer services on their main account. Both approaches have their strengths and it’s for you to decide which would work best for your business. You’ll find whole articles written about customer service interactions on social media, which just goes to show the sorts of ripples they can make.
4. Blogging as a Customer Service
Blogging can be a great way to market to your customers, while also providing them with a service. Imagine, for example, that you sell arts and crafts supplies, you might like to use your blog to write guides on how to make things? Customers will find your blog post very useful and return to the blog regularly for craft updates.
Customer guides are always going to be appreciated and will persuade customers to regularly return to a blog. This then gives you more chances to market to them. If you want an example of this, then look no further than the Monterey Premier blog itself! You can find, for example, guides on finding inspiration for design. Stuff like this is really about going above and beyond, and customers really appreciate it. If they know that you’ve gone out of your way to give them helpful information without even having been prompted, it shows that you are very trustworthy and that they can count on you if there’s ever a problem.
5. Disguising Marketing as Customer Services
Advertisements can annoy customers, but email alerts, smartphone notifications, text alerts and so forth all seem like helpful little bonuses and will not cause annoyance. It’s a form of direct marketing and it can work very well. Be careful though, because if you take it too far and push too much on them, they’ll want to turn off these alerts.
- If a customer comes to your site and wants to order a product which is not in stock, you could offer to send them an email notification when it is next in stock. This seems like a nice service to provide for your customers, but of course, it is actually a form of marketing!
6. Offering Helpful Sales Suggestions
Sometimes it will be appropriate for the people on the customer support team to offer more than just helpful advice. If a customer mentions a problem and the person they’re talking might like to suggest a product which can provide a solution. You don’t want to turn your support line into an underhanded sales line, but the odd suggestion can’t hurt. Just make sure it’s done carefully.
The takeaway from all of this is that customer services should be viewed as a money-making part of your business like any other. Some people have the impression that it is a complimentary service for customers, but optimizing your approach can see your customer services start to work harder for you.
What is your approach to customer services?
featured image: pexels.com
Ten years ecommerce experience under the belt and counting. Writing on the side to flex my literary muscles and share some of the lessons I have learned.