Customers are everything in terms of business survival. And, whilst customers aren’t always right, they usually are. A strong and loyal customer base is the backbone of any business.
In today’s world where people can easily find whatever product or service they need, it is hard to make an impact. There are many businesses providing the same solutions, but what helps you to stand out is your customer service.
Now you might be wondering what the role of marketing is in customer service. Traditionally, marketers don’t often come into contact with customers directly, and both departments operate very differently. However, in today’s digital age, these two departments are more connected than ever. Smart businesses know how to leverage this dynamic by establishing a steady and robust relationship between the marketing and customer service departments. When these two functions work together, they can both achieve their goals much faster.
How Does Customer Service Affect Marketing?
The mentality that the marketing department’s role is to just “hand off” leads is harmful. Businesses often make the mistake of thinking marketing only serves this specific purpose, but it covers a lot more than that. It includes every interaction the customer has with your business throughout the funnel, be it on social media channels or in person. It’s all about the impression your brand is creating, and the kind of treatment a lead receives after the purchase of goods or services. All of these interactions belong under the marketing category because they influence the consumer’s decision to use your business, whether that’s for the first time, or for repeat purchases.
Good customer service might not always be appreciated, but bad customer service is never forgotten and will come back to bite you. It takes one bad review to bring down your company’s image. To give customers accurate expectations, the marketing department needs to let them know in advance about the support services available.
Put your customer first and let them know they are your top priority. Be kind, helpful, and attentive. They need your goods or services for a reason, so make sure you are helping them attain their goals.
Marketing is incomplete without customer service; it’s crucial to be able to maintain long term relationships with your customers. When marketing and customer service teams are not aligned, it might interfere with the customer’s expectations and result in irritation and disappointment. For example, when teams don’t communicate with each other, they risk pestering clients by contacting them repeatedly about the same issue. In addition, disjointed teams are unable to recognise and follow up with clients who have the potential to become brand evangelists.
The most important way that lack of communication hurts a business is when the marketing team does not get receive comprehensive information from the customer service team. To build better marketing campaigns, a deep understanding of the target audience is needed. Customer service spends the most time interacting with customers, and they have a better understanding of their behaviours. They have insights that no CRM system or statistics can provide.
You and your team need to work in a way that makes your customers feel special and unique. Marketing will bring a customer to you, and the people in contact with them after that will determine whether they have a good experience or not. So, make sure both the teams are on the same page because retaining old customers is easier than acquiring new customers.
Positive experiences are not only valued by customers – they are expected. This is another reason it’s extremely important to get your customer service right, as any slip ups will stick out like a sore thumb compared to what they’re expecting. Some statistics suggest that after just one instance of subpar customer service, 61% of customers would transfer to a rival. For excellent customer service, 68% of consumers are willing to spend extra. 95% of consumers believe that brand loyalty is influenced by customer service. This proves providing reliant customer service is not optional. A good product needs equally a competent team to support it be it marketing or customer service.
How to Keep Customers Happy
The key to having happy customers is all about giving. In a way, whatever you do will never be enough. The sad truth is that to keep customers happy, you need to prove your worth as a business every single day because, in your customers’ eyes, you are only as good as your last project. One bad result and everything you did before will become irrelevant. Does this put a lot of pressure on businesses, especially small ones? Yes. Is it fair? Once again, yes. Running a business is about exceeding your clientele’s needs and expectations – it’s part of the job. The good news is that, at the end of the day, it will all be worth it. So, I now present you with some ways to keep your customers happy while celebrating customer’s day this year.
Five Ways to Celebrate Customers’ Day
1. Exclusive Peek
There is nothing more exciting than the idea of exclusivity. Everyone wants to be a part of an “exclusive” club. It is an innate part of human nature, so why not give your customers this experience? Your most loyal customers could get an exclusive trial for your new product/service, for example. Doing this would bring more value to your business and promote your new product or service.
2. Donate on Their Behalf
In celebration of your most devoted clients, give to a charity on their behalf (for a small business, perhaps a local one). Inform them of the good news by sending them a text or email. Show your clients that by supporting you, they are also making the world a better place. If you already make annual donations, acknowledging your client in any public communications about the donation may be a gesture that sets you apart in their minds. While charity is not about increasing customer loyalty, acts of kindness do pay off in the long run.
3. Share Customer Stories
What better way is there to appreciate your B2B client than by giving them a free shoutout on your social media? It’s a great way to promote them, and there’s a good chance they’ll repost what you post – an excellent way to cross-promote both businesses. You could do a case study on their business, sharing how your product/service helped them to expand. To make your message more visually appealing, add some behind the scenes photos, if possible. Ask to arrange a brief meeting with the customer and take a few pictures with them. Also, add some hard-hitting statistics that establish your authority as a business. Maybe have “customer of the month” shoutouts to keep things exciting, instead of only using customer testimonials.
4. Share Merchandise
Want to make sure your customers always remember your company? There is no better way than sharing your merchandise with them. Put your company’s logo and mission statement on pens, cups, bottles, t-shirts, diaries, and anything else that suits your brand, and give them away. Add a thank you note in the box of merchandise to make it more authentic. This is a low cost and high return initiative which will pay off in the long term.
While these gestures will help you to stand out, remember – you don’t have to do all of them at once. Chose the option that makes the most sense for you and your business at the time. You can always make small gestures like sending clients thank you mails or messages, following them on social media channels, sending them special promo codes, and so on.
As a final note, even though customer service is priority, it’s also important to take care of your own wellbeing. Customers might always be right, but not at the cost of anyone’s mental health. A healthy relationship is a two-way street, and I do not encourage holding on to clients that might be toxic or abusive to you, your staff, or your business overall. Therefore, this article is also a reminder for everyone to remember to look after their own needs as well.
The markets have become more and more saturated as technology has advanced, which means businesses have to make more of an effort than ever to stand out. Add to that recession-like conditions, and it is a gloomy world out there for businesses. Nobody can afford to lose clients.
Having the right solution, or even the right solution with the right interface, is no longer sufficient for keeping clients. You not only have to deliver what your clients need, but also predict what they might want in future – and that can only be accomplished through a healthy client-business relationship. The companies that know how to maintain client satisfaction in this novel climate will be the ones that succeed.
On this customer’s day, make sure you remind your customers of the value they hold for you. This article is dedicated to our clients who support this venture of mine. My team and I are grateful for the opportunities they present us with.