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Building A Better Connection Between Marketing and Customer Service

Alexa Lemzy

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Introduction
Modern consumers show a clear preference for contacting companies through social media and other public forums, blurring the lines between marketing and customer service.

Furthermore, it is easier than ever for customers to share their experiences with businesses online. This has a major impact on your ability to attract customers. 71% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a business based on social media referrals. As a result, it is vital for businesses to provide a consistently great experience in both their marketing and their customer service.

Great customer service is an effective form of marketing itself, attracting new customers and retaining existing clients. Building a better connection between marketing and customer service can boost your customer satisfaction while helping your business to grow.

Social Media
Social media is an important marketing tool that can increase your return on investment by 119%, but it's not just for marketing.

Users expect to message you for support on social media and receive the same level of customer service you provide through your dedicated support channels. 70% of customers say that a seamless transition between communication channels is critical to their decision to buy from you. Your social media team may not have the training and knowledge of your business processes to handle these issues.

In addition to providing social media teams with the training to handle basic customer service queries like refunds and order updates, you should also provide a process for passing issues on to your customer service team. This helps ensure customer service messages are quickly dealt with by someone who has the necessary knowledge and access to resolve them.

Social media gives your business the opportunity to show that it is open to making changes based on customer feedback. Take a look at this example from Starbucks' Twitter page:

This is great because Starbucks is able to highlight the system they use for acting on customer feedback, but it also highlights the benefit of having a stronger connection between marketing and customer service, as the social media team has to ask their customer to report the issue again instead of being able to raise it internally themselves.

Content Inspiration
To create effective marketing content, you need to be always on the lookout for content ideas by keeping in touch with your audience and analyzing the competition. Customer service tickets and online posts or messages provide another source of inspiration.

For example, if you receive frequent queries about a particular feature of your services, your marketing team could create an engaging blog post or infographic explaining the feature. This will help customers resolve issues by themselves in the future, and can attract new visitors from search engines.

73% of consumers prefer to find self-service resources on your website than to get in touch, so this can improve customer satisfaction as well as reduce your incoming customer service tickets.

In order to do this, however, your marketing team needs to know about these queries. Ensure that your customer service agents accurately log customer feedback and flag frequent queries, and that your marketing team regularly reviews this data for ideas.

Feedback on Expectations
When a customer is disappointed by your products or service, your customer service team is usually the first to know. As a result, they are often among the most knowledgeable in your business about your current customer experience.

Your customer service team should understand the importance of identifying the customer's expectations which were not met. If their expectations were inaccurate, marketing teams need feedback on the situation in order to improve the accuracy of future marketing efforts.

Here are some tips on getting effective marketing feedback from customer service interactions:

- Customer service teams should try to find out where customers got their expectations from.

- Comparing the timing of marketing campaigns against customer complaints can help marketing teams pinpoint the marketing content responsible for the confusion.

- Make sure you have a category for these issues in your ticket system, and monitor the number of new tickets in this pool each month. This will help you spot misleading marketing faster and change or remove it before more customers are affected.

Furthermore, marketing teams need to understand the level of service customer support agents are able to provide. If marketing teams set unrealistic expectations here, customers could be disappointed even when customer service agents are going above and beyond for them. As a result, customers will feel misled about what to expect, and it also takes a toll on your customer service agents.

Setting a realistic expectation, even if it is not what the customer wants to hear, builds more trust in the long run. 82% of customers will stay with your business even after a mistake as long as they trust your brand.

Setting a great expectation (that you can meet) is even better. For example, EasyBib created an easy-to-find article on their no-questions-asked refund policy, letting customers know what to expect and improving their experience by removing any concerns about returning items.

Customer Service and Promotions
It can be frustrating for customers to contact your business about an attractive offer only to be met with confusion from customer service agents.

Ensure that marketing teams reliably pass on information about the latest deals and offers, especially if they change frequently. Make updating customer service teams with the necessary processes and access part of your standard procedure before a promotion goes live.

Failing to do this can lead to mistakes that cost your business or overcharge your new customer, which is a poor first impression. Additionally, it can waste time not just for your customers, but also your support and marketing teams, as agents will constantly need to contact each other to confirm the validity of offers and the process for redeeming them. Employees spend more than 15% of their working week responding to internal emails. The more you can reduce this, the more time they have to help customers.

Both marketing and customer service teams need to have a solid understanding of how each offer is verified and processed in order to ensure a positive customer experience and avoid mistakes.

Conclusion
Customer service and marketing are both vital parts of your customer experience.

Clients expect a consistent quality of service and communication from your business, whichever department they are dealing with. Training and collaboration between these two parts of your business is critical to creating a great customer experience, however your customers contact you.

Additionally, setting accurate expectations with new customers is key to starting your relationship with new clients on the right foot, and avoiding disappointment further down the line.

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