By Ted Rubin
All of your employees work in the marketing department, at least to some extent, and they need to understand the role they play. But to create a strong foundation for customer loyalty management, there are a few departments within your company that absolutely need to sync with marketing. Your customer service department is the most important.
Here are four ways you can leverage your customer service team to effectively manage customer loyalty, build relationships, and turn customers into fans. Think Return on Relationship… because there is no better time than when your customers reach out to you.
Method #1: For relevant content inspiration
You already know how important consistent, creative content is for your inbound marketing strategy. The trouble is consistently coming up with new ideas. Even your best content creators will struggle at times to come up with the type of content your audience craves.
It pays to have an open communication line between your content creation team and your customer service team. Content marketers are always looking for new ways to solve problems, and write about them.
Effective customer loyalty management starts with contextual content your audience values. Who better than customer service representatives to provide firsthand feedback of the primary questions and issues your they hear about every day?
Consider regular meetings between your content and customer service teams to keep up with the problems and hot-button issues your customers currently care about. An immediate added bonus will be real-life case studies and success stories. Also consider using an internal wiki to allow team members from customer service, sales, etc. to share article ideas based on interactions with your customers and prospects in real-time.
Even if you only use a fraction of the suggestions, you never know which one will lead to a piece of content that change the image of your company, not to mention the impact all this listening can have on contextual social messaging creation.
Method #2: For delivering on customer expectations
If your customers don’t feel they’re getting what is promised from the outset, your customer loyalty management efforts, and relationship building, will almost certainly be an uphill battle. Marketing works best when your leads, prospects and most importantly, customers, have a clear, accurate expectation for how your solution will help them.
How can your customer service department help?
When deliverables don’t align with expectations, your customer service department will be the first to know. They can quickly alert marketing when customers feel misled or misunderstood. Marketers will then be able to alter campaigns, and deliverables, to set more accurate expectations for potential customers. Now you have another great opportunity to turn those customers into fans, fans into advocates, and create long-term trust and loyalty.
Method #3: For social media support done right
Most of you already provide customer service via social media. But are you putting the right person on the job? Are you connecting the social team and the customer service team so they understand how best to work together? Your social media account manager may seem like a natural choice, however when it comes to helping and resolving issues, your customer service team likely has the training and on-the-job experience to satisfy customer needs more efficiently.
Creating a customer loyalty management program that allows your customer service team to help with inquiries from social channels can deliver a much better experience for your customers and get issues resolved more efficiently.
Method #4: For consistent, contextual messaging
If your marketing team is doing it, your customer service team should know about it.
Who is a prospect or customer going to call if they have questions about an event, a promotion, or a product? That’s right, customer service – often because it’s the easiest contact number to find.
Think of your customer service rep as your target audience’s concierge. Why are they calling? What are they trying to accomplish? How can you give customers and prospects the exact help they need and then naturally direct them to the most logical point in your sales cycle?
A simple shared document with login information for events and links to helpful content can eliminate wasted resources and save valuable time. And when your prospects and customers get the help they need immediately, they’re well on their way to becoming fans, and advocates, of your brand.
Building a bridge between your marketing and customer service silos is a great way to stay on top of what matters most to your prospects and customers. After all, how can you be sure you’re offering contextual content to your audience unless you are listening to what they want?
Nobody listens and hears more, if they are doing their job correctly, than your customer service department. Make them a key cog in your approach to social marketing, customer loyalty management, and Return on Relationship.
Learn more about how to build a well-rounded customer loyalty management program in this webinar and whitepaper by TIBCO Loyalty Lab. And learn about Return on Relationship by reading Ted’s book released January 29th.
Ted Rubin is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker and Brand Evangelist. In March 2009 he started using and evangelizing the term ROR, Return on Relationship, hashtag #RonR. As many may have heard, Ted recently left his position as Chief Social Marketing Officer of Collective Bias.
Many people in the social media world know Ted for his enthusiastic, energetic and undeniably personal connection to people. Ted is the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine; one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media, #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, 2013, and number #2 on the Leadtail August 2013 list of Top 25 People Most Mentioned by digital marketers.
ROR is the basis of his philosophy…It’s All About Relationships! His book, Return on Relationship was released January 29th. Connect with Ted… http://TedRubin.com or @TedRubin