7 Customer Service Principles That Should Inform Your Marketing

Does your company have an invisible wall between your customer service and marketing departments? In actuality, customer service and marketing are flip sides of the same coin. Marketing is focused on attracting leads and converting them into customers.

Customer service is focused on helping and retaining those very same customers. The following seven customer service principles are equally important for your marketing strategy.

Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king.” Usually, it means the quality and relevance of your content is critical to your internet marketing strategy. Many websites have tried the trick of posting repetitive articles that are stuffed with keywords and lack substance. The days of engine algorithms falling for that old tactic are long gone. And, as consumers become more and more discerning, the strategy is doubly-doomed to fail. However, the true meaning of “content is king” goes a lot deeper.

Your content, whether it’s on your website, brochures, or elsewhere, can be your most valuable customer service rep. For your content to be truly effective, keep the following points in mind.

  • Always focus on the user. What are the user’s priorities, problems, and questions? Examine these questions with every piece of content you produce.
  • Use simple language. Simple language is polite language that values the user’s time. Be as clear and concise as possible.
  • Make it helpful. Ensure that support pages, FAQ pages, and how-to videos are actually helpful to your target audience. What may seem crystal clear to you, an expert on the subject, could be clear as mud to someone with little to no knowledge of the subject.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create valuable content pieces for your target audience. It’s all about prioritizing clarity and use value.

Reputation Management

Customer service makes your marketing team’s job easier or considerably more difficult. Outstanding customer service allows marketing to devote their efforts to heightening your company’s visibility to prospects and customers. Substandard customer service inevitably causes marketing to divert time and resources to reputation management, performing tasks such as finding and responding to negative reviews.

Almost all consumers read reviews and trust them as much as a recommendation from someone they know personally. Positive reviews are great, but negative reviews must – repeat must – be handled professionally and humbly, acknowledging their complaint and doing all possible to resolve the unhappy situation.

Typically, a customer service rep was the last contact the customer had with the company before posting the negative review. How many of those negative reviews could have been avoided by a well-trained, empathetic, empowered customer service rep?

User Experience and Your Brand

Creating a great user experience has never been more important. Growing your brand happens with every interaction between the customer and your company, whether it’s a website user experience or speaking with a customer service rep. ¬†Customer service puts a personal face on your brand and has a substantial impact on your marketing strategy, either positive or negative.

Work as a Team

Target refers to their employees as team members for a good reason. It creates a positive feeling for both customers and employees. One good way to implement this is to get input from both marketing and customer service on problems. Being able to look at customer problems from both a marketing and customer service viewpoint can be helpful to both marketing and customer service and, of course, the customer.

Great reviews and testimonials from delighted customers are one of your company’s most valuable resources. Marketing needs them. Customer service knows who they are and may well have created that delighted customer with a world-class response to a problem.

Fast Response Time

Speed matters. Whether they’re visiting your website or contacting customer service, customers hate waiting. A customer who gets impatient with a slow website will probably abandon the site and go elsewhere. A customer who gets upset by long waits on hold, multiple transfers, rudeness or a perceived lack of caring about their problem may post one or many negative reviews. Of course, customer satisfaction is always more important than speed without resolution.

Accuracy

Customers expect to receive accurate information, both on a website and in person. Accuracy is regarded as a minimum service level. It won’t result in more delighted customers, but providing information that isn’t accurate or, even worse, untruthful, will create miserable customers.

Accessibility and Transparency

Customers want it to be easy to reach someone with the power to solve their problem, whether it’s on the phone, through email or a comment form on your website. If there’s going to be a delay in resolving the issue, they want to be told why and how long it will take.

Marketing and customer service are linked, with both focusing on the customer. Marketing may deal with targeted demographics while customer service reps speak to one person at a time, but they are both dealing with human beings who expect to be treated with politeness and truth. Implementing the same customer service principles will benefit marketing, customer service, and the brand.

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