The average marketing department might not have enough people to provide the human touch, but the contact centre usually does, and this begs the question of how these two key departments can work together in order to get the most out of their customers, according to Richard McCrossan, strategic business director for Genesys, who suggests that all customer-facing functions should be working together to operate under a single plan and budget.
A successful marketing campaign is one that results in increased sales of the target product or solution. But in today's mobile and socially integrated environment, any marketing strategy has to leverage different departments within an organisation, integrate market forces and understand customer buying behaviour.
This means that the marketing team of the future will without doubt be a collaboration of people from different areas of a business - sales, social media, customer service, mobile marketing, advertising - coming together to support new initiatives. Key to this is the integration of marketing and customer service.
Social media is not only a sales tool but also a barometer of customer sentiment. With the rise of the digital world, and more people than ever using social media, it is imperative that a business has a social and a mobile presence. There are now over 1.15 billion Facebook users, and 70% of marketers have said that they have used Facebook in order to gain new customers.
Social media is one of the key tools marketers use to attract new customers, but a marketing team alone just isn't able to handle the amount of customer service issues they will receive as a result of using social media. From questions to complaints, social media is the pulse of the customer and provides invaluable data on customer buying habits, needs and preferences. By integrating social media into the customer service team, the marketing team would have a deeper understanding of what customers want, while the customer service team can resolve issues and answer queries.
Integrating the marketing and customer service teams could bring great ideas for content creation. Marketers need a steady flow of fresh and new suggestions for content, and as customer service staff speak to customers all the time, they know what customers want - and don't want - and will therefore have a better understanding of how customers are using products, what they are complaining about, and what will attract more customers.
Informing marketing initiatives
The last thing any organisation wants is for the marketing department to be promoting a product that has flaws and is frequently complained about. The customer service team is likely to be the most in tune with understanding how customers actually use products/services - and sometimes it doesn't line up with how marketers have been marketing it. Again, the customer service team holds valuable marketing information to help a business inform its marketing strategies.
Understanding Buyer Personas
Buyer Personas may be fictional representations of your target customers but they are what every marketing executive wants to meet, as understanding the buying persona is critical for creating effective marketing campaigns.
The customer service team has its finger on the pulse of the customer, whether from social, online, chat, mobile, web - or simply over the phone. By really understanding the inner-workings of target customers, marketing departments have a better understanding of customer needs, problems and interests, can build better quality leads, are able to develop consistent messages across the business, and can even have a direct input into product development.
"If customer service comes together as one with the marketing team, marketing departments will be in a far better position to meet and market to their Buying Personas," concluded McCrossan.