11 Ways to Combine the Power of Customer Service and Marketing

Surbhi Nahata

March 4, 202410 min read

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Customer service and marketing can complement each other wonderfully. 

Imagine this: A customer stumbles upon your social media advertisement and decides to purchase the advertised product. As the package arrives, excitement turns to confusion when she encounters an unexpected challenge during setup.  

Frustrated, she reaches out to your company's customer service through social media, desperately seeking assistance. Your support team rises to the challenge and promptly deflects the agitated customer to a step-by-step setup guide on your knowledge portal.  

The customer is delighted with the prompt and seamless interaction, delivered with empathy and human touch.  She shares her positive experience on social media, yielding invaluable user-generated content (UGC) that is leveraged in marketing campaigns. 

This is a classic example of marketing and customer service complementing and augmenting each other in transforming a potentially negative experience into a positive one.  

In modern business, customer service and marketing are no longer standalone entities but two halves of a whole, working harmoniously to shape the customer journey.

Sounds good, right? 

In this blog post, we will delve into 11 unique strategies to make customer service and marketing work seamlessly together. Let's start with the basics first. 

Table of Contents

What are customer service and marketing?

Customer service and marketing, though distinct in their functions, share a common goal — to enhance the customer experience and drive business growth. Customer service involves the support and assistance provided to customers before, during and after a purchase. It encompasses resolving issues, answering queries and ensuring customer satisfaction.  

According to research conducted by Bain and Company, businesses can increase their revenues between 4% and 8% when prioritizing better customer service experiences. 

A sneak peek into the future: Customer Service Trends to Follow in 2023-2024—Expert Tips

Marketing is the strategic process of promoting and selling products or services. It involves creating awareness, generating leads and converting those leads into customers. Marketing strategies are diverse, encompassing online and offline channels, aiming to build brand awareness and attract potential customers. 

Importance of customer service marketing 

The importance of aligning customer service with marketing cannot be overstated. The seamless coordination between these two facets of business not only fosters customer loyalty but also aids in brand building. A satisfied customer is likely to become not only a repeat customer but also a brand advocate, contributing to positive word-of-mouth marketing. This, in turn, translates into improved customer retention and revenue. 

Customer service marketing vs. traditional marketing

Customer service marketing varied widely from traditional marketing. It's not just about promoting a product; it's about crafting an experience. Let's understand the finer differences. 

Criteria 

Customer Service Marketing  

Traditional Marketing 

Focus 

Customer-centric; focuses on individual needs 

Product-centric; emphasizes features and benefits 

Communication Channels 

Two-way communication; emphasis on dialog 

One-way communication; often promotional 

Feedback Integration 

Actively integrates customer feedback 

Limited integration of customer feedback 

Relationship Building 

Emphasizes long-term relationships 

Primarily transactional 

Goal 

Customer satisfaction and retention 

Lead generation and sales conversion 

  Understanding the differences between customer service marketing and traditional marketing is crucial for devising strategies that leverage the strengths of both approaches.  

11 Ways to make customer service and marketing work together for your business

Supporting social media outreach with customer service

In the era of digital connectivity, social media platforms have become a powerful tool for both marketing and customer service. Integrating these functions on social media allows businesses like yours to provide real time support, address customer concerns and simultaneously engage in promotional activities.  Responding promptly to customer queries on platforms not only resolves issues but also showcases your brand's commitment to customer satisfaction.

Go Pro: How to Excel at Social Media Customer Service 

For instance, Starbucks excels in combining social media management with customer service. The company actively responds to customer queries and feedback on social platforms. By engaging with customers in real time, Starbucks not only addresses concerns but also enhances its brand image by showcasing responsiveness and dedication to customer satisfaction.
 

An example of Starbucks prompt social customer service on Facebook


Source 

Sourcing relevant content development ideas

Collaboration between content marketing and customer service can yield valuable insights for marketing. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) from customer interactions can inspire the creation of informative content. Blog posts, videos or infographics addressing common customer queries not only serve as educational resources but also contribute to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, enhancing the brand's online visibility. 

Using reviews and feedback for brand building

Customer reviews are a goldmine of information for your customer service and marketing teams. Positive reviews can be strategically used in marketing campaigns to build trust and credibility. Conversely, negative reviews provide an opportunity for your customer service to demonstrate responsiveness and a commitment to improvement. Leveraging reviews in marketing materials, such as testimonials on the website or in promotional materials, enhances your brand's reputation. 
 
Need inspiration? 

Take a leaf from Amazon’s playbook. The e-commerce giant actively incorporates customer reviews into its marketing strategy. Positive reviews are prominently displayed on product pages, influencing potential buyers. In response to negative reviews, Amazon's customer service acts promptly.  

For example, if a customer expresses dissatisfaction with a specific product aspect, Amazon addresses the concern swiftly and utilizes the feedback to refine the product listing. This two-fold strategy reinforces Amazon's reputation as a customer-centric platform that values and acts upon user feedback.

Amazon is a good example of negative review handling

Source 

Read More: Your A-Z Guide to Review Management 

Keeping CRM information updated and real time

Implementing a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is pivotal in aligning customer service with marketing. A centralized database that houses customer interactions, preferences and purchase history allows both teams to tailor their approaches. Marketing can utilize this data for personalized campaigns, while customer service gains a comprehensive understanding of individual customer needs. 

Let’s learn from Shopify. 

Shopify centralizes customer data through its integrated CRM system, a pivotal tool that aligns customer service with marketing. This system consolidates various customer interactions, preferences and purchase history into a centralized database, providing a unified and comprehensive view of each customer.  

By collecting data from customer touchpoints such as website visits, app purchases and customer service interactions, Shopify ensures that all relevant information is stored in one location. This empowers marketing teams to leverage customer data for personalized campaigns and enables customer service representatives to have a holistic view of each customer, facilitating more informed and responsive interactions. 

Suggested Reading: The Power of Content Personalization for Marketing 

Amplifying the brand voice

Maintaining a consistent brand voice across customer service and marketing channels is essential. Whether a customer interacts with your brand through social media, email or a customer service hotline, the tone and messaging should align. This consistency not only strengthens brand identity but also ensures a seamless and coherent customer experience.

How consistent brand experiences are created

Looking for inspiration? Look no further than Apple. 

Apple excels in seamlessly integrating customer service into its marketing strategy. The "Today at Apple" program exemplifies this approach, providing in-store educational sessions where customer service representatives actively participate, assisting customers in mastering the effective use of their devices. 

This initiative not only serves as a powerful marketing tool by showcasing Apple's commitment to customer education but also amplifies its brand voice.

Apple-s Today At Apple prrogram

Through this integrated approach, Apple reinforces its brand voice while fostering a sense of community and trust amongst its users. 

Simplifying cross-team training

Breaking down silos between customer service and marketing teams can be achieved through cross-training. By familiarizing each team with the functions and goals of the other, a holistic understanding of the customer journey is developed. This, in turn, fosters collaboration and a shared commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. 
 
Zappos is renowned for its customer-centric approach, and part of this success can be attributed to cross-team training.  
 
When a Zappos customer reaches out to support with a concern about a delayed shipment, the customer service representative, equipped with marketing knowledge, not only addresses the shipping issue but also takes the opportunity to emphasize Zappos' commitment to customer satisfaction.  

The representative may use language aligned with the current marketing campaign, reassuring the customer that Zappos values their experience and is taking extra steps to ensure timely deliveries, tying the resolution of the immediate issue with broader marketing messaging. 

Driving proactive customer engagement 

Anticipating customer needs and addressing them proactively is a strategy that bridges customer service and marketing. For example, sending personalized product recommendations based on past purchases not only delivers value to the customer but also serves as a marketing initiative. Proactive efforts to drive customer engagement show your dedication to customer satisfaction and drive repeat business. 
 
Who hasn’t heard of Spotify and its curated, personalized playlists? The best part is that Spotify notifies users about new releases from their favorite artists — that too proactively. By anticipating user preferences and providing timely recommendations, Spotify engages users and encourages continued interaction with the platform, effectively blending marketing initiatives with customer service. 

Developing customer-focused surveys

Customer surveys are a valuable tool for both customer service and marketing. Customer feedback obtained through surveys can inform product improvements, service enhancements and marketing strategies. By collaborating on the design and analysis of surveys, both teams contribute to a deeper understanding of customer preferences and pain points.

A customer-centric survey sample by Airbnb

Source 

Airbnb regularly conducts customer-focused surveys to gather insights and improve its services. By seeking feedback on aspects like user experience, host interactions and accommodation preferences, Airbnb demonstrates a commitment to understanding and addressing customer needs. Survey results inform both marketing strategies and service enhancements.  

Producing user-generated content

Encouraging customers to create and share content related to the brand is a powerful strategy. User-generated content (UGC), such as reviews, testimonials and social media posts, serves as authentic marketing material. Customer service can actively seek and curate such content, amplifying positive experiences and building a community around the brand. 
 
Dive deeper: 3 Reasons Why User-Generated Content Works 

GoPro effectively incorporates user-generated content into its marketing through campaigns like "Adventures Unleashed." In this initiative, users are invited to share daring action videos and photos taken with their GoPro cameras.  

The brand then showcases this authentic content in its marketing materials, fostering a genuine connection with its community. Such targeted campaigns exemplify how user-generated content can be a powerful tool for both product promotion and community building. 

Fuelling real-time analytics and monitoring

Utilizing real-time analytics tools allows both customer service and marketing teams to monitor trends, track customer behavior and respond promptly to emerging issues. By sharing insights and data, these teams can collaborate to refine marketing strategies, address customer concerns and capitalize on opportunities. 
 
Sprinklr's Analytics and Reporting Module provides marketers with real-time insights into customer satisfaction and sentiment, overall and region-wise. Guided by these insights, marketing strategies can be adjusted on the fly, ensuring they resonate with customer trends and preferences.

A Sprinklr Service analytics dashboard showing overall and region-wise customer sentiment

 

Collaborative campaign planning

Aligning your marketing campaigns with customer service initiatives ensures a cohesive customer journey. By involving customer service in the planning stages, potential pain points can be addressed proactively. Additionally, marketing materials can include information on available customer support channels, enhancing the offline and digital customer experience

Nike involves its customer service team in the planning of marketing campaigns, especially those centered around product launches. By addressing potential customer queries and concerns in advance, Nike ensures a smoother customer experience during high-demand periods. This collaborative approach contributes to the success of their marketing campaigns. 

Final thoughts 

In conclusion, the integration of customer service and marketing is not just a strategic choice; it is a necessity if one intends to thrive in a customer-centric landscape. By implementing collaborative strategies, your business can unlock new avenues for growth, customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. To achieve this synergy, it’s imperative to break down silos between the two functions, enabling the free flow of data and insights. 

That’s where a unifier like Sprinklr enters the picture. With interconnected product suites for support (Sprinklr Service) and marketing (Sprinklr Marketing), it offers a seamless platform to exchange data and build collaborative campaigns, paving the way for deeper personalization.

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