It is true! Customer Service IS indeed the new marketing. Have a look at the consumer behavior, their thought process and their purchase patterns – and you will understand that marketing is slowly taking a back seat and customer service is moving forward with leaps and bounds.
Customers today have access to loads of information at their fingertips. Technology has given them so much power that they are the ones who dictate the rules in this game. They have access to multiple apps and websites that allows them to compare products and services and take an informed purchase decision. They no longer trust most marketing campaigns, which they all believe are nothing but gimmicks by marketing companies to make a sale. Customers today depend more on the experiences that the brands offer them. They also trust word of mouth which comes through trusted sources like their family, friends and colleagues.
This essentially denotes that every interaction that your customers have with your customer service team or your free customer service software, is marketing. Every single time, your customer has a satisfactory or “wow” experience when he is interacting with your support team, it equals a successful marketing campaign done by you.
Still not convinced? Here are 5 reasons why customer service is the new marketing
1) Customer service self-pays
The first department to lose budget when it comes to cutting down costs is the customer service department. However, you must remember that it is extremely difficult and expensive to get a new customer as compared to retaining an exciting one. Brands tend to spend way more in marketing to get new customers than in customer support, that can help them retain existing customers. It is better to look at customer service as a facet of marketing and investment in customer service software as an investment in marketing campaigns – something that will pay for itself as time passes, by helping you retain customers and keeping them happy.
2) Putting together a good customer service system is affordable
Yes, there is no denying the fact that you need budgets to set up an efficient customer support system. Your customers do not care about expensive tools used by you, to calculate statistics or swanky offices. What they care about is whether their problems are being sorted and how the customer support team talks to them or how easy your customer service software front-end is, to interact with. A little in-depth thinking on this front can help you to keep your costs low without compromising on the level of customer support offered.
3) Hiring customer service staff is easy
When you have to hire someone for the marketing team, it is extremely important that the employee possesses a certain set of skills, as per the job requirement. When you are hiring customer support staff, while prior experience is definitely an advantage; what matters more is the attitude and personality fit for your business. You can use your current teams’ expertise and experience to hire your customer support staff. This will also help you bond better with your existing team.
4) Good customer service always empowers employees.
Your customers being happy is directly proportional to how happy your customer support team employees are. You have to remember that most of them are in this job as they like interacting with people and finding solutions to their problems. While, as a business owner, you may want to keep a very close eye on them and monitor their every tiny action; empowering them to take decisions independently will definitely motivate them to do better. They are sure to work more passionately and come up with creative solutions to solve customer problems. Rewards and recognition also play an important role in empowering your customer support team.
5) Customer service can be enhanced using technology
Automation comes as a boon in customer support. Multiple customer service softwares are available in the market, which can automate a lot of the mundane processes and free up valuable time of your people. While we may argue that a chat-bot can never match the natural conversation-making tendency of a human being; it definitely is better than making your customers wait a long time for a response. Delay in response is sure to anger your customers. The chat-bot can answer basic questions and then direct the customer to a representative if required. Other technology like a good data base with videos, blogs and more can really help customers clarify a lot of their doubts, without even having to reach out to the customer support team.
To conclude, if you want to offer excellent customer service you have to rely on intuition, have the passion and empathy and say the right thing at the right time. How you tackle consumer queries is what will be a differentiating factor for you in this cluttered market. In that sense, customer service is the new marketing as it lets you acquire talented employees, gets you more revenue (Happy customers will do more business with you and also refer you to others) and also enables positive word-of-mouth for your business.