If you’ve ever been told that sales, marketing and customer service are in wholly unrelated departments- I’m going to be bold right now and say whoever told you that had absolutely no idea about marketing.
Actually that may be a bit harsh- they might know a bit about marketing in the 1900s but they’re obviously blind to the way things work today.
Reaching your customers is no longer a linear method of communication- and although it’s widely recognised that this is the case in all marketing literature, it seems a lot of modern day businesses just aren’t following.
Customer service is the key to your customer happiness. Now, of course you can’t have a great business if the product is crap, or if the UX is awful- but often the problems of a business (including the two above) are solved by great customer service.
If a customer calls up furious that they can’t use the website, or the new wallet they just paid £200 for is broken – the person on the other end of the phone can genuinely turn the angry customer into a happy one. They can pass a message onto the tech team to tell them the problem with the website so it’s solved, or they can send out a replacement product to the customer. Both options, solved by a smiling voice on the phone in around 2-5 minutes.
If you want your business to succeed you NEED to think about how your customers are being treated when they come to you with a problem, question or query.
Yes- you’re a website, but when a customer calls in to request your services- would your team offer to input this for them over the phone and explain how the service works?
Or would they direct the customer to the website then have the sales team call them once they’ve signed up!?
There’s no way that sales and customer service can work in two different ways in this day and age – customers are too smart and sales is too pushy – so it’s almost impossible to have either department work independently of one another.
Sales IS customer service – customer service IS sales.
So get your sales team, and your customer service team – and get them to train each other! Sales techniques when performed during a customer service call will work 10x better than a cold call. Similarly, a sales person who understands the customer and can handle general queries will sell 10x more than one who is simply there to sell.
Furthermore: how can you market your product/service if you don’t know what your customers want, what they talk like, what they value, their frustrations and also their admirations about your business? You cannot afford for your sales and marketing team to ignore the people they’re trying to reach!
As a marketer myself, I find it a necessity when joining a new company to just jump on the phone and chat to customers- tell them your role and they’ll be flattered that you’re interested in hearing what they have to say. Pair this with a friendly voice and a smile (you CAN hear the smile over the phone) and then you’re really starting to understand your target market and can begin to piece together what it is you need to do to succeed.
Customer service is at the core of a business, and I find it extremely confusing that this is still paid at such a low rate… When I open my own business one day- customer service will be a core component in the training of staff- if you don’t know what they want, how will you give it to them?