The Strength

of Good Customer Support

The closest link your company has to your customers is through the customer service. How much do you value that? Companies are misplacing their focus within customer service. They rather focus on limiting costs instead of optimising the effects customer service can have on a customer relationship.

Customer Service – One of the Fundamental Areas of Marketing

While everyone knows that advertising and public relations are areas of marketing, it seems like people often forget that so is customer service. Advertising and many marketing areas are something that is easier to control and literally a one-way communication. Customer service is rather the opposite. For a company that wishes to be customer-centric the emphasis on customer service and support is crucial. How can you really call yourself customer-centric if you don’t have a great support system in place? It’s in customer service your company have the chance to prove your customer centric spirit.

Thinking of customer service relationship to marketing always makes me think of mom and pop stores. These stores that can have loyal customers on a different level than any other kind of business. There seems to be a magic to these kinds of small businesses. Somehow they really have created a lasting impact on their customers. It’s that magic that big businesses often try to recreate but usually fails to succeed with. What is that magic? It’s often the relationship between the customer and employee. Building a relationship cannot be broken down into a science.

A company should want the atmosphere to be set for building a relationship with the customer. It all comes down to conversations, digital or vocal. If the marketing department spreads the façade on social media that this is a company that puts the customer first. Then that will be in vain if the two-way conversations you have with customers don’t live up to that attitude.

Separate Departments

The problem is the fact that we are talking about two departments that usually function completely separately. This is probably the reason why there is a disconnect in the alignment between efforts. Sometimes it even seems like the customer support department have a closer connection to the IT-department than to marketing. What does that tell us about the end result? It doesn’t really matter how hard the marketing department is working to present an image. It only matters if customer support breathes the same spirit.

In talking about values and spirit, take for example some of the most common company values; compassion, customers, responsibility and teamwork. All of these somewhat cliché values are all about people and relationships. How can a company stand for these things and still work so hard not to have to talk to customers? If the customer support department are pushing their agents so hard to save money, marketings efforts will almost be neutralised.

The most important thing is alignment and communication between departments. Every action company managers take also has to exude these values. There are too many companies that think it’s good enough if their employees fake the sound and look of happy employees towards customers. How your company treat your employees behind the scene truly matters. It will show through the cracks and your marketing attempts will fail.

Market Research & Feedback

How often do you actually get a chance to have a real conversation with your customers? Companies usually have two separate approaches towards market research and feedback. Either they put a lot of emphasis on it, or they don’t really seem to work on it at all. The first approach thinks it’s an investment that will be worth the money long term. The second don’t understand the value and think it’s too expensive.

But in customer support you have a team that should be working with this on a daily basis. Value the time they spend with your customers and do your best in making your agents comfortable on the phone with customers. Everything doesn’t have to be so efficient. Do not focus too much on statistics. It will leave a lasting impression on your customers if they had a nice conversation with your agent.

Creating Brand Ambassadors

If you (against the odds?) succeed in your customer service and support. You have a greater chance of creating brand ambassadors. Those people that all companies wish to have but is far from easy to create. In this day and age, we attempt to turn how to create brand ambassadors into a science. We measure everything we can and hope that our NPS score and Customer Satisfaction score is proof that our customers are becoming loyal to us. But when we think of it, are we really always that honest while answering surveys? If we are as honest as we can be in surveys, is it actually that easy to grade our feelings?

A customer relationship is as non-scientific as any other kind of relationship. That is what makes it so hard, and small things can have a massive effect on that relationship. So instead of focusing on the science of it, why not just focus on building that relationship through genuine conversations?

So, what are your company’s goals when it comes to marketing? Is it to portray an image that puts the customer first? Then value customer support and service and realise how much potential these efforts have and how it can either make or break your company’s image. In the next blog post we will have a look at what is not a buzzword, omni channel communication. It’s here to stay and companies needs to adapt to it. It’s because of that Connectel specialises in omni channel, which you will learn more about it in the next post. Would you like to get more information on how Connectel’s solution CEC handles a omni channel strategy? Then visit open your channels!

Anna Itzel - marketing manager at connectel
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