Communication is the most important arrow sales teams have in their quiver for generating leads and producing sales. It also happens to be the most important tool for marketers to create relevant, qualified content, personalized customer query forms, and more. Making excellent communication an initiative throughout your organization will help you approach more prospects and increase conversion rates.
Unfortunately however, most demand generation tactics still do not encourage easy two-way communication between the brand and the user. You can create loyalty with existing customers and attract new potential customers by reaching them with your content, but for most companies, users can really only get in touch with a brand via the customer service team.
This is why we as marketers need to start to view customer service as a lead-generating channel. Opportunities to keep customers with your organization for the long run, upsell customers or encourage repeat purchases, and create an incredible brand reputation are omnipresent in the customer service process. These are all key ways that your customer service team contributes to the overarching bottom line. So how can you formalize making customer service a cog in your larger demand generation machine? Read on to learn more about strategies for making customer service a revenue-generating team.
Customer Service and Demand Generation
Freshdesk’s blog says, “Customer service is the key to generating leads in your marketing strategies that can be used not only to develop prospects but to nurture them and enhance customer retention.”
Still, customer service will only have a positive effect on your customer journey if buyers feel their concerns are heard and addressed. The first step is to follow customer service best practices to leave every person who contacts your company on an individual basis with a great experience. Once your team has a solid understanding of how to make customers happy and resolve issues quickly, then you can funnel energy toward retention and lifetime value.
Marketing strategies have evolved as catchy advertisements and self-promotional events no longer attract consumers. Now organizations are turning their focus to being recognized for their services and products and learning to develop long-term customer loyalty. Here are a few ways you can do the same.
- Be methodical about the number of audiences you target and create a unique customer journey for each persona. This will create an inbound dynamic that will engage prospects more efficiently.
- You can build brand awareness among customers via email marketing. This helps to keep your business top of mind–it can be particularly impactful for service-oriented companies that may not have a physical product to sell. The more people recognize your brand, the greater likelihood you will see more ratings and customer responses coming in, increasing brand equity and website traffic.
- Advertising is the best short-term tactic any marketer has. While it can sometimes be pricey, especially when compared to PR, SEO, or other slow-burning channels, a great digital advertisement can capture the attention of thousands very quickly. This will kickstart your business and help you create a pool of people to nurture for lifetime sales.
How can you Integrate Customer Service into your Demand Generation Channels?
Customer service can easily use your marketing team's messaging to directly communicate your brand’s ethics. Do this by showing how your team emulates those values in real time instead of simply telling prospects what your company stands for without supportive action. Here are some ways to optimize that communication cycle.
Use Personal Lead Information to Endow Future Communications
Before initiating any communication with a customer service contact, ask the user relevant questions like their name, email address, or contact number. It helps your team to have the data they require to develop future relationships with the client and be proactive should technical issues arrive, like dropped phone calls or ineffective email sends.
Employ Chatbots to Streamline Response Processes
Automated chat features have assisted quite a bit in this area. Developing frequently asked questions are a great way to get your chat feature up and running. It also allows wiggle room in the customer service process that keeps you in the drivers seat. Once a customer has exhausted the FAQ series in chat, your CS team members can then jump in and interact with customers with more complex queries to help them get their issues resolved. You'll be surprised how many customers will get the answers they need from the pre-loaded questions, which saves your customer service reps valuable time.
Engage with Customers Even When Your Team is Offline
In addition to saving time during regular office hours with FAQs, chatbots can also be setup to communicate with customers 24/7 when your customer support agents need to go offline. For issues that require a representative, these chatbots can ask potential visitors for their email address or phone number for your team to respond later the same day. According to the latest surveys, 82% of visitors who interact with these chatbots are more likely to convert into long-term purchasers.
Maximize Your Efforts with an Outbound Call Center
Outbound call centers have been an integral part of sales and marketing strategies for a long time, adopting methods beyond cold calling. They can coordinate with your CRM platform and various other tools delivering targeted user experiences. This can also be a good way to utilize customer service teams' time when they don't have a high number of inbound calls.
Get the most out of your call center services by transitioning from analog to online phone services, as VoIP mechanisms provide customer service attributes like call recording, automatic tracking, customer concerns analysis, and more.
Customer service is a crucial part of your association for building a strong brand identity and to keep customers coming back to your organization again and again. Demand generation tactics are far more successful when paired with great customer service. Look at how to streamline these processes and make your CS team a revenue contributor to the company's bottom line by using tools like chatbots and live chat, seeking customer feedback, and training your customer support representatives on how to identify and take advantage of upsell or cross-sell opportunities.
Joy D'Cruz is a guest contributor to Marin Software.