Marketing is often thought of as everything that happens before a sale; customer service is everything that happens after. But according to Allan Dib, best-selling author of The 1-Page Marketing Plan, customer service is marketing. The two sides are related and can work together to create a smoother experience overall.
Like in customer service, Dib says the first step of marketing is knowing your audience. Who are you talking to? What are they interested in? In his mind, marketing is the strategy used to get your ideal clients to know you, like you, and trust you enough to become customers.
But understanding and caring for customers doesn’t stop when they make a purchase. Dib’s marketing plan dedicates three phases to the post-purchase experience:
- Deliver a world-class experience. This is what turns customers into raving fans.
- Increase customer lifetime value. Customer service and post-purchase marketing encourages customers to buy more often and in higher quantities.
- Orchestrate and stimulate referrals. This step moves beyond passive customers to people who intentionally refer your brand to other customers.
When the sales and marketing team coordinates and collaborates with customer service, great things can happen. Dib says there is often very little continuity as customers are handed off between the groups. But he says both sales and customer service have deep insights into customers, including their fears, frustrations, and reasons for purchasing. The data into why customers do or don’t purchase and complaints about the brand are crucial to product development and marketing.
One of Dib’s best practices is to ask the customer service team what customers are complaining about and enjoying. The marketing team is often unaware of why customers buy a product and what features draw them in. But customer service has its pulse on the customers and can provide amazing insights.
Integrating marketing and customer service starts with open communication and sharing data and recommendations. When marketing shares its knowledge and customer service shares customer feedback, brands can proactively improve their products and experience. Dib says one of the most beneficial exercises is asking customers what almost made them not buy.
Including business leaders in customer feedback and involving them in customer service calls also puts customers front and center in every aspect of sales, marketing, and post-sales service.
Marketing, sales, and customer service are crucial in the overall experience. But they work best when they work together. Including all aspects of the sales process in customer experience can create a more cohesive and effective experience.