The concept of “departmental duty” is rapidly morphing. Today, marketers, and service agents routinely cross-task to perform duties traditionally considered outside their realm of expertise—all for the common goal of providing a more comprehensive, complete customer journey. For example, Bluewolf’s 2014-2015 State of Salesforce Report found that marketers are not only responsible for creating and deploying outreach campaigns, but 65 percent are also measured on customer retention and 57 percent are measured on cross-sell and up-sell.
To this end, Bluewolf claims that the “traditional marketing funnel”—which begins broadly with customer awareness and describes the various personnel interactions and steps that occur before a client ultimately makes a purchasing decision—is now more of a “loyalty loop,” encompassing the efforts of marketing, sales, and service for a 360-degree approach that requires full participation of each department throughout the entire customer experience.
Now more than ever, aligning marketing and service is a critical initiative that enables companies to drive brand identity while also increasing team productivity and encouraging teamwork across the enterprise. Yet, creating this cohesion may be a challenge for companies with disparate teams unsure of how to combine efforts. The tips below may help ease the transition:
Keep Communication Open
Capturing key customer insights into a CRM database is essential to ensuring all departments have access to critical information when they need it. In addition, marketing and service employees should take advantage of every opportunity they have to work together to find ways to better the customer experience. Often, this means sharing data across teams that will help both sets of agents provide a more targeted customer connection.
Leverage Each Other’s Strengths
Both customer service and marketing personnel routinely create and handle information that the other department may find incredibly valuable. For example, customer satisfaction scores or survey data captured in the service department can serve as powerful lead generation materials for marketing, and can even help speed sales cycles by illustrating a company’s commitment to quality performance. Sharing such feedback in a central CRM database ensures its availability for use across departments.
Invest in Powerful, Agile Technology
A robust CRM system isn’t just a nice-to-have tool. It’s an essential element of an aligned organization in that it allows employees to capture and track customer interactions in real-time, then share this data across the organization. Details including channel performance, problem identification and resolution, and client feedback should be shared throughout the company, a functionality not provided by scattered legacy systems that require cumbersome, time-consuming data extraction.
Encouraging repeat business starts with understanding the transformation from prospect to customer. Though they may be at relatively different ends of the purchasing spectrum, marketing and customer service agents are more alike than initially perceived—and both are focused on nurturing client relationships into long-term commitments. To ensure customer satisfaction from the first to final interaction, these two parties must work together to drive a seamless brand view throughout the entire customer journey—and a central CRM system is the linchpin of this alignment.
Information and Image Adapted From:
Gu, Bel. “How Leading Companies Achieve Marketing & Service Alignment,” Bluewolf, April 13, 2015. http://www.bluewolf.com/blog/how-leading-companies-achieve-marketing-service-alignment.