Why customer service is the new marketing

No one wants to do business with a poorly treated company.

More than ever before, consumers place increasing importance in their direct experience with a company versus their flashy marketing campaigns. 

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The cost of acquiring customers has become increasingly expensive. With increasing competition and rising costs of paid social ads, more and more brands are focusing their efforts on their current customer base.

Traditionally customer service and marketing have operated as separate entities. As times change, attracting and retaining customers is now the responsibility of a company as a whole, no longer the marketing team’s sole responsibility.

On social media, brands are judged by what happens when things go wrong

In 2017, Adidas sent an email to Boston Marathon finishers congratulating them on “surviving” the marathon. The email was met with backlash due to the message’s connotations after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing where three people were killed, and more than 260 people were injured.

Adidas owned up to their mistake and issued a public apology on Twitter and taking out ad placements in reputable publications.

Brands are not judged by their advertisements, rather they are judged by what happens when things go wrong. The customer service role is the one of the least appreciated domains in marketing. 

“In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.”

Jeff Bezos

Use customer service to grow better customers

It is critical to monitor what your community is saying about you. Through surveys, emails, in-person events, website analytics, Instagram polls, you can identify what is and isn’t working for your customers and adapt from the feedback. 

In 2019 Uber announced that it would deactivate riders with below-average ratings to improve their services to keep up with increasing competition from Lyft and DiDi. 

Make customer service part of company culture

When a customer lost their Warby Parker frames on a train, the company’s general counsel, Anjali Kumar ruined the man with his glasses along with two new pairs. 

The story is a brilliant reminder that customer service is not just the responsibility of the support members. When it is part of the company’s culture, it empowers team members no matter their role, to act as brand ambassadors.

Customer service builds reputation 

With a whopping 92% of customers reading reviews online before purchasing, testimonials, reviews and star ratings inspire trust and confidence with a brand. 

Testimonials increase confidence in your product or service and reduce the resistance to buying more expensive products if consumers are unaware of the quality. 

There are several testimonials from quotes, video, audio, interviews, and can be featured across your website and social media channels.

By creating an excellent experience for your customer, you improve your chances of receiving positive customer feedback.

Customer service is influential 

Brands can utilise customer service to come across as human and deliver an emotional experience. 

In 2019, Deborah Price in the United Kingdom tweeted about her friend’s daughter who lives with autism and only wears one specific dress. 

Deborah used social media to ask if anyone had the same dress and was willing to sell it. Not only did strangers reach out to her but the retailer of the dress, Next, went back into production and then gifted the girl three different sizes of the same dress.

By being online and seeing what people were saying about their brand, Next went above and beyond and in turn, created news headlines globally.

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Check out our Social Media Crisis & Reputation Management webinar and make sure your reputation stays tip top.