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Customer Service as Marketing: How Treating Customers Right Can Boost Sales

kokou adzo

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One of the first things that they teach in any college’s Intro to Business class is that new companies that are trying to break into an existing market have two primary methods of gaining a foothold: they can either have a lower price than their competitors or they can provide greater value to their customers.

Undercutting existing competition may not be an option in most cases, as the company needs a steady supply of revenue to stay open. However, one way that startups can provide greater value to their client base is through excellent customer service. Let’s take a look at a few ways that startups can accomplish this goal.

Data Sharing and Analysis

Customer service and marketing have a large amount of data overlap, as marketing information can be used for customer service and vice versa. For example, if customers are having issues with a specific element of a product or service or they love part of it, marketing can then use that information to boost sales.

Similarly, if the marketing department’s analytics say that a large percentage of the user base is of Latin American descent, for example, then the customer service department would benefit greatly by having at least one representative who speaks Spanish and providing video translation for its advertising.

These are just a few of the many examples where data sharing and analytics from the two departments are strongly correlated, which is why companies can benefit by treating them as one. Additionally, the overall goal for both departments is to get new customers and retain existing ones. Customers who have quick and easy experiences with customer service staff will nearly always tell their friends and relatives, which could grow the customer base even more.

Boosts Brand Reputation

Speaking of “word of mouth advertising”, improving customer relations will also do wonders for a company’s brand reputation. Customers love having the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can try a product or service and be treated fairly and respectfully should anything go wrong. If they hear that a company goes the extra mile to take care of its clientele, they’ll leave their old providers behind and line up to enjoy your company’s creations.

The importance of a good brand reputation cannot be understated, as it can be the most important contributing factor to a company’s bottom line. Over the past few decades, there have been countless companies that performed excellently in a given market but after an incident or incidents caused their reputation to suffer, ended up going out of business.

According to a study by Capita, over one-third of American consumers are willing to pay more for better customer service.

By combining marketing with customer service and, even more importantly, viewing them as having the same objectives and methods, companies can maintain and even boost their brand reputation above the competition. To that end, customer service surveys are also an important tool that can be used for marketing purposes. If customers frequently state that they chose a company because of their environmentally friendly messaging, that company can then incorporate it into their marketing.

Outsourcing Customer Service

Businesses looking to provide excellent customer service for lowered costs should consider contracting out to a cloud contact center. Traditional call centers (as the name implies) only handle phone calls.

A contact center, on the other hand, handles all of a business’s customer service channels, including social media, live chats, email, text, and more. Instead of paying salary plus benefits to a dedicated staff, outsourcing to a contact center allows businesses to pay a (much lower) single monthly or yearly rate to take care of their customers.

By including customer service costs under the banner of marketing in the budget, the money saved by using a contact center can be reinvested into other facets of marketing.

Final Thoughts

Although customer service has long been seen as an essential part of consumer retention and satisfaction, it has only recently begun to be viewed as an arm of the marketing department. By restructuring the budget to link the two, companies can view their expenses more accurately.

Using a contact center for all of its client communications will allow companies to not only streamline the process but also provide more uniformity, both in customer responses and as part of its budget. If your company is looking to take the next step towards raising the bar for customer service, outsourcing is an excellent strategy.

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Startup.info.

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