Customer acquisition costs (CAC) are a key marketing ingredient. Marketing projects are forecasted and budgeted using these costs, and they can determine the success or failure of a business. Businesses need paying customers.
Although the cost to acquire a customer varies by organization, customer retention rates are consistently cheaper. A frequently cited report from Bain & Company’s Frederick Reichheld found customer retention costs are anywhere from five to 25 times cheaper than acquiring new customers.
This makes post-sales contact points like customer service and tech support valuable marketing tools. Both B2B and B2C businesses can benefit from improving customer service, and managed services can help. It’s a continuation of the customer journey and follows a structured workflow.
Valuing Customer Service
Today’s digital marketing plans revolve around influencers and micro-influencers. Really, these are two fancy buzzwords to describe the audience size that anyone has across public online platforms. That includes your customers.
- 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses
- 91% of 18- to 34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before trusting a local business
- 89% of consumers read business’s responses to reviews
Once a business earns a consumer’s trust, the key is keeping it. Influencer marketing is as easy as turning existing customers into brand advocates, and that’s where world-class customer service comes into play. Resolving customer issues and providing personalized service before, during, and after the sale gives customers reasons to share products and brands with family and friends across all their channels.
Approximately 69% of Americans use social media, and the average user has 7.1 social media accounts. Customer interactions with brands are posted every day on Yelp, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and everywhere else. Whether they’re doing it online or offline, people talk to each other about experiences with businesses.
Customer Service Departments
Customer service crosses all channels these days, and businesses often employ chatbots to interact on a wide variety of platforms. These AI-powered bots follow a set script, much like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, and managed services are a great way to keep all the hardware and software straight.
Chatbots are meant to be indistinguishable from human customer service agents. Marketing writers make that happen for both chatbots and humans by creating a unified, branded script that follows workflow logic. There are three main categories of customer service to focus on these efforts.
Reception is the first place anyone new goes for company inquiries. It’s the customer service layer for new customers and returning customers alike. Receptionists check people in, schedule appointments, and act as the company directory. Alice is a virtual AI receptionist developed in Las Vegas to “man” office buildings, and a company’s homepage acts as a receptionist online.
Marketing’s responsibility is to unify the brand voice across these human, virtual, and online receptionists. Greeting people, explaining the company, and guiding them through available products and services increases sales.
After a customer makes a purchase, they now own the product and are using it. If something breaks or doesn’t work, it’s time to check the instruction manual, the online FAQs, and call the helpdesk. The faster and friendlier technical support is, the happier customers will be.
Marketers create messages to invoke a response from customers, and when those customers respond, it creates a conversation. Whether through email, web form, or social media, customers expect a response within an hour. The larger a business gets, the more important it is for these responses to be managed services to ensure unity and efficiency.
The last step of a customer’s journey is when he or she cancels. Cancellation is a separate department from normal customer service. This is because an unhappy customer is an individual that businesses most need to impress. Any customer calling to cancel a subscription or return a product for a refund is creating churn, attrition, turnover, and a lot of other negative words.
Marketing is meant to draw in subscribers, followers, and customers. When a customer leaves, it’s not always possible to get an exit interview. Still, there are touchpoints in the process, and these are the most crucial marketing communications you’ll create.
Merging Marketing with Customer Service
The analysts here at Edwards Business Systems are experts at optimizing workflows through managed services. From massive call centers to small businesses automating as much as possible, there’s no challenge that can’t be overcome with structured data.
Edwards Business Systems has over 60 years of experience helping businesses use more strategic and efficient technology to become streamlined. Contact us today to learn more.