Adapted advice from Experience This! podcast with Joey Coleman and Dan Gingiss.
In episode 22 of Experience This!, a customer experience podcast series, hosts and CX experts Joey Coleman and Dan Gingiss share why they believe a great customer service experience requires marketing and customer support teams to work together.
Too many companies keep marketing folks separated from customer support team members, which really hurts their businesses, note Joey and Dan. The two groups are often “siloed”: marketing attracts the customers, and then passes them off to customer support, which is expected to deal with their customer service experience problems. As Joey points out, however, silos are for farms, not businesses. With social media playing a bigger role in marketing, Dan says it’s becoming clearer that a brand no longer gets to have a megaphone and shout its message, while customers have to sit and listen. Today’s social media marketing has a customer experience focus; the audience can talk back. One-way communication is a thing of the past, and customer support and marketing must be aligned. Joey and Dan have identified three areas that benefit from such teamwork.
Working together, marketing and customer support can provide a cohesive message. A consistent brand voice and customer experience are good for customers. It’s what they expect, and it makes interaction with the company easier.
To illustrate that, Joey points to an example from outdoor retailer REI, in which marketing and customer service departments work together. REI’s Force of Nature promotion highlighted bravery, particularly in girls. A customer posted a picture of a young girl lifting a stick on a nature walk on REI’s social media, noting: “My six-year-old daughter is a force of nature.” The support team took notice and thanked the poster for sharing. “I just think having that come from support as opposed to just from someone else in marketing made it feel a lot more human,” Joey says.
The ideal cooperative approach between marketing and the service team is when both have knowledge of all the interactions that happened across the customer journey, “not just the ones that happen to fall under the scope of their specific department,” Joey explains. Often times, once prospects become customers, marketing stops paying attention and hands their care to customer support. The trouble is that customer support isn’t privy to the conversations that happened on the marketing side, and that’s fertile ground for very disjointed interactions. The customer service experience will suffer if the brand messaging is misaligned.
Dan notes than one great way to break down those silos is to encourage cross-pollination between the other departments: let employees experience what it’s like to be on another team and provide visibility between different groups. “Some of the best experiences that I’ve had in the business world as a marketer have been when I have sat next to a customer service agent and listened to actual phone calls,” says Dan. The goal is to nurture connections in a way that’s going to make the communications with the customer feel more natural and organic. There is nothing quite like hearing the real voice of the customer, Dan adds. Both he and Joey observe that such ongoing dialogue builds a foundation for truly genuine customer responses — a great start to building solid relationships.
For more customer service tips and CX lessons from Episode 22 of Experience This, listen to the full episode.
Plus, find more episodes of Experience This! at smartercx.com/experience-this.