Customer service is not part of the traditional marketing mix. The question is at all to what extent the traditional marketing mix is still relevant. Surely the 5 (or 6 or 7?) P's seem fairly outdated by now. Or maybe not outdated, but in our opinion there really should be a letter. Letter K, from customer contact. Or C for customer service or C for customer experience. It just depends on how fancy you want to make it, of course. In this blog we look at customer service marketing in which we explain why your customer service should be a powerful marketing tool!
First, let's clarify exactly what we are talking about. What is customer service?
Our definition of customer service: Customer service is the process or processes in which customer questions are answered through (in)direct customer contact. Customer questions in this can be questions from customers but also from potential customers and even ex-customers.
Customer questions in the broadest sense of the word. Examples include:
Customer Service is the department in which customer inquiries are generally handled centrally by customer service agents. Other names for customer service are Customer Contact Center (KCC), Customer Service or Call Center. Call center often has a slightly different meaning here because it is often associated with an outside agency that deals with telemarketing.
Clearly, customer inquiries are generally not caused by customer service but by other departments or processes such as marketing, sales, purchasing, etc. etc. etc.
Our definition of good customer service: Good customer service is customer service where customer contacts are handled qualitatively and quantitatively well enough to contribute positively to the customer experience.
What customer experience is and why we believe it starts with good customer contact read here. Good customer service meets customer expectations. This includes things like accessibility, choice of channel and answering customer questions as fully as possible and in one go. Very good customer service not only meets but exceeds these expectations wherever possible.
Quite apart from the external component (customer experience), good customer service is also very important internally. The input from customer questions can of course be used to optimize your internal business processes. In other words, if you know exactly what is going wrong based on customer questions, you can of course do something about it.
Marketing is the process of promoting sales. Marketing literally stands for "getting your hands on the market. Marketing is aimed at getting your hands on the largest possible market share. There are all kinds of strategies and opportunities for that. Responding to customer needs is fairly important in this regard, in our opinion. If you want to influence the market and create or stimulate demand for your products or services, you need to know what your potential customers need. The moment you have customers you want to know what you can do better, where things are going wrong and how to make it as pleasant as possible for your customers to become and stay customers with you. Customer service markerting is something that we believe is part of that.
If marketing is all about responding to customer needs and customer service is a central department where customer inquiries come in, then the importance of customer contact in a marketing mix seems obvious. But there's more... Customers generally don't contact customer service when everything is clear, products or services are working and nothing is wrong. No, customers contact customer service the moment things go wrong. Where marketing too often focuses on encouraging purchase, it is generally customer service that resolves problems after purchase (aftersales).
That's where the importance of customer service marketing comes in. Good customer service adds to the customer experience, bad customer service detracts from it. Marketing has long ceased to be just about gaining market share. One of the first marketing lessons is that acquiring a new customer is 7 times more expensive than retaining a customer. So customer retention is at least as important as acquiring new customers.
Marketing is all about getting your hands on market share. Good customer service makes you less likely to lose your customers. In addition, good customer service helps you get to know your customers better because you listen to them. Therefore, if based on the input your customer service can provide, you then continually adapt your business to your customer's needs then you are actively working on your marketing. So customer service marketing is a powerful tool!
We are SpangenbergGroup! And we can help you make your customer service an good customer service to make. Just good customer service where the basics are in order. Where customer contacts add value to the customer experience. We relieve you in the area we are good at (customer service) so you can concentrate worry-free on what you do best. Sound good? Get in touch.
With over 25 years of experience in the field of optimizing customer contact and customer experience SpangenbergGroup can help you. The optimize customer service or outsource? Use the form or see our contact page.
Also with other questions about customer contact and customer service you can always contact with us!
Get in touch io. We will be happy to look into it with you!