Net new customers. It’s the marketer’s highest calling. And yet, as marketing functions grow increasingly complex and intertwined, new customers are only one piece of the puzzle. Among the many hats we wear, from managing public perception to influencing product development, marketers also play a significant role in servicing existing customers.
As more and more companies recognize the strong link between marketing and customer experience, there’s a growing trend of customer success teams reporting to marketing departments. Most of the time, however, these two functions still exist in separate departments—despite the fact that strong cooperation between the two is essential for the success of both.
For the benefit of marketers in particular, here are six good reasons to go beyond first impressions and first purchases and get more involved in the complete customer experience.
1. The Marketer’s Best Tool is Customer Advocacy
According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers around the world trust recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of advertising. Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful tool we have. The more in touch we are with the experiences of our current customers, the better chance we have of turning them into passionate brand advocates who can’t stop talking about our products or services. If we want to truly delight our customers with every interaction, rather than merely satisfy them, it takes a joint effort between the marketing and customer service teams.
2. Bad Customer Experiences Can Sink Even the Best Campaigns
Marketers have a vested interest not only in inspiring customer advocacy but also in protecting against bad customer experiences. We can come up with the greatest creative campaign in the world, but if those who respond to our outreach encounter poor service during the sales cycle or in the way they’re onboarded, it can torpedo the entire effort.
We marketers have to put ourselves in a position to influence the service customers are receiving. Depending on the structure of your organization, this may have to be done on a peer-to-peer executive level. At the very least, marketers must be aware of what customers experience once they start progressing through the funnel.
3. Customers Want a Seamless Transition from Sales to Service
Another reason for strong ties between marketing and customer success teams is to unify the customer experience across all connection points. Gigya reports that “45% of consumers prefer a combination of online, mobile, and in-store shopping.” They often want to receive their service in the same way. When there’s an official reporting relationship between marketing and service, this transition feels more seamless. But when the two are very disconnected, it can create a disorienting customer experience.
You’ve likely experienced it yourself. An ad catches your eye online, so you follow it to a website, and you eventually buy something, all the while feeling impressed by the messaging, not to mention the polish and professionalism of the brand. Then you’re in need of support and service, and you try to interact through the same interface, but the site looks different and feels different, and you find yourself wondering if this is even the same company.
Marketers should do what we can to ensure that the core brand values—and visual identity—that inform all marketing messaging are carried through each and every customer touch point.
4. Marketers Can’t Focus Solely on New Leads
Well, marketers can focus on new leads only, but it will be to our detriment.