Improving customer retention

Improving Customer Retention: Synergy Between Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service

In this day and age, companies implement all sorts of tactics to leverage their offerings above the competition. However, as elaborate as some of them seem, it’s really not all that complicated.

When you boil down any business with great reviews, it’ll naturally reduce and separate into three simple categories: marketing, sales, and customer service.

These three divisions are the cornerstone of any company with happy customers. If you’re missing one, it may be difficult or even impossible to retain buyers.

Running a business is a lot like being an alchemist. The key to the creation of the proverbial philosophers’ stone? Balance, cooperation, and communication between the “elements” of success mentioned above.

Without harmonious interaction between the marketing, sales, and customer service teams, companies waste valuable time and energy trying to “connect the dots” in regards to solving issues that could be prevented altogether.

It is often the case that these teams are working not only on entirely separate floors but sometimes in different buildings or even cities!

If you take practical steps to improve the synergy between your marketing, sales, and customer service teams, you’ll not only save yourself some headaches, you’ll gain valuable insight that would otherwise be missed.

In this article, we’ll fill you in on how it can take your performance to a whole new level.

Table of Contents:

  1. The Marketing and Sales Disconnect
  2. Preventing Customer Upset Before it Occurs
  3. Are You Beginning to See How it All Works Together?

The Marketing and Sales Disconnect

More often than not, the marketing and sales teams seem to be on entirely separate planets when it comes to the angles that they take.

Those working in marketing spend time targeting a very specific group of people. They attract them through a combination of branding, targeted advertising, etc.

This is all good and well, but where does that leave the sales team if there hasn’t been communication between the two groups? Has your sales team been adequately prepared to carry on the message developed by marketing?

Without communication between the two groups, those working in sales could take an entirely different approach than the one developed by marketing when they interact with your customers.

When this happens, it can throw off the efforts that have been put into branding. It can deter customers just as quickly as they were drawn in.

“The point of a new client sign up represents years of time and effort invested into all the elements of the sale—brand, marketing, and product”Dmitrii Kustov

Keeping the lines of communication flowing between marketing and sales

This one simple thing can go a long way in ensuring that you keep the customers you attract. Now, that’s not to say that you need to have a long training session to keep your sales team on the same page as marketing.

It doesn’t have to be elaborate, nor does it have to be complicated.

A short meeting or phone call between your sales and marketing leaders can work wonders to make sure the whole team is working from the base of your brand’s message.

If you want to take it a step further, basic reference materials such as pamphlets with tips and tricks for interacting with and engaging with the target audience can be incredibly helpful for the members of the team that works with the customers directly.

The Sales Team Can Give Valuable Insight to Marketing, Too!

It’s a two-way street, and at the end of the day, Marketing needs insight that only those working in sales can provide to strengthen and improve strategy.

The people working in sales talk to and interact with customers that the marketing team is targeting.

Day in and day out, the sales group listens to the needs and concerns of people invested in your company’s products and services, so they’re some of the best people to ask when it comes to understanding a target audience.

In addition to that, they often overhear comments about your offerings that customers make when talking things over with their friends and family. This kind of insight is marketing gold!

Clear, regular communication between sales and marketing can have a powerful impact. The insight gained will allow marketing to refine, tweak, and strengthen their strategy in ways that would otherwise be impossible.

It’s okay to start small, a quick monthly meeting or phone call to talk about any patterns and experiences with customer engagement will go far.

Furthermore, those working in sales are likely to be happy about having the opportunity to share the insights that they have gained while interacting with customers.

You might be surprised by how much cooperative efforts can boost morale among your employees.

Preventing Customer Upset Before it Occurs

Those working on the customer service team are responsible for walking customers through issues and upsets in regards to products and services.

It’s a lot of pressure, and unfortunately, it’s not always possible to remedy the issues that are brought to light. When this happens, it can have negative consequences on the reputation of your company.

What if your customer service team could prevent issues before they happened? Well, they kind of can if you take steps to prioritize a synergistic flow between customer service and your sales and marketing teams.

Bridging the Gap Between Customer Service and Sales

Just like sales can help marketing, customer service can help sales! Those who are working on your customer service team have likely noticed patterns when it comes to customer complaints and concerns.

It is often the case that customer upset is the result of misunderstandings and miscommunications about the limitations surrounding a product or service.

If your customer service team has noticed certain patterns in regards to accidental misrepresentations about an offering, it can be a big help in improving overall customer satisfaction to make those patterns known to those working in sales.

When communication is clear and flowing smoothly between the two teams, sales can take the insight provided by customer service and actively take steps to implement it.

Giving Constructive Feedback to Another Group of Workers

  • Set the frustration aside
  • Avoid pointing fingers
  • Address the group as a whole
  • Generalizing when possible can reduce the onset of tension

The insight gained gives those working on the sales end the opportunity to spend extra time explaining the things that have contributed to a pattern of misunderstandings in the past, effectively stopping potential complaints and negative reviews in their tracks!

How Customer Service Insight Helps Marketing

Sometimes it is the branding and advertising surrounding a product that leads to customer misunderstandings.

If that’s the case, there’s only so much that those at the end of the sales can do to remedy the issue. Customer misunderstandings are typically a combination of changes needing to be made on both ends.

That is why it’s so important for customer service team members to be in communication with those who work in marketing, too!

Developing a clearer message through the use of customer service insight can work to mitigate the risk of customers thinking that a product may do something that it actually doesn’t.

It can also help companies that sell services to clearly defines the limitations of their services before a misunderstanding has the change to develop.

Are You Beginning to See How it All Works Together?

So far, we’ve covered the basics of how marketing, sales, and customer service can all serve to help one another strengthen the overall performance of a company, but if you continue to dig into it, you’ll see that the interconnectedness runs far deeper than could ever be covered in one article.

For example, take marketing and customer service.

We’ve talked about how the two divisions can and should work together, but did you know that customer satisfaction can be a form of marketing in and of itself?

In the age of smartphones and mobile devices, review apps like Yelp are a quick tap of the finger away.

When a customer needs a product or service, one of the first things that they’re likely to do is see which companies have the highest ratings. If your customers are satisfied, then this is great news for you and for your business.

It All Leads Back to Customer Service

The insight gained through listening to customers can prevent the problems from reoccurring in the future, in turn, learning to higher ratings and improved visibility.

The connections between sales, marketing, and customer service flow back smoothly in the opposite direction as well, creating a circle.

For example, a track record of great customer service and overall customer satisfaction can be used to leverage the company by marketing.

Have you earned an awesome rating across multiple review platforms? Talk about that and use it to attract more people.

Not Quite Where You Want to Be?

If you haven’t reached your goals and are not yet where you would like to be with performance and customer satisfaction, learning how to view the components of your business as a complete system is the first step to getting back on track.

One sure way to get started with doing that is by creating systems that allow your customer service, marketing, and sales teams to contribute to and strengthen one another.

It’s okay to start small, you don’t have to conduct a full-blown internal audit (although if you’re capable of that, it probably wouldn’t hurt). It can be as simple as encouraging the leaders of your different teams to come together for monthly insight and input.

Sometimes it ends up being the most basic strategy that leads to the most profound results!

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