Customer Service, as an idea has gone through a gamut of changes.
The term is pretty new to the industrial world as such. Customer centric businesses came to the fore only recently. Can you imagine a time when you didn’t have a choice to return a defective product. Well, such a time existed not so long back. If you bought a lemon, it was just plain tough luck. Buying a new product was a huge risk!
Times have changed and how! Today, customer is the king. Every business activity is planned with the customer in mind. Customer Service is a key attribute that tilts purchase decisions. So as a business, where do you start serving your customers? Post purchase service is something that every organization does. Is that enough?
Well, as per the latest trends, not exactly. Today, customer service has to begin with your marketing efforts. Marketing and customer service are no longer seen as two parallel cogs in the business wheel. If you have high aspirations about your marketing campaigns, you need to integrate customer service into the campaigns.
If you analyze the latest marketing trends, there is a common factor- Building relationships. Today, brands matter, products matter, relationships matter. You can’t just have a unique product as your USP and build your business. You need to strike a chord with your prospective customers.
How do you integrate all this in your marketing efforts?
Direct Marketing: Direct marketing might not make a splash for you in the media. But, it’s highly effective when it comes to impressing prospects. Direct Marketing brings that personal touch into your marketing mix. It gives you a chance to understand your customer personally and offer them customized products/services. Interact with your customers and give them what they want, when they want it. The most preferred Direct Marketing channels are Email Marketing, Telemarketing, Direct Mail Marketing etc.
CRM: A business CRM is not just used for customer service activities. It can be used to keep a track of the complete customer lifecycle. Keep a track on what your prospects do and nurture them till they are converted to paying customers. Subscribe to a hosted CRM that suits your business and see the difference.
Effective Lead Nurturing: There was a time when lead nurturing was all about nagging your prospects. That doesn’t imply that there aren’t people who do it still.
Stay away from that practice if you wish to take your business higher. Nurture your prospects based on what their immediate requirements and interests are. For this, you need an effective lead nurturing platform in place. Track your prospects and communicate with them based on their interests.
More than integrating any of these into your marketing mix, there is something that you should concentrate on. Imbibe the customer service culture into your business cycle. Make sure that all your business executives put customer service as their primary motto.