How Customer Service Affects Marketing – Either Online or In Person

Forbes recently ranked the best customer service skills for 2020, and some of the most in-demand ones are:

  • Intermediary responsibility
  • Resolving complaints
  • Escalating issues
  • Maintaining a positive attitude
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships

Now, this is all well and good, but what exactly does that mean in practice? To figure that out, let’s take a quick look at each of these customer service roles.

The Account Manager

The account manager is the person who takes responsibility for a company’s interactions with customers. This includes everything from collecting customer feedback to maintaining customer relationships. You might also hear the account manager referred to as the “client experience manager,” “customer experience manager,” or “CSM,” which stands for “chief service officer.”

Essentially, the account manager is the person who ensures that every aspect of customer experience with the company is above average. To that end, s/he builds, maintains, and monitors customer relationships and performs all necessary account tasks throughout the customer journey.

The Customer Advocate

Customer advocacy is the act of providing clear communication of what a business offers, why someone should purchase it, and how to use it. Good customer advocates are invaluable because they know how to listen keenly to customer concerns while at the same time demonstrating the company’s concern for providing an excellent customer experience.

A customer advocate can play a crucial role in reducing customer churn by listening to and responding to their needs. When you find that your customers have a problem, your first inclination should be to remedy the situation. However, by taking an assertive stance and becoming a customer advocate, you’re demonstrating to the customer that you care about their happiness and that their opinion is valued. This will encourage them to continue using your service or product, and might even get them to become a marketing advocate for the company.

A customer advocate should be ready to answer questions, address concerns, and resolve complaints. In addition, s/he should have the interpersonal skills necessary for effective communication.

The Customer Experience (CX) Specialist

The customer experience specialist is responsible for driving revenue and growth by ensuring that every customer interaction is satisfactory. This includes everything from delivering a flawless product to the customer to handling any technical support that might arise. A customer experience specialist should have a thorough knowledge of the product s/he is supporting and the ability to explain that knowledge to customers in a clear and concise manner.

The role of the customer experience specialist is to bring revenue to the company through customer acquisition, support, and retention. As such, it is the customer’s first point of contact, and it is the company’s responsibility to make that first impression count. Thus, it is imperative that the customer has a positive experience when engaging with your company. To put it simply: If they aren’t satisfied with your service, they will most likely find an alternative provider. So it is in your best interest to ensure that each interaction with a customer is as good as it can be. This brings us to our next role…

The Marketing Advocate

Marketing advocates are vital to the success of any marketing campaign. This is because they are responsible for the overall strategy and execution of a marketing plan. A good marketer is someone who can identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and understands how to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. A strong marketer will be able to interpret performance data and prove the value of a marketing investment.

Marketing advocates create awareness of a brand or product, generate excitement about a new initiative, or promote a sale.

Additionally, marketers should be aware of customer experience (CX) and how all aspects of it affect a brand’s success. For example, if a customer has a bad experience with a product or service and then shares that experience with their social media followers, that is considered “earned”, or “organic”, marketing. On the other hand, if a customer experiences a positive outcome despite using a low-quality product and then shares that with their social media followers, that is considered “paid”, or “manual”, marketing.

A marketing advocate must be able to develop a marketing plan and then be able to present it to a superior. In addition, they must be able to work with sales and other departments in order to ensure the plan’s effective implementation.

The Sales Advocate

Every company needs people who are responsible for closing sales and making customers into fans. This person’s main duty is to convert casual website visitors into paying customers. Once they have made the initial sale, the sales advocate’s job is pretty much done and they can move onto the next task.

The sales advocate is similar to the marketing advocate in that they are responsible for the overall strategy of a sales campaign. When crafting a sales strategy, a good sales advocate will consider various factors including lead generation, customer acquisition, and converting those leads into paying customers. Additionally, s/he should be able to track the progress of a specific campaign throughout its life cycle, and be able to provide analysis of campaign performance along the way.

A sales advocate should be able to identify and understand the company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and be able to interpret that data to prove the value of a certain campaign or initiative.

The Relational Marketing (RM) Specialist

RM is short for “relational marketing,” which is a method of marketing that doesn’t rely on traditional marketing metrics like “brand recall” or “brand awareness.” Instead, it focuses on creating and maintaining strong relations with customers.

By understanding customer behavior, a marketer can identify the connections between different brands and products. This way, they can target consumers who are more likely to be interested in a particular brand or product, and ultimately, gain valuable sales.

A good relational marketing specialist will be familiar with various marketing techniques and platforms, and have the marketing expertise to back it up. They will have experience in developing and executing marketing strategies and plans, and using relevant inbound marketing methodologies (like marketing analytics, measurement, and optimization).

Ultimately, the manager’s job is to ensure that every department is working toward the same goal, which is to provide the best possible customer experience. Each role plays a crucial role in this regard and, as previously mentioned, some of the most in-demand roles in 2020 are the ones that require customer service skills.

To learn more about customer experience, you can refer back to the Forbes article cited at the top of this article or visit the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CXIPro) website for a wealth of information.