NOW is the Time to Align your Digital Marketing and Customer Service!

NOW is the Time to Align your Digital Marketing and Customer Service!

align digital marketing and customer service

Written by Michael De La Vega, Sr. Director, CX Strategy and Service Transformation at PolSource

The following is a true story.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Actually, this happened to me, I’ve just always wanted to write that.

For months, I have been trying to buy my favorite sanitizing spray.  It’s eco-friendly, highly effective, and from a brand that is socially responsible. Sadly, it is always out of stock or reserved for those on the front line of the pandemic.

Yesterday, shortly after my weekly attempt to get some, I received a “random” email promoting a potential alternative with 30% off my first purchase.  I’ve never heard of this company, but after viewing their slick website and reading the ingredients, I was intrigued.  I created an account, placed the items in my cart, and clicked “apply discount code.  Invalid Code. I tried again with the same result.

Begrudgingly, I called customer service.  “John” said that he knew of this particular discount. This is when things went sideways.  He said, “Can you try it one more time?  Sometimes customers type in the wrong code”. I explained that there was nothing to type and that I had already tried twice.  He then asked, “Can you see if the discount code has expired?” even though he had just said THAT HE KNEW ABOUT THIS PROMOTION.  I hung up, didn’t buy the product, and will never buy ANY product from that company.

You need to align your Customer Service and Marketing teams so this doesn’t happen to your customers.

Don’t get me wrong. Service and Marketing alignment has always been important.  And companies are no strangers to the need to innovate due to the frequency of digital advancements, the pace at which “disruptors” keep defining the new normal, and the mercurial nature of customer wants and needs. However, at no other time in modern history have the following 4 dynamics converged to create such a rich environment for brands to attract new customers and cement trust and loyalty with existing customers. 

  • More consumers are shopping on-line, even those that were previously resistant to do so 
  • Customers are searching for savings and value due to prolonged financial uncertainty  
  • Customers are willing (or forced) to try alternative brands due to the unavailability of their preferred, trusted brands
  • Heightened sensitivity to brand experience brought on by the stress of prolonged, life-altering, events

Some brands have quickly responded to these dynamics by increasing their Digital Marketing activities and spend.  By way of example, the top 30 national grocers have increased enrollment in digital marketing programs by 93% YoY (March) according to Inmar Intelligence, a leader in digital couponing.

But while many Marketing teams focus on channel innovation, creativity and speed, some are altogether ignoring the importance and urgency of aligning their efforts with their Customer Service counterparts. This misalignment can have damaging results such as:

  • Marketing spend waste – Coupon redemption issues, confusing terms and conditions, irrelevant offers…these are just some of the insights that Marketing can glean from thousands of Service interactions per day.  Without timely, frequent sharing of data, Marketing loses the agility to modify target audiences and campaign messaging, resulting in waste.  
  • Increased costs – When Marketing promotions are confusing and digital coupons are hard to redeem, customers will contact Customer Service (not Marketing) to vent and get their issues resolved.  And poor Service experiences can dilute ROI on otherwise amazing Marketing efforts.
  • Trust erosion – Due to increased sensitivity, poor service interactions can result in immediate backlash in the form of same-day brand abandonment, while poor online reviews can dissuade new customers from considering your Brand.

What can you do?  Here are 3 foundational steps to take NOW:

  1. Mind the GapThe gap between Customer Service and Marketing that is.  The modern customer perceives and reacts to your brand as a whole. Form a CX council that includes representatives from Marketing and Customer Service (and all departments for that matter).  Share ideas, insights, and strategies. Create goals where all teams have some skin in the game.  At all costs…protect the Brand!

  2. Unify Service and Marketing KPIs and processes– Great service experiences make customers want to spend more, subscribe to loyalty programs, participate in Marketing campaigns, and advocate for you via on-line reviews (caution: the sword swings both ways here).  All of these KPIs can be captured and correlated.  If possible, use a powerful data analytic tool (such as Salesforce Einstein Analytics) to more quickly identify trends / issues and recommend next best actions.

  3. Connect your Service and Marketing systems – Ensure that front line agents have easy access to customer facing Marketing material.  Connect Service interactions and outcomes to auto-trigger Marketing journeys that are relevant, timely and add value.  Choose and configure your customer engagement tools to be flexible and agile.

Make no mistake, brands that unify innovative, enticing, value-added Digital Marketing with low-effort, seamless Service experiences will emerge victorious coming out of these troubling times, and will be well positioned to realize continued success in this next evolution of customer engagement.

Need guidance on aligning your Customer Service and Digital Marketing teams? Contact us.  We’ll create a winning strategy and help you quickly implement a solution that’s right for YOU. PolSource has a comprehensive, proven Success Framework and unified teams with decades of experience creating tailored solutions on the Salesforce Customer Success Platform.  

Contact us today to learn how PolSource can help you evolve to stay ahead of the field in the ever changing world of Customer Engagement.