AFTER A RECENT interview I had with a friend and fellow digital guru, the topic of how digital media marketing helps customer service came up. There have been many articles written about the importance of sales and customer support team alignment, which illustrates the importance of customer strategy and cross-departmental collaboration and integration, but few discussions about the relationship between marketing and customer support teams. The symbiotic relationship between the marketing team and customer service team should carry the same importance. With so many more customers now turning to digital media marketing and social media channels (key components in the marketing plan), the need for a marketing and customer service connection should be obvious. Moreover, social media is quickly becoming the consumer’s choice for communicating with businesses. Customers can now communicate via live chat, email, social posts, websites and other digital means before, or often in lieu of, picking up a phone. Determining the best channels to use for customer service may be unique in every business and will rely on the goals set and the measurements put in place to monitor the progress toward those goals. It is a certainty that the two teams, marketing and customer support, work together. If you are planning on implementing this collaboration, there are a few things to consider as you approach your synergistic design. 1. Use social media as a tool in your customer support. There are a number of tools available to the marketing team that allow for the easy routing of customer service issues to the customer support team. Platforms such as Hubspot and Hootsuite make it possible to easily collaborate and communicate between marketing and customer support. 2. Allow content creation ideas to flow. The marketing team should always be on the lookout for creative content for the website, social media posts, Google ads, blogs, etc. The interactions that the customer support team has on a daily basis can provide ample topics that are timely and relevant. Take advantage of their input. 3. Remember the importance of buyer personal development. The more the marketing team knows about the people that buy or use your products and services the better. The customer support team has their finger on the pulse of the buyer because they deal with them every day. They truly have a feel for the good, bad and the ugly. Together they can gain a better understanding of your customer’s needs, challenges, interests, and much more data that helps you track a buyer’s behavior. 4. Learn to set realistic expectations. When the two teams are in alignment it is easier to recognize and discuss the real expectations of customers and where there may be inadequacies in the overall customer satisfaction. This helps the marketing team modify campaigns and fine tune the messaging. 5. Together is better for a unified message. When customers have questions about products or promotions, they will usually call customer support to find out more information. The communication between the two teams will enhance the opportunity to capture new business and retain old business because the messaging is consistent. 6. Work on sharing your customer stories. The relationship between marketing and customer support enables the teams to move easily on pinpointing great case study candidates and customer success stories. Set a standard for what the teams should be looking for. Help the find the “golden nuggets” that can make your business shine. Teams working together are always a great thing. However, when it comes to providing stellar customer service, it is an imperative. Having a plan for the marketing and customer service teams’ collaborative efforts will pay big dividends. Utilizing the digital space to increase your customer service can also be a great benefit. If you’d like to know more about digital marketing integration and tools, please feel free to give me a call at Sun Media Digital (928) 539-6925, or email me at bregenhardt@ yumasun.com.