Most people don’t associate marketing with customer support.
Marketing is traditionally all about drawing new customers into your business. Customer service focuses on keeping them there.
But with customer experience expected to overtake both price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020, B2B companies cannot afford the narrow focus of traditional marketing or customer support teams. And the good news is that with the wealth of marketing data available today, businesses don’t have to.
Marketing data opens doors for customer support and marketing teams to collaborate both on attracting and retaining customers and differentiating your brand from the competition. Here’s how:
How Marketing Data Helps with B2B Customer Support
#1. Marketing Data Helps Customer Support Act Proactively
Customer service has long been a reactive arm of most B2B companies. When a customer encounters an issue or needs more information on your product or service, they call a hotline, or email a help desk and then wait around for a response.
That’s not a positive customer experience. As one report put it: “customer service is what happens when the customer experience breaks down.”
In other words, the best companies recognize when their customers need support and take a proactive approach to solving problems as a way to minimize business disruptions. And how exactly do they make that happen?
Marketing data, of course. Today’s marketing teams consistently track every bit of user engagement on your site and social channels. And because of that, spotting a customer in need of support is simply a matter of understanding “red flag” behaviors and setting triggers for when they occur.
Doing so turns customer support from a reactive to a proactive experience for customers. Support teams can create and surface content to aid customers with basic problems and even proactively contact customers by phone (before they call you) to offer a best-in-class customer experience.
#2. Marketing Data Helps Support Teams Reach Customers Through the Right Channel
Of course, creating great customer support content is only useful if you’re able to reach your customers through a highly visible channel. Luckily, marketing data helps there, too.
Marketers understand better than anyone what channels — whether it’s email, social media, search, or elsewhere — offer the most direct line to your target audience. Rolling out a new product update that’s sure to generate questions from existing customers? Customer support teams can leverage marketing data to proactively offer training materials and remind customers of the best way to get questions answered by your company.
#3. Marketing Data Tells You When a Customer Might Churn
Acquiring new customers is far more expensive than retaining (and upselling) to the ones already in your book of business. Which is why churn prevention may be the most important collaboration between marketing and customer support teams.
Just as support teams can leverage marketing data to proactively recognize customers in need of help, they can use that same data analysis to recognize the warning signs of a customer who may churn. Support teams can set triggers for low activity and get ahead of potential churn risks before contract renewals come up.
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