83% of satisfied customers are willing to market your business, according to Laurie Faiola, Director of Customer Marketing at HubSpot. Hopefully, there is no confusion about that number being quite impressive nor the fact that customers should be the purpose behind every effort of your startup. So it would make sense that, when considering any sort of business service strategy, customers should be in the center of your “wheelhouse”.
More specifically, I want to broach the topic of customer service and marketing and how their touchpoints are the secret sauce to truly happy customers and a successful startup. When considering the relationship between marketing and customer service, there are 4 areas that blend together really beautifully to create a wonderful customer experience.
Giving your customer the product you promise is a big deal, especially in the onboarding process. Right off the bat, your startup’s credibility and worth are being analyzed and considered. You’ve received their business, now EARN that sale by providing a can’t-live-without experience and product. Having a seamless onboarding process is an easy and smart way to make customers happy. A complex onboarding experience is like whiffing in t-ball; don’t do it. Relationships and personalizing customer experience are HUGE. New things are exciting and more than likely your customer will be ready to roll upon activation, so don’t be the 100 step Ikea chair, be already built and functioning for THEM.
Existing customers are 50% more likely to try more products and spend 31% more than new customers. And while hooking a new customer is really exciting, it is 5 times more expensive than continuing to build your services with a returning customer. So, retain, retain, retain and provide a product that keeps providing a need. Create additional value. How? Find the perfect moments to introduce new products and services and make it easy to buy. Oh and side note: don’t promote new things to unhappy customers…it is a waste of time, $$, and energy.
Your happiest customers are your unofficial marketing team. Use your (note: happy) customers to pass you along to people they know will benefit and need your service. 81% of people trust their friend’s and family’s advice over advice from a business. Customer reviews are huge as well. Did you know 37.3% of consumers, ages 18 to 29, always look at product reviews before making a purchase? CUSTOMER OPINION MATTERS. Opinions will be posted regardless of if you are looking or asking, so utilize the good stuff. Case studies, testimonials, customer references, and reviews – put them on your website. A way to reward that unpaid marketing team is to make it fun! Initiate a referral fee, offer free services for a period of time, send gift cards, whatever it is, make it fun for people to refer you. Hopefully, they will regardless, but it will add a special touch.
Communication: the pillar. This has to be good or everything else will be hard. If your goal is to be the best, which it should be, then the best communicators are timely, personal, helpful, relevant, and consistent. And hear this marketers, emails are not the only way to communicate with your customers! When you earn the right to really know your customers (hello, customer service teams), you know will know how to communicate effectively with them. It is not a mistake that Target sends “Welcome Home” cards and onesies when their customers have a baby. And it isn’t bad to let data help you get to know your customer, so use it, but it is even better when customer service teams can help marketers organically make this win!
In the end, the collaboration between these two areas can only be a good thing. When “customer” is the answer for marketers and customer service teams, it creates an incredibly fertile ground for the success of your startup. Challenge your team to start some of these practices and take note; it will make a difference.