Today’s enterprises know that marketing, sales and customer service are the three all-important critical factors to winning business and increasing customer retention. Marketing creates the leads, sales closes those leads, and then customer service provides the impetus for the customer to return time and again. However, as important as your sales team is, it is ultimately marketing and customer service that make the difference. Here are seven reasons why your business should invest more on marketing and customer service.
Generating Qualified Leads
It’s easy to become enamored with the number of leads generated by marketing. However, it’s not a question of how many leads marketing generates, but more a question of how many are qualified. Far too often marketing pushes forth a product or service with the sole intention of generating any kind of lead. This is not a winning strategy.
The best marketing teams identify their target audience and then deliver a message that incentivizes them to act. If your team is producing too many unqualified leads, then it’s up to you to remove this as a going concern. When you spend more on marketing, you increase your ability to generate the kind of leads most likely to become customers.
Reducing Costs of Customer Retention
By now everyone has heard about how inexpensive it is to keep existing customers as opposed to finding new ones. Your customer service team needs to provide the kind of after-sales service and support that distinguishes your enterprise from its competitors. If they aren’t doing that, or can’t because they lack the resources, then it is incumbent upon you to invest more in your customer service team. Customers should have a pleasant experience on the phones, in email exchanges and in the store. Something as simple as a used soda machine and magazines in the office can help customers feel more comfortable and happy. Employees should be trained on how to handle escalated situations to keep the customer happy and feel like the business cares.
Increasing Market Share
Simply put, the more you spend on marketing the more likely you are to increase your company’s market share. However, it’s not about throwing money at a problem. Instead, it’s about focusing on a strategy that increases your marketing return on investment (ROI). Get the message out. Give your customers a reason to inquire and don’t leave lead generation up to the number of cold-calls your sales team can make in a day. Real lead generation comes from a marketing team that uses both inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
Generating Additional Revenue Streams
Any company that operates in cyclical markets is well aware of the importance of generating additional revenue streams. When your business is able to sell its products and services into other comparative markets, then you’re less likely to succumb to a downturn in your main market. However, if you don’t spend money on marketing, and or upgrade your customer service team, then this simply won’t happen. Think of this as an insurance policy; pursuing diversification through other markets will protect your company moving forward.
Building Brand Champions
Brand champions are those loyal customers who can’t even contemplate buying from someone else. Marketing allows you to use these brand champions to increase business, while customer service provides the kind of voice of customer (VOC) data that allows you to define who your brand champions are. Both must work in unison with one another in order to properly leverage your brand champions.
Real-Time Competitive Information
The best marketing teams are the ones that are able to track competitive bids and offers in real-time. Granted, this isn’t always easy and some markets aren’t geared to being able to easily secure competitive pricing. However, this isn’t an excuse for not having the kind of marketing team that can secure this information. Your sales team needs to be able to respond in a timely manner and real-time competitive business analytics is critical to them winning the day.
Accessing a Mobile and Constantly Moving Customer Base
Upgrading your marketing and customer service teams will allow you to keep up-to-date with your mobile customer base. Customers today are more likely to share what they like and don’t like about a company with their friends and family members through social media. If your marketing team isn’t dialed in to today’s online customer, then you’ll lose market share to those competitors who are.
Your sales team will have a greater closing rate on qualified leads. However, if marketing can’t produce enough qualified leads then it’s all for naught. Once those customers place their first order, it’s up to your customer service team to incentivize them to come back. Ultimately, your marketing is your all-important front-line and your customer service is your finishing touch. Be sure to invest in both.