Customer Engagement: 4 kansen voor meer samenwerking tussen service, sales en marketing in retail

A while ago a friend told me an interesting story. He had bought a new laptop online. A very good deal, he thought. Until he received an e-mail several weeks later from the same supplier, in which he was offered the same product for a much lower price. This gave him a bad feeling afterwards and decreased his customer engagement.

A pretty big mistake of the supplier that painfully shows what can go wrong when digital platform for sales, marketing and service are not aligned well enough. Something that still occurs too often unfortunately. In this blog I stress the importance of deep integration, which is a must for retailers to be sustainable in this digital era.

Sales, marketing and service: they are all required to ensure a seamless customer journey. But what I still see is with that many organizations, these departments still work autonomously on both operational and technical level. Also, because they connect with the customer via their own channels. I already stated before that it is becoming more and more important to develop an emotional connection with your customer based on empathy. To ensure the preferred customer engagement, the mentioned departments should intensively work together. Especially in the fields of data and intelligence, because technology is there to help.

Frustration and irritation

Organizations that still work in so-called silos, are not able to create the optimal customer experience and are often running into several challenges. Your customers might have liked your brand, the reality is that the experience differs per channel – online and offline.  That results into the fact that the customer is less likely to really identify itself with your organization, which decreases customer engagement.

Your service department is furthermore not efficient and is not able to be effective in its services.  Simply because they insufficiently know what kind of person is in front of them and which previous contacts the customer already had with the organization. That knowledge is often stored at marketing or sales departments, but not made available to service agents. Because of this, the customer inquiries aren’t being answered fast enough and it costs plenty of time to retrieve the required information, if that is even possible. This causes frustration and irritation when the customer is being redirected several times or has to wait a long time before he or she receive the answer.

Besides that, working in silo scan result into a bad approach by the marketing department after a positive or negative experience of the customer, because they don’t have a full 360-degree view of the customer history. If you have a complaint for example, you want to organization to respond correctly, in which they show understanding and recognition. If not, your customer is moving away from your organization more and more.

One aligned commercial approach

This must change! Break down the walls and ensure that your sales, marketing and service departments are becoming one, aligned commercial team. Make it easier for them by connecting and integrating all digital platform that they use. The brings several advantages:

1. You can offer proactive customer service

You can inform and serve your customer wherever they within the customer journey, even when the customer hasn’t actively asked for it. Proactively, not only reactively. Send your customer for example intermediate messages about orders and delivery, or surprise them with presents while they are waiting for their package.

2. Higher opportunity to cross-sell / upsell

As soon as your service is operating at a very high level, you can use customer data and see if other products or services can be relevant as well. Are you for example in contact about a user inquiry and you can see that the customer, based on its personal situation, is possibly eligible for a related product that you also sell? Then you have the opportunity to tempt the customer for an additional purchase.

3. You can personalize your marketing extensively

By technically aligning offline and online and merging them by integrating the digital platforms with customer data, you can bring your personalization to the next levelYou can target your marketing activities specifically on certain needs of the individual, which, as well, increases the opportunity for cross-sell and upsell.

4. As organization you are able to work smoother and more efficient

When you configure this in smart way, all digital platforms and tools are managed and monitored via one central platform. It’s hardly easier and saves you a lot of time, money and effort.

Your customer expects it

And the customer also wants it! Based on research by Salesforce*, we can conclude that already 76% of all customers expects consistent interactions from all departments of a company. So there is no way not to live up to the expectations. Globally, this is speeding up rapidly**:

  • 81% of the marketers has social media connected to commerce systems
  • 80% of the marketers share the goals and statistics with the e-commerce and service departments and 81% shares these with the sales department.
  • 81% of the marketers cooperates with the sales teams on account-based marketing programs.
  • 64% of the marketers gives prioirty to an open service inquiry than to a marketing campaign.

Connected departments, connected customer experiences

In my opinion, connected departments ensure a connected customer experience. To be scalable and future-proof, it is essential to work out of one central platform. As soon as all data and tools for sales, service and marketing operate out of one single source of truth within one platform, in which you even Artificial Intelligence, you are enabled to make the right steps towards next level customer engagement. Everyone within your retail organization is aiming for that higher target: an optimal customer experience and a sustainable engagement of your customers with your organization.

*Salesforce State of the Connected Customer, 4th edition.

**Salesforce State of Marketing, 6th edition.

Want to know more about Customer Engagement?

I am happy to tell you more about the opportunities of a better cooperation between your sales, marketing and service departments. Send me a message and we plan a meeting. Do you want to plan a meeting directly? Go to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>