Many businesses will agree that customer service and marketing have always had a relationship with mutual benefits. However, since we’ve arrived in the digital era, and consumer purchase habits have shifted towards e-commerce, more and more companies see the need to upscale their marketing and customer service department to adapt to this changed consumer behaviour.

The digital consumer is likely to take advantage of the competitive transparency that the internet offers. Online reviews and price-comparison websites can be found within minutes, making it crucial for companies to have a positive online presence. On top of that, we can’t forget that acquiring new customers is around five times more expensive than retaining an existing one1.  

The reality is that, unfortunately, in most companies, customer service and marketing departments are highly disconnected. This has been painfully made clear during the pandemic, as many firms desperately tried to react to high e-commerce demand. With many delays in shipments, operations  and a gigantic shift from offline to online orders, customer complaints skyrocketed. And whilst marketing and sales teams tried to generate new business to compensate for the lack of offline orders, customer satisfaction levels dropped by ad hoc solutions by the customer service department.

Over the years, I have seen similar challenges at some of our clients. Something that is especially noticeable in companies that grow fast or go through big transitions in their operations, is that they risk working in silos. In this blog I’d like to go deeper into 3 solutions to this problem, and how it can benefit your business.

 

"When different departments such as logistics, customer service, sales and marketing are aware of the problems and wins in the day-to-day operations of other departments, it creates an environment where problems can be solved quickly."

Breaking up silos

It’s fascinating to see how big e-commerce players like Picnic, Coolblue and Omoda have one thing in common: an extreme focus on customer satisfaction. Have you ever tried to imagine what it takes for companies to have that many people that are satisfied with your products or services? The customer journey for an e-commerce business has a lot of touch points where things can go wrong. And without direct face-to-face contact, these potential problems need to be solved quickly to avoid negative online publicity.

A crucial aspect of the businesses described above is that their different departments avoid working in silos. When different departments such as logistics, customer service, sales and marketing are aware of the problems and wins in the day-to-day operations of other departments, it creates an environment where problems can be solved quickly.

For example: say a customer service agent of Picnic receives a complaint of a customer that has ordered bananas. The customer in question is not happy because the bananas arrived squashed underneath two packages of milk. The customer service agent apologizes and makes note of the incident into their CRM platform. Over at the logistics department, a notification pops up of a support ticket that relates to their operations. The supervisor then easily makes note of the recommendation and briefs his/her staff the next morning that bananas should always be loaded on the top of every delivery. The marketing department, who receives weekly reports of solved operational issues then comes up with a new ad, assuring people that a purchase at Picnic is banana-friendly.

Stimulate collaboration by aligning goals

One of the ways smart businesses ensure collaboration among their different departments is to set mutual KPI’s. Since there are many things that can go wrong in the e-commerce customer journey, almost all departments of your business can help to improve customer satisfaction. When KPI’s concerning the customer’s evaluation of your products/services are set for each department, it stimulates collaboration towards this goal. And on top of that, it can make your employees re-evaluate how things are done on a day-to-day operation, benefitting your business!

Make use out of all your data

It’s important to not fall behind in competitive markets. While this is true, rushing into implementations of new technology is often not the best answer. I have seen the greatest successes at our clients businesses that took the time to really plan ahead, making their solution future proof. CRM systems are only as valuable as the data that goes in and out of them, and by carefully identifying beforehand what information should be stored and shared within the company, you can enhance your total customer experience the most. On top of that, this process also serves as a blueprint to look at when changes need to be made or new channels and departments are added.

 

Want to know more about information structures and the tools that can help your business achieve loyal customers? Reach out to Just Greve by emailing jg@vaneigens.com or calling 06 28 43 28 52.

  1. https://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/is-acquiring-new-customers-more-expensive-than-keeping-them/

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