The Importance of Customer Service in Marketing

A question bubble with the words “customer service” in the center.
Companies are recognizing and reacting to the importance of customer service interaction. Source: Google Images.

Customer experience, in marketing shorthand CX, is imperative to marketers. Not only do marketers need CX but also need supporting technologies which integrate traditional customer service with social media operations. Today, almost everyone has access to technology at their fingertips thereby increasing customer’s social interaction with companies. Consumers can readily research, shop, and communicate their experiences with suppliers on their products to a huge online community, including friends, family, colleagues, and many others.

The role that customer service plays in online real-time customer experience is important. According to an article recently released by Forbes, a third of social media consumers prefer online customer service to telephone service. Additionally, these consumers are often viewed as impatient. More than half of Twitter users who tweet about a brand expect the company to respond within an hour. Furthermore, if a customer makes a complaint, 75 percent of consumers expect a response within an hour. Thus consumers have created a high threshold and have high expectations from companies.

Based on recent company reports, Twitter has seen an increase of 250 percent in customer service interactions and conversations with brands in the past two years. Some of the most important findings included the importance of friendly customer service interactions, resolution to problems mentioned by customers, and speed in which brands respond. Twitter, in August 2015, released a 122 page “Customer Service Playbook” which delineated ways brands can build customer service relationships through the use of Twitter.

An avid entrepreneur and current graduate student of Rollins Crummer Graduate School of Business, Julien Meyer, recognizes the importance and value of customer service. He recently launched a tool, BlurtBox, to bridge the gap between customers and businesses within the hospitality industry. BlurtBox enables customers to provide comments about their experience and have the businesses provide immediate feedback or remediation. See the video below of how Blurtbox increases the interaction between a customer and a business operation.

Oracle, a global computer technology corporation who specializes in developing and marketing computer hardware systems, has recently brought several companies, such as Maxymizer, to boost its marketing efforts against its top competitors Salesforce and Adobe. Maxymizer is a marketing tool that helps tailor messages and target people, making aspects of CRM(customer relationship management) easier. Through purchasing smaller companies, such as Maxymizer, Oracle can better serve customers. The integrated software modules allow marketers to build and test their campaigns, implement the campaigns, and then track the results.

Consumers are more likely to recommend brands that personalize customer service interactions. Brands that get more personal with their customer service interactions often are more successful than those companies that keep interactions more businesslike. Increasingly customers are looking for a “humanized” connection and want to feel that they are talking to a real person.

From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:

  • Investigate other ways companies can personalize their customer service operations.
  • How important is it for companies to use social media in retaining customers?
  • What ways can companies create more personalized interactions with customers?