Does your firm operate out of different silos? If so, you might miss out on a tremendous opportunity.
Cross-pollination of departments in your company is a tremendous way to boost sales and increase customer loyalty. One of the easiest and best ways to accomplish this is to turn your customer service team into a team of marketers. Although they don’t take on the normal marketing functions, the way they engage with and talk to your customer base has a direct impact on how consumers view your brand. In other words, whether you like it or not, your customer service agents are already marketing your business.
Here’s how to turn your customer service team into a marketing department, so you can turn your customers into brand advocates.
Make Them Love Your Business
This might sound obvious, but many companies focus more on what their employees should do to keep the customer happy and less on keeping their own team members happy. The alternative should be true, because here’s the reality: the happier your employees are, the more your customers will take notice.
Keeping your employees happy starts with giving them more flexibility in your business. Although you might not be ready to take the Zappos route quite yet and give over full control of every customer situation, there are a few things you can loosen the reins on. For example, your scheduling. If you give your team the tools they need to manage their own schedule with an online scheduling app, you give them more freedom. Not only can they see their schedule anywhere, anytime, but they can also interact with other employees to request time off and switch shifts.
What’s more is the increased flexibility will also give you a break, making you happier in the long run.
Train, Train, and then Train Some More
When you onboard new employees, chances are you put them through a training course instead of setting them loose in front of customers on day one. But how much training comes after the fact? How much training comes a month, six months, year, etc. after they’ve started with your company?
Continual training is essential to shaping how your customer service reps market your company. The basics aren’t enough to cover important aspects, such as the story you want them to tell about your company, how their actions brand your business as a whole, and ways they can sell other areas of your business to customers who might need them.
Keep up the training and you’ll keep sending a consistent marketing message to your customers from start to finish and beyond in their buying journey with you.
Hire Extra Help
Have you ever dealt with a customer service representative who rushed you along and only seemed to care about reducing the line behind you instead of meeting your needs? Did you make an impulse purchase? Did you leave the store feeling good about shopping there? Probably not. That kind of rushed experience has a direct impact on how likely a person is to shop or work with your business again. Bottom line: It’s poor marketing.
To ease the burden on your employees, recognize when your employees are going to feel a little more rushed in their interactions and hire extra help. There are many seasonal workers who are eager to work with your business. Hire them on and make the entire experience with your company a delight.
What’re You Doing to Market Your Business?
If you’re not using your customer service agents to market your business, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. By treating your employees well, giving them flexibility, training them, and hiring help when necessary, you’re better equipped to use your customer service representatives as marketers for your brand. What other tips do you have to add to this list?
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.