If not, it should be. It should be part of your marketing campaigns, branding initiatives, and promotional networking. Customer service is the cornerstone of your entire marketing department. Without coordinating customer service and marketing, all of your efforts—may be a waste of time. Think that statement is a bit…harsh? Review these statistics from The HeartBeat.com then ask yourself how effective marketing is without good customer service?

Under Promise and Over Deliver

If you want to create one time customers who don’t come back and are difficult to work with, then promise more than you can deliver. Last week a customer reached out to me. I was their initial contact on Facebook. Their TKO representative was on his honeymoon. The customer thought he’d communicated to our representative to “get the ball rolling” on the order, but we were waiting on the customer to approve the design. The work was in limbo. After checking the job’s status, workflow, and backlog I called the client and explained I could only guarantee completion by mid-week the following week. Although he was disappointed, he hoped to have the product in time for an event in three days, he appreciated my honesty. I explained the situation to our production team and they did an amazing job completing the order in time for our customer’s event—four days ahead of what I promised. The customer won’t forget.

Don’t Make Customers Jump through Hoops for Service

My wife is mostly a calm, thoughtful, and considerate human being—I mean she’d have to be living with me, right?  Recently a provider led her on a runaround that included several days’ of being switched from one department to another, placed on hold, disconnected, and ignored. When she was finally contacted by an executive VP she was no longer calm, thoughtful, or considerate. She changed providers. If you want to retain customers, if you want repeat business, and if you want to build a reputation as customer-centric make it easy for your customers to work with you.

How to Add Customer Service to the Marketing Team

• Train all employees the importance of positive customer service to marketing
• Establish customer-centric procedures to help customers in need of service; cut wait time
• Share marketing campaigns with CSR’s—bring them in on things
• Ask your customer service department to identifying evangelists, advocates, and potential nay-Sayers
• Give customer service representatives the power to help customers
• Involve the customer service team in periodic marketing meetings

Customer service is marketing whether you add them to the marketing team or not. Customer service in the 21st century may have more to do with customer loyalty, referrals, and call to actions than any marketing initiatives. Is customer service part of your marketing plan?