Did you know that only 29% of companies say that teams work collaboratively to accomplish organization-wide goals? Furthermore, according to the same eConsultancy study, 40% of respondents said that different teams all had different motivations and goals, not aligning to a unified common cause. Cross-functionality is the way of the future— cross-functional projects with strong support from upper management had a 76% success rate. Those teams that had just moderate support succeeded only 20% percent of the time.
Marketing and support are two teams that are so deeply aligned in customer focus that it makes sense that they should work together. There are tons of opportunities for the two to pull from their respective strengths and bolster up company initiatives even more. Here are four ways that the two can work together to deeply benefit your company and your customers.
Social Media Support
An astonishing number of customers go to social media to seek out customer support: 70% of consumers indicated that they have used sites like Facebook or Twitter to seek resolution for a product issue at least once. On the flip side, in 2015 Facebook influenced 52% of consumers’ online and offline purchases, up from 36% in 2014. Needless to say, it benefits both marketing and customer support to have a social media presence.
Your marketing team, however, is probably not equipped to answer the difficult product questions that some of your customers might have. Similarly, your support team is not familiar with the latest marketing trends, or how to make compelling content. Working together, though, they can make internet fireworks.
There are many tools on the internet nowadays that grant your teams the ability to work together on social media. Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Tweetdeck all make multi-team management easy, so both your marketing and support teams can work together to knock it out of the park.
Sharing customer stories
While it might seem like most marketing teams have amazing content creation engines, 60% of marketers find it difficult to produce content regularly. But 72% of marketers also say that content marketing is one of the best ways to generate new leads and potential customers. So, if so many people are struggling with it, but also simultaneously recognize how important it is, what are they to do?
While not all of them are for support, 269 billion emails are sent each day, with just over 3.7 billion email users worldwide. Even if support only made up 1% of all of those emails, that’s still a lot of content and user experiences that could be pulled from to write content. People love reading stories and experiences about other people using a product—it’s why social proof is so valuable nowadays. Using stories from customers just like them is a surefire way to get the attention of additional consumers, and get them walking in the door.
Along with that, creating alignment between the two teams helps your marketing team better identify users or companies that might make for excellent ongoing content, such as case studies, or use case examples. Your support team metrics, specifically CSAT or NPS are also largely unmined resources for testimonials and examples of customer happiness that could potentially be shared far and wide with your user base. For example, if you send your promoter scores into ClickUp using the Zapier integration, your marketing team can follow-up on them to create testimonial content or blog posts highlighting unique customer use cases.
Nobody knows what people ask for and care about more than your support team. Day in and day out they spend their time fielding questions and concerns from your most important assets: your customers. Not only that but at most companies, the support team is also responsible for creating documentation. Who better to help your marketing team create best practice blogs, guides, and ebooks to get potential new leads in the door?
According to CMI & MarketingProfs, 90% of the most successful B2B content marketers prioritize their audience’s informational needs over their own sales/promotional message. What that means is that they learn about what their customers actually care about and write about that rather than the latest product that just came out. Empowering your regular users to become power users helps both your support and marketing efforts. In support, creating educated users helps decrease ticket volume. For marketing, creating loyal, excited users usually make them into promoters. Promoters are 4.2 times more likely to buy again, 5.6 times more likely to forgive a company after a mistake and 7.2 times more likely to try a new offering compared with detractors. That’s pretty valuable all around.
Because your support team is responsible for talking to customers and learning all about them, your support team is an ocean of valuable, viable ideas. Talk to your team to figure out what people are really going through, as opposed to what you think they’re going through and then write content for that.
Customer loyalty programs
A loyalty increase of 7% can boost lifetime profits per customer by as much as 85%, and a loyalty increase of just 3% can mean up to a 10% cost reduction in customer acquisition. Loyalty is a hot commodity, and there is likely no one in your company who knows what drives it more for your customers than your support team.
If your customer support and success teams are consistently educating your customers on the existence of your loyalty program, and your marketing team is always assessing its success with your customer-facing teams, the impact of the program could be huge. For example, a customer might value something as a reward that your marketing team would need to sign off on: like a tweet about your customer’s product, or other co-marketing opportunities.
Putting your support and marketing teams in a room together and encouraging them to think about loyalty programs and incentives that would blow people away is a surefire way to make a compelling program without too much heavy lifting from marketing.
How to do it
Encourage regular meetings between your marketing and support teams to talk about the goals that they have and what they are trying to accomplish. Outside of recurring meetings, tools like ClickUp allow you to work collaboratively on a project while still remaining in specific subcategories. For example, both marketing and customer support teams could be involved in the same “Case Study Workplace”, but also have their own team spaces to use when not working collaboratively. Having all of your information in one place helps to keep everyone on the same page, and work moving forward smoothly and as planned.
While typically people think of sales or success when trying to find teams to collaborate heavily with support, marketing and your customer service teams have so many similarities that it’s a match made in heaven. Use support’s customer focus and experience to generate new, relevant and interesting content for your customers. The stories that come through from your customers are extremely valuable and relevant both for being able to produce more content like it, but also to determine any low-hanging feature requests that you might be able to act on now. Use your customer experience that is so familiar to your support team, and allow it to drive as much marketing content as you can get.
Written by: Sarah Chambers