Data Leads to Loyalty

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Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief, Direct Marketing News
Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief, Direct Marketing News

Direct marketers may be obsessed with customer data, but they're not the only ones. Another customer-facing team just as preoccupied with customer data is the contact center. And its fixation can be marketers' gain.

Consider for example contact center call recordings and post-call survey responses. Applying speech analytics to that unstructured data can help marketers uncover trends, competitive intelligence, churn drivers, and marketing opportunities. Where contact centers cross- or upsell, performance data can show which offers are working and which aren't, allowing marketers to improve or kill ineffectual promotions, or to target the ones that are succeeding to other relevant customers.

What's more, where the marketing team “owns” the customer relationship on social channels, the customer service operation's metrics-focused processes can be a savior for managing an overabundance of one-to-one customer interactions.

A new partnership

For years the marketing and sales relationship has been in the spotlight. It still is—and for good reason, probably always will be—but the hot couple lately has been marketing and IT. With those two alliances getting so much attention, marketing's potential partnership with customer service could get brushed aside. It shouldn't. Savvy marketing executives are looking to start or expand their relationship with customer service leaders. And not just for invaluable data sharing, but also for sales opportunities and customer engagement expertise (see “How Marketers Can Better Serve the Customer.”)

In many companies today both marketing and customer service are attempting to move beyond being thought of as cost centers to act instead as strategic business operations that help to bring in revenue. Working together, these two teams can achieve just that. One of the best opportunities companies have to learn about their customers or increase wallet share is when a customer calls in with an inquiry or problem. Resolve the issue, and often the customer is open to learning more about other products or services the company can provide to meet additional needs or wants. This is as valid in B2B as it is in B2C.

Feeling the love

And while I'm on the subject of delivering on customer needs, let's talk engagement. When marketing and customer service collaborate and share data they deliver more contextually relevant, timely offers based on deeper customer knowledge. This usually leads not only to sales gains, but also provides a more positive customer experience from receiving that relevant offer because customers feel valued.

That experience, in turn, can lead to increases in customer loyalty and engagement. As Bruce Temkin notes, “If you want to create loyal, engaged customers, then make sure to deliver something valuable for your customer.” (See “Engaging a Customer Is Like Making a Best Friend.”) When marketing and service focus on delivering personalized customer experiences it creates a virtuous cycle, because loyal and engaged customers are more likely to repurchase and recommend than those who aren't. And what marketer doesn't love customers who buy more and share often?

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