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Marketing and Customer Care: how digital brings their issues closer


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Marketing and customer care teams are historically separated within companies because of different objectives. However, they have synergies that are amplified by digital.

One of the most telling examples is the management of social networks: while they were primarily intended to promote the company’s offers, customers quickly used this opportunity to contact brands for customer care enquiries. Social networks are therefore one of the areas where collaboration between the two departments had to be developed.

Silos between these departments therefore tend to fade. Customer care agents have more and more sales-related goals. Knowing that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, against 5-20% for a new prospect, it seems essential that customer care and marketing collaborate. We have partnered with Talkwalker, a social data intelligence platform, to explain the challenges of each department and how customer data can benefit both of them.

I/ Challenges 

1. Develop an Omni-Digital Customer Care

  • Adapt to consumer’s new expectations

One of the major differences between customer care and marketing is that, in most cases, the customer is starting the interaction. He must therefore easily find a way to contact the company, on a channel that suits him. In many cases, the customer wanting to contact the company is dissatisfied or faces a problem, and failing to contact the company easily will further amplify this negative feeling. It is therefore essential to offer him points of contact adapted to his uses.

The new usages of customers make their expectations towards companies evolve. Unicorns such as Amazon, Uber and AirBnb have changed expectations and encourage customers to expect a mobile experience, with instant answers. One of the accelerating trends is the decline in the share of phone calls compared to digital channels. Today, 56% of consumers would prefer to contact a company by messaging rather than by phone according to Facebook.

  • Be present on multiple channels

Ofcom Study

As this Ofcom study shows, channel preferences vary by age. Companies must therefore be present on multiple of channels to meet expectations of different types of customers. After the opening of Messenger to companies in 2016, other channels will follow the same trend: iMessage with Business Chat, WhatsApp for Business, Amazon Anytime… To be present where their customers are and remain competitive, companies have no choice but to adopt these new channels.

  • Develop a unique experience through touch points

Beyond a simple presence, companies must be able to adapt to the specific codes of each channel (response time, message format …) and offer a unique experience through all these points of contact. A customer contacting a company wants to see his problem solved, regardless of the channel used. Companies must therefore develop the right approach to provide a consistent quality of service and avoid redirections.

2. Marketing: exploiting data for a better customer knowledge

  • Offer a personalized experience

Unlike customer care, marketing addresses its messages when the customer has not sollicited the company: the latter goes to the customer to present offers, products, services, promotions … With digital, consumers are extremely solicited permanently: an average consumer can see up to 10,000 brand messages per day, and his attention span is on average 8 seconds according to Microsoft. Holding their attention is therefore a major challenge for marketing departments.

To reach consumers in a meaningful way, targeting and personalization become essential. Knowing information such as age, location and interests allow you to address the most relevant message possible. According to Forrester, offering a personalized experience is a priority for 68% of companies, but more than half do not have the right tools to implement this strategy.

The exploitation of data is therefore a major challenge. Storing the maximum amount of data does not make sense if the right processes are not adopted to analyze them.

  • Protect the brand’s e-reputation 

In addition to these customer specific data, you also need to be able to get an overview of what is being said about the company.

E-reputation refers to the perception of a brand, an individual, a product or a service on the web and social networks. According to Deloitte, 87% of executives rate reputation risk more important than other strategic risks.

Reputation monitoring is done not only on the company’s channels (website, community, social networks …) but also on all external sources (media, blogs, forums …). To have a realistic image of the e-reputation, companies must be able to detect and analyze all this external data.

  • Anticipate market trends

The data available on the web is also an opportunity to predict the trends impacting your market. It is no longer possible for a company to implement its strategy without taking into account the amount of information available on the web, such as news facts, expectations of your target market, strategies of your competitors. ..

II/ How to respond to these digital challenges?

  • Connect new channels

To meet customers’ new expectations, it becomes essential to be present on a multitude of channels. Depending on their profiles and nature of their inquiry, customers will prefer certain channels over others: for example, younger generations prefer messaging, while others instead turn to e-mail. .

This multitude of channels means that customers contact the company with different identities. In order to unify the available information and to offer a seamless experience, the 360 ​​° view of the customer becomes essential. This global view of customers can be used by customer service to process requests more effectively, and by marketing to refine the targeting of its messages.

  • Process all conversations through a single platform

To face these challenges and optimize the customer care activity, it is necessary to centralize the management of digital channels. Rather than relying on different interfaces, agents can treat all messages in the same way regardless of their sources.

This will provide access to an overview of digital customer care activity and balance the workload across the channels.

  • Extract and analyze conversations

Using a single platform to manage conversations across all digital channels centralizes all conversational data. This type of data includes digital identities, personal interests, influence on social networks …

Relying on an analysis tool will make allow to make sense of this set of conversational data and exploit it. By an API connection, data can be retrieved, analyzed, and complete unstructured data.

  • Get a global view of the brand’s reputation

Conversations we have just mentioned represent structured data, coming from conversations with customers.

This data can be combined with unstructured data: the latter includes public data, not stored or organized in a database. They can be textual or non-textual. This includes the billion images posted each day, 80% of which do not mention the name of the brand in the content.

An analysis platform will combine these two types of data to provide a global view of its reputation:

  • The evolution of sentiment towards the brand
  • The most common problems customers face
  • Social media engagement of your audience
  • The company’s share of voice

These results will be exploitable by both customer service and marketing.

  • Identify and anticipate trends

In addition to the analysis specific to your business, you must also be able to have an overview of your industry. The analysis of web data can identify trends that can be exploited to offer innovative products or content.

For example, exploiting a news fact is a strategy increasingly used by brands, which allows them to resonate with their audience’s interests and contrast with other brands. With this in mind, solutions can also help to monitor its competitive environment. Again, the results can be exploited by both marketing and customer relations.

Digital contributed to bringing marketing and customer care closer: to answer inquiries on digital channels, and to capitalize on their synergies in terms of data. Marketing teams can answer customer inquiries, while customer care teams can now upsell and such. All these interactions generate a set of data helping you know better your customers and their expectations. By combining it with all data available online, it is possible to develop a very complete analysis to efficiently process inquiries, protect the brand’s e-reputation and anticipate trends. Beyond separated objectives between each department, this will benefit global customer experience.

Originally published Apr 04, 2018, updated Dec 30, 2022

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