In a typical business model, there is usually a large marketing department whose job it is to woo and win over new customers. This team is working and breathing the proverbial marketing funnel which began as the AIDA model (Attention, Interest, Desire Action) in 1898 – you know, something like 115 years ago. As you can imagine, quite a few things have changed in the past century. For example, there were an estimated 600,000 telephones in the United States and over 15 million households – meaning less than 5% of households had access to a telephone! The internet did not exist – almost unimaginable we know! – let alone search engines and social media. Strangely, most marketing today still exists in an archaic marketing funnel. It’s still taught in schools around the world and most marketing analytics software applies a funnel model to analyze key metrics. But we maintain that the marketing funnel is dead and the focus on employees who work within businesses must also change.
Shouting to Listening Ratio
As a result of the antiquated funnel model, marketing has become notorious for shouting rather than listening. It was the aggressive marketing tactics of the past which sprouted Inbound Marketing and the creation of Hubspot. Hubspot’s mantra has been “create marketing people love” by advocating content creation and lifecycle marketing. We’d like to take it a step further and say that “the marketing people love” stems from the best customer service. Similarly, the best talking stems from the best listening and this means the MVP in Marketing is your customer service manager. They’re the ones listening – and fighting for your customers.
There is an old adage that we have two ears and one mouth and should behave in proportion — listening twice as much as we speak. Some communications experts argue that this is an understatement and that we should adopt the “LisTEN” rule; if we truly want to understand the person we are with, our talk-listen ratio should be 1:10. – Jack Springman
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In Customer-Centric Businesses, Marketing is No Longer in a Funnel
So if we’re not working in a simplified funnel, what model are businesses working with? One of the problems with the AIDA and purchasing funnel models is that they’re largely unidirectional. One is moved from the status of “not a customer” and moves linearly to “customer,” but this is an oversimplification of how businesses work and it leaves out everything that occurs after becoming a “customer.
So What Value Does the Customer Service Manager Bring?
One of the biggest value Customer Service Managers bring to the marketing table is pure engagement with the customers. Like in the old marketing funnel model, once a buyer became a customer, she fell off the purchasing funnel like Christopher Columbus predicted sailors would because the world was flat. But the world is round and so is the customer-centric marketing company. Companies need to engage with customers and ensure they are happy. And guess what? Nine times out of ten, the only person who does that is the Customer Service Manager.
2. Average Customers Become Better Customers
Let’s be honest. Customer acquisition costs (CAC) tend to be some of the highest within any business. Priceline spends seven dollars per customer while financial service firms, such as TD Waterhouse, spend $175. What if instead of solely trying to acquire new customers, you developed better customers, those customers whose brand loyalty isn’t affected by price sensitivity. Or the customers who love your product/service so much, convince their friends to become one of your customers. Better engaged customers become better (read: more loyal) customers and the MVP in this situation is your Customer Service Team.
Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater
Traditional marketing and advertising departments are still vital to any thriving business so we don’t encourage you to dissolve your entire marketing department. But it is important that you think about how other aspects of your business affect your customer happiness. Because let’s face it, you wouldn’t have a business without your customers.
Interested in how you can bolster your marketing with Social Customer Service. Download this Whitepaper.