Those of us in customer acquisition and growth marketing are often thinking of ways to gain new customers. We’re obsessed with driving growth for the business. While new customers are wonderful, of course, I’m here to argue that existing customers are even better. When you’re looking for ways to grow your business, the ultimate measure of success is revenue (with margin constraints in place, of course). Oftentimes it is easier to grow revenue via existing customers than new, especially because you have direct access to your installed customer base.

While there are many ways to engage your existing customers, today I wanted to share ways in which marketing can partner with customer care. Does your business have a customer care center? Often, customer care is a division on its own, separate from marketing. I believe that customer care is the brand embodied, another marketing channel, and one that is often not given enough thought or support from marketing. Let’s talk about ways to collaborate with your customer care division!

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Opportunity 1: Build an Incredible Relationship

Before increasing revenue through your customer care team, I always recommend starting with an incredible relationship. Be a true partner. Determine the value you can add to customer care before asking them for anything. Be humble and friendly in your approach. Some ways to gradually build the relationship:

  1. Take them to lunch.
  2. If they are in a different office, drive there and spend some time with them.
  3. Sit in on calls with customers, and learn more about the customer.
  4. Share useful findings from marketing that may be of assistance. Messaging/call script ideas and data are always helpful.
  5. Invite leaders from customer care to marketing meetings, make them part of your extended family.

 

Opportunity 2: It’s All about the Data

Understanding the precise needs of each consumer is a surefire way to drive more revenue. The better you know your customers, the better you can market to them on a 1-to-1 basis, fulfilling their needs. Of course, you can learn a ton of data about consumers from their interaction with your website and product. You can always learn more, however, through interaction with your agents – real people. Work with customer care to collect relevant and actionable data, data that makes your job more effective as a marketer. Find ways to make this easy. Adding another cumbersome step to their existing processes will not do. It must be easy and flawless. It must be systematic.

This opportunity goes two ways. Marketing drives segmentation for the business. Share your segmentation with customer care. Find ways to help customer care understand exactly which segment a customer falls into, ideally through a technology integration with Salesforce or their CRM. Customer care data enables marketing, but marketing data enables customer care as well.

 

Opportunity 3: Remember to Cross-Sell and Up-Sell

 

In marketing, we have a ton of data. We know exactly which consumers buy which products. You can instantly increase revenue for your business by leveraging predictive analytics to present incredibly relevant offers to existing customers (up-sell and cross-sell). I’m sure your customer care team is already driving great up-sell and cross-sell. Arm them with great data and technology to make their job even better. This is a win-win-win because goal/commission-based teams will truly thank you for increasing their own personal revenue, your business will grow with limited incremental cost, and your customers will be happier because they got the products and services they desire.

 

Opportunity 4: Stay On-Brand with Consistent Messaging

A consistent message across touch points is incredibly powerful. Whether you are communicating with a customer via display advertising, on-site messaging, email, or on the phone (via customer care), make it consistent. Once you have a unified segmentation across the entire business, this becomes seamless. Share your segmentation with customer care. Make sure they understand which segment a consumer falls into when calling in. Share your best-performing messaging by segment.

Also, make it a two-way road. Work with customer care to test new messaging. Sometimes you can gain quicker feedback from the customer care channel than others, when it comes to ad copy testing (especially for existing customers).

Growth marketers are always focused on the external channels, so I wanted to provide another way of looking at things. Leverage your existing customers, via your customer care team, and drive incremental revenue for your business with very little incremental cost. How do you leverage your customer care team?

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Ian Lopuch
Ian Lopuch is a top online marketing executive with over 8 years in the industry. In his spare time, Lopuch is an avid blogger at PPC Ian.