Marketing’s Role in Customer Service
FEBRUARY 26, 2013:
Jen Joly, Director of Marketing and Communications
Social Media Leadership Marketing Strategy
Late last year, the largest U.S. banks were skewered by the American Customer Satisfaction Index
. Customer service is one of the most important foundations of financial services. How can marketing play a role?
First, agree that there is a role for marketing to play.
I was surprised to see the headline “Customer Service Belongs to Operations, Not Marketing
” on AdAge. Apparently so were many of the people who left their comments. One does not have to do much digging to find that today’s world is full of great examples of thriving companies that have found success by blurring the lines between customer service/operations and marketing:
There are many great articles online, but my favorite resource in this space is “The Thank You Economy
” by Gary Vaynerchuk. If you haven’t read “The Thank You Economy,” you should. Contrary to what you might think upon considering it – it is not a book about social media. It is, however, a book about how social media has changed the nature of business for the better (at least where the consumer is concerned). Today’s economy rewards companies that recognize the value of the customer and place value on the customer experience.
Second, stop thinking of customer service as an expense and consider it an investment.
Marketing was once thought of as an expense rather than investment. Perhaps at your institution it is still the former. However, savvy, successful companies have emerged that have proven marketing is a worthwhile investment – many of them being profitable banks and credit unions. Today, strategies are emerging that prove customer service may see the same fate.
Earlier this year, according to the Chicago Tribune
, Bank of America (BofA) CEO Brian Moynihan sent a letter
to nearly 270,000 BofA employees telling them that the company needed to provide better customer service. The letter and the focus identified by Moynihan for the company were presumably the result of the aforementioned ACSI results.
While Moynihan has yet to identify just how BofA will provide better customer service, other financial service institutions are proving that improving the customer experience doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. Wells Fargo has been extraordinarily successful at providing service to its 70 million+ customers via Twitter. While the move may be saving Wells Fargo money (and perhaps that was the original intent), it just might also have the positive outcome of providing a better customer experience.
How is your bank or credit union bringing together customer service and marketing to achieve its objectives in 2013?