3 Steps to Closing the Service-Sales Gap

In most retail organizations, operations and marketing go about their business like two halves of the same brain. Operations (the left side) uses customer data to drive performance, while marketing (the right side) uses campaigns and promotions to drive revenue.

But what if there were a better way? A way to close the gap between service and sales, and generate revenue across all channels?

Actually, there is. We call it “service-driven marketing”—using customer data collection programs to not only measure performance, but to also make an emotional connection with customers, increase brand awareness, and drive revenue.

Where Service Meets Sales, Opportunities Abound

We recently wrote about service + 1, a standard of friendly, helpful engagement (including but not limited to suggestive selling) that offers a more personalized shopping experience, increases conversion rates, and builds sale amounts. By objectively measuring specific service + 1 behaviors, you can continually improve performance through refresher training, recognition, and rewards.

Customer interactions with contact center agents present their own unique opportunities—and not just during the service experience. After the call, chat, or email exchange has ended, you can use customer feedback programs to delight customers, build brand awareness, and drive revenue.

How to Turn Customer Feedback Requests Into Marketing Gold

Marketers are always looking for opportunities to push special offers and promotions and to drive social mentions. With all the inbound inquiries coming through contact centers on a daily basis, marketers have access to a gold mine of potential revenue. They just need the right tool to extract all that value.

Here’s how to design a customer satisfaction survey (CSAT) that does the work for you.

Step 1: Personalize The Survey

When a customer reaches out to customer service, technology can tell your agents a lot about that customer and his or her brand history. This knowledge, and the reason for the inquiry itself, can be used to trigger a highly personalized feedback request.

Consider including a reward for completing the survey—for example, a “refer a friend” discount program or tailor-made offer based on past purchases—that deepens the customer relationship and drives revenue.

Step 2: Make It a Joy to Complete

Most customers dread taking time out of their day to complete a lengthy survey. In asking customers to jump through hoops and spend 15 minutes answering questions, brands use up some of the equity they built with the customer during the service experience.

If you design your CSAT from the customer’s point of view, you can actually build brand equity. Gamified elements, reward votes, and fun star ratings help make customer surveys fun and engaging. To humanize the experience, include your customer service agents’ photos and bios.

Step 3:  Leverage the New Connection

Now that your CSAT respondents are in a positive frame of mind, invite them to share their brand experience across social. Provide a social sharing tool that gives customers the option of sending prepopulated tweets with custom links. In our experience, most customers will send the tweets as written—thus helping increase brand awareness, strengthen social proof, and generate sales in one fell swoop.

Closing the Gap: A Win-Win for Brands

When operations and marketing join forces, the results are far superior to those that either team could achieve on their own. CSAT response rates increase, customers become enthusiastic brand ambassadors, morale and performance improve on the front line, and positive social buzz generates more buyers and revenue. All of which make closing the gap worth every ounce of effort.

The fact that most brands haven’t embraced service-driven marketing means there’s a huge opportunity in the marketplace. If you have the right guidance, the right tools, and the right mindset, the untapped treasure is yours for the taking.

Service to Sales using objective and subjective data