As those of you who read my Pulse will probably know, the relationship – or lack of relationship – between Marketing and Customer Service functions is something that troubles me. As a customer, when you think of a particular company, do you see it broken down into departments, or do you view it as one whole entity? Chances are it’s the latter; yet many modern businesses still seem to have that lack of cohesion, operating various departments in silo. But when they do this, they risk creating huge gaps in the sales cycle.
Of course, each function has its own goals, but these should blend seamlessly together. Digitalisation has meant that each department is now engaging with the customer at various points in the sales process – often at overlapping times; but customers should never feel like they are engaging with a new entity at any point during their experience. And this is where “lifecycle marketing” comes in, according to an article last month on Forbes.
Lifecycle marketing is the concept where companies focus on supporting and engaging with their customer at every stage of the buying process – recognising their point in the lifecycle and meeting their needs at any given time.
Forbes gives an interesting real-life example: imagine you were in a supermarket and had a trolley full of shopping – a sales assistant then approaches you and asks if you needed any help finding something. This would be the wrong question to ask and would be rather irritating, too. Instead, they could ask if you are missing an item that they could help you find. Essentially, it’s about ripping up the script and focusing on the customers’ needs at that exact point.
By sending the right messages at the right time, lifecycle marketing will help gain new customers as well as retaining existing ones. But the only way this can really be achieved is when collaboration between Marketing and Customer Services is promoted.
Are you engaging with your customer services team to drive your marketing strategy?