3 Ways to Fuse Direct Marketing and Customer Service
The gulf between an organization's direct marketing and customer service efforts has narrowed considerably in today's marketplace, according to a recent whitepaper, Customer Service and Direct Marketing: The New Synergy, from EU Services, a direct marketing production facility based in Rockville, Md. And since customers have so many other choices in this marketplace, organizations are advised to create direct marketing efforts that are as focused on regular customers as prospective ones.
Customer loyalty is almost a thing of the past, as one bumbled customer service experience can ruin years of costly acquisition efforts. With that in mind, here are three ways that direct marketing tactics and technologies can be integrated with customer service initiatives.
1. Improve the Purchase Experience
Customer service includes several activities that end up increasing customer satisfaction, as what happens post-sale can be just as important as what happens presale in terms of retaining customers for the long haul. Disney World, for example, sends a welcome mailing to registered guests before they arrive that's personalized with recommendations on how to get the most from their visits, which has resulted in reduced cancellations and boosted additional ticket sales.
2. Create Positive Word-of-Mouth
Excellent customer service not only cultivates customers who want to return to your company, but also customers who are so delighted with the experience that they tell others about your organization and your product/service. You then can leverage this word-of-mouth via tell-a-friend and user-generated product review tools.
3. Form a Genuine Relationship
The essence of good customer service is forming a solid relationship with customers that begins on the right foot. Strayer University, for example, sends a variable data printed, personalized mailing to prospective students within 24 hours of being contacted. Such a quick, personal response launches that crucial new student relationship.