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Is Customer Service the New Marketing Tool?


When you think of Customer Service and Marketing, you usually think of two completely different departments within an organization. But should you? Perhaps  Customer Service and Marketing should actually be working more closely than ever before.

Image of a marketing team discussing customer service

Wow! This idea hit me while writing a piece on Customer Disservice. I found that every interaction with a customer or potential customer is a vote for or against your company and services provided. And that’s true in just about every industry with all customer service opportunities. Word of mouth marketing is still one of the most powerful forms of marketing. And what gets people talking about a business more than their particular customer experience???

Until as recently as 10 or 15 years ago, when a company delivered a bad customer service experience, it was very possible that hardly anybody would hear about it. These days, with social media and all types of websites for reviews, a small mistake can come back to haunt a business for a long time. And it may only take a matter of minutes for that poor customer experience to be made public and start having a negative impact! All that confidence and trust built between a business and a customer, gone. In today’s digital world, the margin for error has never been slimmer.

Today’s customers are savvy, educated shoppers with choices. And almost 70% of online shoppers look at reviews before making a purchase decision! Our job is to recognize customer value. In doing so, we must make sure that everyone within our organizations is in Customer Service even if they aren’t directly in front of customers on a daily basis. While it is often true that negative customer experiences travel faster than good ones, our focus should not just be to avoid providing negative experiences, but to make sure the positive ones are the norm.

At Sound Telecom, customer service is our main focus. We obviously strive to provide exceptional customer experiences for our own clients, but we are also in a unique position where we get to deliver great service for their customers as well. Sound Telecom answering services are all about  professional, friendly, courteous encounters with every caller who reaches us.

It’s also good to remember how important referrals are for many businesses. And a consistently great customer experience is one of the best ways to earn those. An article I read in Forbes by Matt Mickiewicz suggests treating your customers as if they are newspaper reporters and that consumers have become disenchanted with traditional types of marketing/advertising, so one of the last avenues that holds real power is referrals from your friends/family and online reviews. After all,  according to a survey by the American Marketing Association, 90 percent of consumers trust peer reviews and 70 percent trust online reviews.

I think Matt summed it up well; referrals from those we trust are trustworthy, they’re also the best marketing tool any company could hope to have. So always remember the huge importance of the role Customer Service plays in Marketing and the overall success of your company.

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This entry was posted in Customer Service, Sales and Marketing and tagged , , , , , by Cheryl LaBaw. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cheryl LaBaw

Cheryl L. LaBaw joined Sound Telecom as Director of Customer Relations in 2012. She is responsible for maintaining a high standard of service quality through ongoing monitoring and coaching of our call center agents. Prior to her arrival at Sound Telecom, Cheryl invested over 31 years in the customer care and service areas with United Airlines. She brings a wealth of knowledge and ideas from her experiences there in addition to working over 13 years in their call center. Cheryl’s skills in conflict resolution and customer satisfaction make her an excellent addition to the management team. As a Flight Attendant and Safety Professional she provided a more personal touch to customer concerns and safety issues. Mrs. LaBaw is passionate about health issues and has served her community by volunteering at Swedish Medical Center for three years in the Community Health Education Department. She also supports various youth organizations and child health and welfare organizations.

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