With customer service now open and visible on social channels many marketing directors are taking a close interest in how their brand is being represented online – marketing chiefs are now stepping in to manage many customer service departments. This is affecting many companies in many industries, but the connecting thread is that what takes place in the customer service function is more important than ever as the actions of agents can now be more important than advertising or other marketing efforts.
This is a natural effect of the multichannel service environment we now live in. customers are demanding service via social channels which are usually transparent and open to anyone. If brands respond using the same channels then examples of great service (and poor service) can easily be shared with friends.
So it seems inevitable that customer service is going to become more important than ever. Marketing heads, sales heads, and strategy heads are all going to want to play some role in how customers are managed rather than considering it a ‘back-room’ task where a team just answers the phone and notes down complaints.
Call Centre Helper magazine recently featured a great article that explores how this change in corporate structure might be problematic. The article suggests that the marketing managers might start changing the way customer service teams interact with customers, trying to reflect their own marketing agenda, and ultimately failing to offering great service or a great image of the brand.
It’s a danger as this becomes more common, but the important issue for those of us involved in customer service and experience is that this is where everyone else in the business is now looking. It’s the people who have a direct relationship with the customers who are now the most important team in the company and this can only mean some interesting times ahead in the near future.
Photo by Raging Wire licensed under Creative Commons