In the age of mobile commerce and social media, the roles of customer service managers and marketing officers are beginning to overlap, as companies look to evolve the customer journey for their shoppers.
In the past, customer service and marketing served diverse purposes; marketing officers outwardly broadcasting branded messages and customer service assistants dealing with inbound customer communications.
With the birth of social media, this relationship has fundamentally shifted as businesses’ social profiles simultaneously became an additional publicity channel and a new contact point for consumers to get in touch with the brand.
As the two functions converge, businesses are increasingly realising that providing additional customer service options not only improves customer satisfaction for current customers, but may also be a viable tactic for converting new customers.
Online jewellery retailer, Ice.com have begun using an augmented reality mobile application to create a ‘virtual changing room’ service, allowing shoppers to visualise jewellery items. Similarly, many consumers now ask product-related queries or seek out reviews via social media prior to making a purchase.
The availability of extra information therefore reduces returns and complaints while. at the same time, encouraging additional consumers to make a purchase.
Meanwhile, as we move into an era of ‘Big Data’, there are a growing number of sources contributing data on each consumer, from social media activity to previous purchase behaviour and location information. This allows businesses to build a profile of each customer to deliver more engaging marketing content and more effective customer service based on their individual needs.
In the future then, these once distinct departments may instead combine their activities to improve the overall customer experience.