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Rob DeRosierMay 22, 2024 1:45:00 AM4 min read

Customer Service as a Marketing Strategy

Customer Service as a Marketing Strategy
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The concept of customer service as a marketing strategy is no longer an abstract afterthought of Sales or a "necessary evil" for retention. It's now a strategic element crucial for fostering sustained Growth. This transformation reflects a broader understanding that growth isn't merely a result of marketing or sales efforts but an outcome of a holistic approach encompassing every aspect of the business.

In this post, we'll delve into how aligning customer success with your company's North Star and implementing a system of experimentation can unlock unprecedented growth.

Enabling Customer Success for Business Growth

The journey of customer success from a support function to a strategic powerhouse speaks volumes about its impact on business growth. Historically viewed as the team helping customers troubleshoot after a sale, customer success is now at the forefront of driving business expansion and sustainability.

This evolution is rooted in recognizing that the value delivered after the sale is just as critical, if not more so, than the marketing and sales processes leading up to it. By ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes, companies enhance customer satisfaction and open avenues for upselling, cross-selling, and positive word-of-mouth.

Aligning Customer Success with Your Company's North Star

For customer success initiatives to effectively drive growth, they must be aligned with the company's overarching goals or its "North Star." This alignment starts with a clear understanding of what success means for your company and your customers. It involves setting shared goals, defining roles, and establishing accountability standards to ensure everyone is moving in the same direction.

When customer success is intricately linked with your company's vision and growth ecosystem, it transforms from a support function to a strategic partner that contributes significantly to achieving long-term objectives. To learn more about the North Star Metric, sign up for our free Growth Strategy Course, Experimental Marketing.

Building a Robust Service Infrastructure for Enhanced Customer Experience

Creating a top-notch customer experience requires more than good intentions; it necessitates a robust service infrastructure that combines organization, automation, and human connection.

This infrastructure acts as the backbone of your customer success efforts, enabling you to resolve issues swiftly, personalize customer interactions, and identify opportunities for product improvement or upselling. By leveraging the right technology stack and configuring it to meet your unique needs, you can establish a data-rich ecosystem that not only supports current operations but also provides a sandbox for experimentation and innovation.

Our recommendation: Hubspot Service Pro or higher. This recommendation is partially based on the larger ecosystem involving Sales and Marketing. Hubspot's Sales tool is among our favorite because of how much support it provides sales people (read the review). And the marketing tool revolutionized the entire premise of online marketing when they introduced "Inbound" in 2007.

But in reality, their Service platform is just really good and stands completely on its own. Our favorite parts about Pro specific to Growth:

  • Meeting scheduling
  • Customer feedback surveys (automated surveys that can trigger automated responses based on outcomes--let's say you get a positive response and your email workflow then directs them to a review site, for example)
  • Playbooks (build a library of interactive guides)

One MAJOR key in the right Service tech is its ability to integrate with Sales and Marketing. You want data and functionality crossing over everywhere possible.

From Experimentation to Execution: Enabling Customer Wins

The path to enabling customer wins is paved with experimentation. By adopting an experimental mindset, your customer success team can test different approaches to reducing churn, enhancing customer satisfaction, and driving sales.

This process involves setting up systems for tracking and analyzing customer behavior, identifying patterns, and using these insights to develop targeted strategies that address systemic problems. Such an approach not only helps in continuously improving the customer experience but also aligns customer success initiatives with tangible business outcomes.

We also have a lesson on how to create an "Experiment," part of our free certification course, Experimental Marketing.

Transforming Challenges into Opportunities for Loyalty

The entire premise of our Growth platform all started with a customer service challenge for a massive tech company. Customers were complaining about a specific problem with their software subscription. After gathering response data, it was determined that the majority of those complaining should be upsold into a different package. Rather than continuing to redirect complaints to help guides, they tested an upsell approach.

Within just a few short months, this growth hacking led to $40,000,000 in ARR.

Every challenge encountered in the realm of customer success is a hidden opportunity to deepen customer loyalty. The key lies in viewing these challenges through the lens of Growth rather than as mere obstacles.

By adopting a collaborative and scientific approach to addressing customer issues, companies can turn today's problems into tomorrow's differentiators. This proactive stance not only enhances customer satisfaction but also positions your brand as one that genuinely cares for its customers, thereby fostering a sense of loyalty and belonging.

Measuring the Impact of Customer Success on Business Outcomes

The final piece of the puzzle is quantifying the impact of your customer success efforts on overall business performance. This requires establishing metrics that reflect both customer health (e.g., satisfaction scores, retention rates) and business growth (e.g., upsell revenue, customer lifetime value). By continuously monitoring these metrics, you can refine your strategies, demonstrate the ROI of customer success initiatives, and justify further investment in this critical area.

Conclusion

Integrating customer success into your business framework is not just about improving service delivery; it's about strategically leveraging this function to drive growth.

By aligning customer success with your company's goals, building a robust service infrastructure, embracing experimentation, transforming challenges into opportunities, and measuring impact, you can unlock a new dimension of growth that is both sustainable and customer-centric. 

Learn how Orange Pegs can help you transform your company's Customer Service investment into a profit center:

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Rob DeRosier

Growth hacker. Lead generator. IPA drinker. Guy in a hat...

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