Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

Sales and service need to merge to really offer a great CX

Blog
13th April 2018

For a long time, I have been arguing that companies need to rethink their service, sales, and marketing process. These processes need to be completely integrated with the customer service team – as a customer contact hub – because customers don’t think of a company as distinct silos or functions – to them your company is just a brand. Yet, too many companies still have all these different customer-facing teams that are just not really working closely together.

The Daily Telegraph ran a feature on this subject recently and argued that social media is the main driver that has blurred the line between service and marketing, but I would argue that the distinction goes further. It is not just social media, rather it is a combination of the mobile internet and social media that has changed the way that customers communicate. This change in behaviour, and change in customer expectations, is what has created this situation.

But this isn’t a new idea. I have been talking about this since the early days of multi-channel customer contact and the industry analyst Gartner even wrote a research report on it three years ago.

Some companies are finding it very difficult to blend departments. Sales and marketing and service have always had distinct functions and different styles of management. Historically the sales team was always considered to be a profit centre and team members were handsomely rewarded with bonuses. The service team was just an essential cost centre and generally tolerated the minimum possible level of reward. This has changed forever.

The service team has the deepest insight into what the customer really wants. They need to be intimately involved in planning any marketing strategy or sales plan. Companies that find it hard to merge the teams often create a Chief Customer Officer with oversight over all the functions. It’s possibly not as effective as just getting the teams to all work in a coordinated way, but it does at least acknowledge that they need to communicate and try to work together.

Nobody can deny the way that customers communicate with each other, and with brands, has changed in the past few years. We need a new approach to customer interaction and it is becoming impossible to determine if a customer that gets in touch requires help from a sales or service representative – is it really only a sales call if the customer literally calls up and says I want to buy something now? I don’t think so.

Customers are more engaged with brands and each contact is a great opportunity to reinforce the brand to customer relationship. Sales will come from these interactions, but sometimes the customer just wants information or advice. This more diverse nature of customer interactions means that there really is no differentiation between all these internal departments any longer – although most companies are clinging on to the existing structures.

The Gartner prediction for a complete merger of all these customer-facing functions was 2020. We still have about a year and a half to go. Change is coming and it’s going to be great for your customers if you can improve how your brand engages with them. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *


David Turner
Article by: David Turner

News & Insights

Recommended for you
Solution Designer
Service Provider
Technology Enabler
Blog
How Gen Z will affect the Generation Game

As the Millennials move steadily into their 20s and 30s, their successor Generation Z is emerging as a global consumer force to be reckoned with. In preparation for our forthcoming Generations series Polly Ashdown, Marketing and Communications Director, examines what makes Gen Z so distinctive and how brands can capitalise on the opportunities they provide. Born into the age of the Internet,...

News
Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail | Charity Week

Webhelp is delighted to sponsor Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail 2019, Scotland’s first-ever national public art trail, raising vital funds for children in hospital across Scotland. Each week of the event takes on a different theme, as it is Charity Week, it’s a perfect time to look back at...

News
Groupe Bruxelles Lambert enters into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of the Webhelp group

GBL announces today it has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire a majority stake in the Webhelp group, together with its co-founding shareholders, Olivier Duha and Frédéric Jousset, who would retain their role as founding executive directors, and its management team. Founded in 2000,...

Whitepaper
The Hybrid Model

As an international healthcare services organization, Direct Medica develops and implements innovative solutions to reshape the relationships between healthcare professionals, patients, industry players, hospitals and payers. For the past two years, the company has been developing a very...

Case Studies
[Fashion] Fifty Jeans – Launch your brand without cashflow problems!

...

Load more
×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook