9 Specific Ways Marketing and Customer Care Teams can Work Together
In a Forbes article last year, the author proposed that social customer care is the new marketing. Many brands aim for seamless cooperation between marketing and care teams in the hope of building stronger connections with their customers. And while I agree with this vision, the reality with most brands that I talk to is still silos and separation when it comes to their marketing and social customer service teams.
The reality with most brands is still silos and separation when it comes to their marketing and social customer service teams.
Customers are talking to brands (here’s a link to our research on the subject), no doubt. The challenge, it seems, is not the customer, but the coordination between teams. In other words, we need to collaborate more. Here are ten specific ideas to help you build better bridges between care and marketing:
1. Develop a common vision and goal.
Without a shared purpose, it will be challenging to drive cross-functional collaboration. Think about business objectives that both teams can impact like customer satisfaction, NPS scores, or response times for both service and brand love.
Bonus tip: Include stakeholders at all levels to build true alignment.
2. Get in your customer’s shoes.
Have you sat on the other side of your customer service or marketing? Take time to review all of the touchpoints for your customers.
Bonus tip: Create an experience map to share with both marketing and care to help build more empathy. Include upstream (eg. publishing) and downstream (eg. service resolution).
3. Get in each other’s shoes.
Take a half day to do test drives or side-by-sides with the other team. Create an experience instead of just a presentation. What if you gave the other team the steering wheel to see what it’s like to press publish or solve an issue.
Bonus tip: If you can’t spare a half day, try 30-60 minute sessions on a rotation.
4. Start a weekly virtual huddle focused on sharing knowledge and learning.
Many brands that I talk to have marketing and care in different locations physically. Connect on video with a simple agenda for 30 minutes. What is each team working on that week? What are big initiatives or challenges to inform? Are there learnings from last week to help each other? Highlight a few people from both groups.
Bonus tip: Keep the huddle focused. Focus on 2-3 agenda items and share the mic.
5. Create a monthly summit. If possible do this face-to-face at least quarterly.
Start with an icebreaker to help the teams build relationships and trust. Spend some time on updates, but most of the meeting should be about sharing and problem solving together. What if the summit was a workshop on efficiency? Or how about brand voice? The workshop framework can break people into smaller groups and create actionable value for each team to bring back to their day jobs.
Bonus tip: If you can’t get everyone in the same room, try a morning and afternoon session.
6. Share a calendar.
I’ve heard from too many brands that don’t have a common planner only to be hit with more care issues last minute. Of course, Spredfast can help.
Bonus tip: Over-communicate. When you have a major campaign or service challenge, update your counterparts. Sharing is caring.
Over-communicate: when you have a major campaign or service challenge, update your counterparts in marketing or customer service.
7. Establish a weekly highlight email.
Collect wins using a Google Form or survey tool weekly and then package them up in a regular internal newsletter. Show what’s working and where teams can grow.
Bonus tip: A picture is worth a thousand words. We’ve heard many of the content best practices, try three main points with supporting screenshots.
8. Lead by example.
If you want your teams to work better with their counterparts, get in the trenches. Demonstrate sharing, generosity, and community.
Bonus tip: As leaders, attend your counterparts meetings. In marketing? Invite a care team member to educate your team about a topic where you don’t have depth.
9. Integrate cross-functional collaboration in your onboarding.
Have new hires sit in both seats for a test drive.
Bonus tip: Start the networking early. Give your new hire a list of people on the opposite team to run meet-and-greets.