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Marketing and Customer Service might seem like separate initiatives, but the two actually have more in common than you might think, which is why small businesses should consider intertwining strategies.

About half of all small businesses fail within five years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With the odds already a coin flip, it is important to find a marketing edge to set yourself apart from your competition. The trouble is, with 91 percent of U.S. businesses having fewer than 5 employees, it can be tough to scrape together the time, energy and resources that are necessary to get you that edge.

Why Customer Service Should Matter to Your Marketing Strategy

The three main marketing goals for small businesses, according to a small business market analysis, were to:

  • Increase sales of existing products or services
  • Differentiate themselves from competitors
  • Gain new customers

However, consumer studies show that customer service can be a key factor to achieving these three objectives:

  • 74 percent of people will spend more money with a company based on customer service alone
  • Three out of five people will switch to you over a competitor solely based on the expectation of better customer service
  • Providing “excellent” customer service is second only to having a quality product when attracting new customers

Benefits of Factoring Customer Service into Marketing

Small businesses are spending more time than ever before on marketing:

  • 60 percent of small businesses spend more time on marketing now than 2 years ago
  • Small businesses already spend on average of 20 hours each week on marketing
  • They use, on average, almost 6 different marketing channels, from TV to email to print

Customer service interactions were not even among the top 10 areas where small businesses focused their limited marketing resources. Yet, the numbers show that fitting customer service into your marketing plan and aiming at current customers makes financial sense because:

  • Gaining a new customers costs 6 to 7 times as much as keeping a current one
  • Only between 5 and 20 percent of sales efforts directed towards a prospective customer tend to succeed
  • As many as 70 percent of sales directed towards current customers succeed

One boost to your business can be found at the intersection of customer service and marketing.

About half of small businesses don’t hire any outside help to assist with marketing or customer service. Trying to do it all on your own can be daunting, time consuming and expensive. The most common reason small businesses fail is because of financial uncertainty. Given that, any minute you spend handling your customer service or marketing is time not focused on producing the best product or service possible. The other half of small businesses, (who do hire outside help), should be sure that the employee or contractor they’ve hired understands the value of marketing in the context of customer service.

Partnering With An Expert to Handle Customer Service Pays Off

Providing an unmatched customer service experience that requires virtually no time and energy from your current team could also quickly become your most successful marketing edge as a small business. Companies seeking to gain this advantage have managed to do so by harnessing proven, effective answering service and call center solutions from Acena. This allows them to seamlessly connect their callers with a team of fast, friendly and helpful representatives. Acena agents are highly trained and experienced, making them the perfect partner to add a marketing component to your customer service.

Features of Acena Call Center Services That Will Set Your Customer Service Apart

Companies are choosing Acena as their customer support arm for more than the convenience of not having to answer their phones. By choosing Acena, small businesses not only get to tout that they now have customer support with the fastest pickup times in the industry, but they are also able to drastically expand the volume, language and times in which they support their callers. Here’s what that means:

  • Call Volume: A business that partners with Acena, which once was only able to support one caller at a time, can now expand to support a virtually limitless amount of callers as Acena’s services are designed to scale with businesses.
  • Bilingual Support: Have Spanish speaking callers, but no one who speaks Spanish in your business? With Acena handling your calls, you open your business up to a whole new market of customers by being able to now offer bilingual support.
  • 24/7 Support Hours: Does your business operate during regular business hours? Do you only answer your phones a limited number of hours a day? With Acena, you can now offer 24/7, live customer support so you never have to send after-hour callers to voicemail again.

Using Customer Service As A Marketing Opportunity

Being able to get the most out of each resource, for each and every minute, can be the determining factor between success and failure. By utilizing a proven, effective call center partner like Acena to support your callers, you not only recapture time for your in-house team, but you also gain the efficiency of turning your exponentially enhanced customer service into a marketing differential that will set you apart from your competition.

More posts you might want to check out:

Communication and Customer Service

Creating Community: How Local Businesses Can Build an Engaged Customer Base

Customer Service Goes Beyond Giving the Customer What They Want