Help Yourself! Where Customer Service and Digital Marketing Overlap
Written by Leigh Ebrom
Nothing can replace human interaction, especially when someone has questions about serious legal or medical issues. However, digital marketing and customer service functions frequently intersect, and collaboration between these two functions can boost your lead generation, improve your clients’ experiences, and encourage retention.
Whether you have a massive customer service department, or your legal assistant handles your client experience, it’s important to build digital marketing and customer service strategies that overlap and complement each other.
Customer Service Should Consistently Express Your Brand Identity and Values
A law firm or business’ brand is more than a color palette, slogan, and logo. It defines your mission, sets expectations, and frames your interactions with leads and clients. Your marketing strategy should clearly express your brand’s values and help leads understand the client experience your firm offers.
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For example, suppose you work at a law firm that boasts compassionate and personalized service. Your website exudes warm, fuzzy, supportive messages. In reality, you prefer a more aggressive style of litigation with limited client interaction. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — some clients prefer a polished, take-no-prisoners attitude. However, you’re fostering leads that want hand-holding and patience. This disconnect could lead to frustration, disappointment, and client attrition.
Alternatively, suppose you’re a leader of a healthcare organization. You similarly pride yourself on thoughtful, patient-centered service. However, your collections and scheduling teams are hard-nosed and aggressive. What message does that send to your clients? How could you balance their needs with your business’ need for order and increased revenue?
Customer Service Data Can Help You Develop Client Personas
A well-developed marketing plan targets your ideal client personas. A client persona is a profile that describes either the clients you have or the ones you want to reach. It includes general demographic data (age, education, location, income), communication preferences, their desired client experience, and other information.
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Customer service representatives interact with your clients and customers daily. They have insight into their needs, perspectives, and where there’s room for organizational improvement. If you already have client personas, have your customer service team review them to see if there are any necessary revisions or additions. If you don’t have a set of client personas, include your customer service team in the ideation and creation processes.
When Marketing and Customer Service Collaborate, You Can Build a Tailored Content Strategy
Once you understand your client personas, you can craft a content strategy that targets their specific needs and preferences. This content can serve multiple purposes: fostering leads, converting them into clients, and improving customer service. Collaborating with your customer service can improve all these functions.
Build Content that Is Helpful and Informative
Ideally, your website and other content will address your clients’ questions and needs even before they think of them. Your customer service team probably knows many of your clients’ commonly asked questions and concerns. Before you create an editorial calendar, ask your customer service team about trends they’re seeing on their side.
Content can also serve as a means of customer service. When you have the right content, whether it is on your website or included in targeted email campaigns, it can reduce the number of questions, calls, and queries your customer service team receives. This might give them more time for other projects. And when you anticipate your clients’ questions before they arise, you build trust and strengthen your relationships with them.
Make Sure Your Audiences Can Understand Your Content
When you’re an expert in an area, it’s easy to write content that is highly technical and over your clients’ heads. Based on your client personas, you should craft content that answers your clients’ questions and is easily digestible.
If your customer service team is getting a lot of questions about something that you discuss on your website, look to see if it’s too complex for your readers to understand or if it’s hard to find. Based on your findings, you or your marketing partner can rework the problematic content or reposition it on the website.
Give Your Clients Communication Options
Do you know how your clients and leads prefer their communications? Your customer service team probably does. Different personas might want different communication systems, such as in-person meetings, phone calls, chat, email, and text. If you don’t offer the right channel, you might lose out on leads.
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Your customer service team can also help you identify weaknesses in your client experience and communication systems. Implementing chat software or an email automation system isn’t terribly expensive, but it might significantly improve your lead generation and client retention rates. If you have questions about these systems and building a better lead and client experience, contact LaFleur Marketing for more information.
Additionally, if you’re a small firm or company, consider training your customer service team about lead generation. In some smaller law firms, your customer service and intake teams are the same people, meaning you rely on them for lead generation, conversions, and client retention. Have you given them the skills to perform all these tasks? Do they have a clear understanding of your brand, your ideal client experience, and access to your lead generation systems?
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Companies that respond to a lead within an hour of a query are seven times more likely to convert. Unfortunately, the average company response time, according to a Harvard Business Review article, is 42 hours. Empowering your team can help them provide a quick, consistent, and branded experience.
Good Customer Service Can Become a Viral Marketing Win
Most law firms and companies deeply value word-of-mouth marketing and client referrals. In fact, referrals from existing clients and your colleagues are probably a significant lead source for your office. Because they’re so important, you shouldn’t take them for granted.
Today, news travels fast. A post on social media that raves (or rants) about your company’s customer service has the potential to reach thousands of people. Ask yourself: Do you have client retention systems? Do you stay in contact with past clients through email newsletters and updates?
It’s never too late to introduce systems that delight existing clients and maintain connections with old friends. If you need help setting up an email automation system, building email lists, or expanding your social media reach, LaFleur Marketing can help.
Ways to Build Complementary Marketing and Customer Service Strategies
While customer service and marketing are different, they should support each other and adhere to your brand identity. If you’re ready to improve your customer service, you should:
- Build a comprehensive client experience that reflects your brand.
- Train your staff about your intake, lead generation, and client retention processes.
- Use social media and email automation to maintain contact with your leads and foster goodwill.
- Set up systems where your customer service team and marketing partners share information.
- Offer multiple channels of communication to your leads and clients — including phone, email, chat, and social media.
If you need help with these tasks, LaFleur would love to partner with you.
Are You Ready to Improve Your Client Experience?
LaFleur Marketing helps law firms, healthcare organizations, and other businesses develop brilliant digital marketing. This includes branding, content development, website design, email automation, social media, PPC, and other solutions. To schedule a no-risk marketing consultation, complete our online form or call us at (888) 222-1512. We’d love to hear more about your organization and its needs. Together, we can build a better client experience for your law firm or business.
Oldroyd, J., McElheran, K., & Elkington, D. (2011, March). The short life of online sales leads. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2011/03/the-short-life-of-online-sales-leads