During my years as Marketing Manager at a Four Seasons Resort in Western Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains, I also handled all customer service issues beyond the ability of the front desk staff and management. At the time, this was done more out of staffing necessity, as I shared an office with the President, Vise President, as well as the accounting, and sales teams. This made it easy for me to handle all customer issues in a timely manner.
The more years into my career I get, the more I have continued to think about the importance of customer service, sales, and marketing being connected. Through the years as Marketing Manager, a continuing issue would come up every ski season. Prior to each ski season, previous season ticket holders would purchase their season tickets for the upcoming season at full price prior to any sales being advertised. The issue every year would be the same. Once we would get so far into the season, and aggressively lower season ticket prices for a push to get additional sales, the season ticket holders that purchased as soon as tickets were available for that ski season would call to demonstrate their anger about the current prices, when they are loyal customers and do not get rewarded. It took a few seasons to finally get things in order for season ticket sales, but until then, the fact that I was in a position to take care of customer service issues fairly quickly, made dealing with customer issues much easier.
There is a true importance for marketing, sales, and customer service to be tightly connected. All three departments deal with customers collectively, and should not be doing so without communication with the other departments. If a Chief Marketing Officer is responsible for brand management for example, how can he or she be responsible for the management of the brand, if he or she does not have control, or at least communication with the customer service team that handles customer issues, and complaints. Customer service is as important to a business brand as marketing, and both are only a part of the overall customer experience.
In order for a business to build a powerful as well as trustworthy business brand, marketing, sales, and customer service must all be part of a well rounded team in constant communication.