Last night I was checking out an interesting overview on the state of social customer care when I read a consideration that hit me as terribly true: “A brief overview of the UK’s leading retailers’ Facebook Pages will show you two things: firstly, that most are actively using Facebook for marketing; and secondly, that their customers are predominantly using the channel to post support requests. The disconnect is, again, stark.” There seems to be a bit of a “feud” going on between marketing and customer service. The author digs deeper: “One of the reasons for the slow progress with social customer service is funding. In most companies the Marketing department still controls the largest budget – and that is certainly the case globally. ” Perhaps it’s because I’m also reading Philip Sheldrake’s excellent book “The Business of Influence” (definitely a must read for everyone involved with anything social) which focuses on narrowing the gap between PR, marketing and social media… but these words prompted a question: why should Marketing and customer care be disconnected? Wouldn’t it be great if they could blend? It sounds a bit weird to see different departments of the same company struggling against each other! After all, marketing does for prospective clients what customer care should try to do for acquired clients: their functions aren’t all that different. Instead of working as completely disconnected departments they could both greatly profit from closer collaboration, where relatively independent teams could merge and trade places when and if needed. And when running on a tight budget, finding the best tool is the only way to improve and simplify everyone’s job, without starting a “funding feud”.
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