In the field of customer service, the phrase “proactive customer service” has been tossed about a lot. This jargon may appear intimidating at first appearance, but it’s actually a fairly straightforward strategy to embrace and follow.
“Being proactive raises the perceived value of what you offer. Your customers feel you’ve really been paying attention and focused on them and their needs.” –Shep Hyken
Identifying and addressing client issues before they become problems is what proactive customer service is all about. When you provide proactive customer service, you take action to assist your clients in resolving issues before they arise. That is, you tackle a customer’s problem before they have one by recognizing or forecasting the problem and providing measures to resolve it. Identifying customers’ requirements and proactively seeking out a resolution, whether that means communicating a possible problem or enabling customers to self-service their issue, is what proactive customer service is all about.
Proactive vs. Reactive Service
There is a significant distinction between proactive and reactive customer service. To alleviate client dissatisfaction, proactive customer service representatives take safeguards and prepare for particular difficulties they anticipate. Reactive customer service, on the other hand, eliminates any preemptive steps and just expects customer service agents to act after clients express a complaint. Once it concerns proactive vs. reactive customer service, the mindset of your employees is crucial. A huge chunk of the most major challenges consumers encounter with your business is eliminated when your team considers strategies to cope with troubles before they occur.
Those whose work is mostly related to customers surrounding them should opt for a proactive approach to customer service. Customers and agents will be relieved of their frustrations, and communication will flow more smoothly, and problems will be resolved more quickly. The major issue for business executives is shifting their organization’s focus to put the customer first; but, once they’ve done so, being proactive in order to ensure customers will be second nature.
Although it appears to be the most basic strategy, apologizing profusely after an incident results in more effort for the help desk in the long term than taking one of the following three strategies:
- Active Customer Service – Notifying the customer as immediately as a problem arises, such as latency. For example, we are currently short on bandwidth, we are concurrently working to provide service as soon as possible.
- Proactive Customer Service – Notifying a customer before a problem arises. For example, we need to rework the functionality of this feature.
- Preemptive Customer Service — Notifying customers of previous changes and explaining how the changes will benefit them. For example, we’ve made the required changes in the database and updated the fields; they will match the recent development in the application.
Why Should You Adopt a Proactive Customer Service Approach?
Here are a few instances of proactive service that forward-thinking business owners are doing to boost client satisfaction:
- Live chat: If a customer can’t discover what they’re looking for on your website, they’re likely to abandon it right away. Even if they contact you to inquire about how to carry out a task, they aren’t off to a good start with your organization. Live chat is a promising substitute for phone calls since it allows employees to contact customers and guide or answer questions.
- Accelerates customer retention rates: Proactively connecting with your customers, even if they haven’t acknowledged you directly, can help to strengthen those bonds. Customer satisfaction can rise as a result of greater customer loyalty and retention rates, which can lead to higher average CSAT and NPS scores. As more of your customers gravitate towards social media for customer care, you’ll need to go above and beyond to fulfill their requirements. Enhanced customer retention rates and goodwill help you save money because existing customers are valued more and cost less than new customers. In addition, according to an Enkata analysis, taking the forefront in customer care can raise client retention rates by 3-5 percent.
- Video tutorials: Including how-to videos on your website is a terrific method to anticipate client needs. You can also start attracting viewers by uploading videos to YouTube or other streaming services such as Patreon.
- Reduce Support Calls: Agents must be always available in a reactive customer service model. A proactive strategy, on the other hand, can assist you in identifying common concerns and resolving them before they become major issues. This reduces the number of tickets issued and allows your agents to focus on other aspects of the business.
- Render Brand Ambassadors and Advocates: Your commodities will be trending on the lists and favored by humans when you develop the right brand advocates. This is especially important in an age when people prefer to listen to their compatriots’ viewpoints over television commercials. Proactive customer service allows you to not only eliminate angry customers but also convert them into brand evangelists.
Some other benefits of Proactive Customer Service:
Guide to Implementing Proactive Customer Service:
Proactive customer service can help businesses establish a high brand persona and increase customer satisfaction. Businesses can develop and strengthen proactive customer service abilities for their clients in a variety of methods, including conducting influential customer surveys and developing helpful automated technologies. In this post, we’ll go over what proactive service is, how that’s crucial for small businesses, and how you can put it into practice in your own company.
1. Distribute Surveys
To improve your proactive customer service, you need to get feedback from your customers. One of the most common blunders businesses make is presuming they know what their customers want and need, which is very difficult to achieve from the inside. As a result, simply asking your customers how they feel is the best method to understand them.
A structured questionnaire can assist you to get feedback from clients on how to enhance certain elements of your company. There are certain questions that can be asked to get clarity in the procedure like,
“What functional features did you expect?”
or “What are the areas where you want us to improve?”
or “What is that one change in the buying cycle/journey that needs to be upgraded for enhanced experience?” in order to learn and enable being proactive with future customers.
2. Make a database of information
Data on a company, its distribution channels, and other similar topics can be found in data sources. That can include articles, forum posts, community guidelines, inquiries, and several other requests and video lessons that customers can utilize to resolve difficulties without having to phone your help desk or before doing so. This is an example of proactive assistance because you’re predicting problems and providing consumers with the knowledge they’ll need to remedy them before they occur.
3. Customers’ loyalty should be rewarded
Customer loyalty can be rewarded through membership programs or useful incentives, which can boost customer happiness and profitability. Businesses can reward customers for a particular number of transactions, offer special discounts, and tell them about specials or promotions the company is giving for members when they join a loyalty program. This can assist businesses to demonstrate their thanks for their customers’ loyalty while also allowing them to keep proactive in their service by informing customers of favorable offers and promotions on a regular basis.
4. Recommending Products
Making product recommendations can be a fantastic method to exhibit proactive customer service by demonstrating how markets work their requirements. Employees educated to find out what clients are looking for and give helpful personalized recommendations at the moment might be beneficial in retail situations. In other sorts of sales, such as internet retailers, creating an engine that can recommend products based on comparable customer preferences can be advantageous. You can offer these suggestions based on individual consumer behavior or by using algorithms to figure out how similar customers have purchased in the past. You’ll not only show the consumer that you care by suggesting items of interest, but you’ll also increase income by making the appropriate second buy.
5. Accept Responsibility for your Errors
Staying transparent and upfront about any errors or issues that the firm is encountering can help organizations engage with customers more effectively and provide exceptional proactive service. When discussing existing issues, it’s a good idea for businesses to state the actual problem, understand the frustration, and explain how they intend to repair and minimize this error in the future. For example, if a company is facing quality issues for its products, it may send an email to customers notifying them about the product in detail and explaining the area of improvement in order to provide top-notch quality in the future.
As a result, proactive customer service is critical for the following reasons:
- CSAT scores are positive in 92 percent of talks. It’s quite understandable to demand respect. As a result, connecting with customers via live chat, for example, is often well-received. Customers that are pleased are more willing to make a purchase from your company.
- Connecting out in real-time and providing proactive help, based on the most recent Forrester, can generate more revenue by up to 29%. According to studies, 55 percent of online buyers will abandon a purchase if they can’t find a solution to an issue fast, proactive support and interaction are now required.
Reactive Vs Proactive: A Coin Toss
Recognizing who makes the first step in a simple approach, comprehending the disparity. The difference between proactive and reactive service is that proactive service is initiated by the company, whereas reactive service is initiated by the consumer.
Neither is superior or inferior to the other. In reality, using both tactics is the best-case situation. When you observe similarities in a customer’s purchase behavior, provide services that might complement or enhance their procedures ahead of time. When a consumer has a query about your product, respond quickly and give them confidence.