Building customer trust is always necessary and it is crucial to have good customer service. The reason why some businesses surpass others is that they shift the way they approach customer service, from reactive to proactive. Some big companies like Amazon and Slack have delivered great proactive support experiences.
Proactive customer service is now widely used and recognized around the world. It may be overwhelming at first, but it's rather a simple approach to adopt and implement.
Customer expectations are higher than ever, if their needs are not fulfilled, they will easily turn to other choices. Thus, it has never been more important for sellers to implement proactive customer service that goes beyond their expectations.
What is proactive customer service and how to implement it? This article’s goal is to introduce you to the fundamentals of proactive customer service and give you some instructions on how to implement it.
What is proactive customer service?
Proactive service means to take a step ahead to prevent possible issues before they actually happen. Spotting or anticipating an issue in advance and extending support to resolve it makes a perfect proactive customer service.
This can include introducing new products or services that customers may be interested in, notifying them of errors as they occur, or simply improving a customer's experience.
An example can be a waiter filling up a client's glass before it's empty, or a seller informing customer about delayed goods and updating the delivery date.
Proactive vs. Reactive
Consider proactive customer service as to getting vaccinated. It can prevent viruses that might damage you in the future. Proactive customer support provides solutions to problems that have not happened yet.
Reactive support is in contrast to proactive customer support. You can think of it as going to the hospital after getting the flu. In this case, customers have a problem that is difficult to solve without your assistance, so they have to wait for you.
To make it simple, the difference is in who makes the first move. When a customer takes the initiative to solve a problem, this is known as reactive customer service. When you have proactive support, you take the initiative.
Why proactive customer service is important?
Now that we've clarified the distinction between the two methods, let's look at why you should take a proactive approach to customer service.
As customers' expectations are higher than ever, they always want to feel special when enjoying a service. What's more, personalization is so important in business that brands who put their customers at the center of everything do see better results.
Being proactive is a way of showing customers that your business is customer-focused and is dedicated in providing the best customer experience for them. Since the focus is on what your business can do for the customers, this in turn helps to make them feel special.
Consumers tend to have a positive view of proactive service according to a study by inContact. 87% of the responding customers were pleased to be approached proactively by businesses about possible customer service problems. You could be losing out if you're not taking a proactive approach to customer service.
Higher customer loyalty
With so much choice available now, it's harder than ever for consumers to remain loyal. When you engage customers, you're more likely to retain them. Proactive customer service increases retention rates by 3-5% according to a report by Enkata which in turn increases customer loyalty.
"Proactive customer service increases retention rates by 3-5%"
According to customer support statistics, loyal customers are five times more likely to repurchase and four times more likely to refer others to the brand. In addition, retained customers are more beneficial and less costly than attracting new customers. Therefore, the improved customer loyalty can turn to a dramatic increase in revenue.
Save customers time and free your team
Reaching out to a customer before they are even aware of a problem saves them time and resources. In other words, it is easier for them to recognize the value your company provides.
Furthermore, the Enkata report also revealed that proactive customer service can reduce call volumes by up to 30%. By implementing a proactive customer service model, the service team tends to have more time to deal with more important efforts.
How to implement proactive customer service？
There are some ways of implementing the proactive approach, which will be helpful for your business.
Know your customers
If you don't know anything about your customer, there is no way to give proactive support. Before you take the approach, you need to spend some time getting to know them. You can start with analyzing customer behavior and maybe do some research about their reviews and feedback.
Monitoring your social media
Pay attention to customers who mention your brand on social media. No matter if the context is good or bad, dig into common complaints and problems that the customer service department faces.
For example, if a customer complains on Twitter about how disappointed they are with the delay in their delivery, you can react quickly and provide a solution.
Create a knowledge base
Knowledge bases contain information about a company, including articles, FAQs, and video tutorials that customers care about. It's another way of anticipating potential issues and providing consumers with the knowledge they'll need to fix these issues before they occur.
Proactive customer service is definitely a good way to improve your businesses. It not only brings you higher customer loyalty but also saves customers time and frees your team. For all the benefits it can generate, it's time to reconsider your customer service strategy.
There are many ways to implement proactive customer service. Get to know your customers, monitoring your social media and creating a knowledge base are all very useful ways to do so. When all of these proactive support elements are in place, you will find yourself taking the lead in your field.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!