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Proactive Customer Service: Definition, Importance and Tips

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Proactive Customer Service: Definition, Importance and Tips

Brands are now more focused on offering efficient customer care in terms of quality and experience. With increasing customer expectations, proactive customer service can increase loyalty and retention.

Businesses use a proactive customer service approach to help the customer even before they ask.

Initiating and securing customer confidence in the brand is not an easy task. A proactive approach in customer service infused with a personalised and customised approach can make the customer feel valued and cared for.

Let’s understand this with an example. If your website is going under maintenance and you make the customers aware of it well in advance, they’ll trust you more and feel satisfied and valued at the same time. 

Assisting the customer, informing them about the prospective updates, letting them know the advanced features, and getting insight into the potential issues make them feel delighted.

Chatbots, e-mails, popup information, tutorials, and feedback for customer engagement are some of the finest tools for a proactive approach.

The rule that business houses apply these days is “why try to be reactive when you can be proactive?” Indeed, one of the finest decision a business can make today.

Let’s have an in-depth look at the concept of proactive customer service, its benefits, and how one can adopt it in their business. 

What is proactive customer service?

The idea behind proactive customer service relates to the business making a move first. It means that the business takes the first step and helps the customer solve the issue even before it occurs.

Addressing the issues a customer might run into proactively will make them feel delighted and connected to the business.

Suggested Reading: Introducing Outreach For Proactive Customer Communication

When we talk about online business, Amazon is considered to be one of the most proactive service providers. It offers insight into the order placed, its status, delivery, time and date. Additionally, on the day of delivery, it even offers the contact of the delivery person.

Businesses offer all the details beforehand, making it comfortable for the customer to plan out the day. If the customer is unavailable, they can contact the delivery personnel and ask for a visit on another day.

This is truly a step ahead that saves the customer from the hassle of time and management issues. In turn, it makes the customer feel valued and delighted.

Creating a system that addresses customer pain points before they occur can help to build a better relationship with customers.

A study by Harvard Business Review suggests that around 57% of the inbound calls come from customers who already looked at the website for a resolution but cannot find answers. Also, 30% of them look for websites simultaneously while talking to the representative. 

The proactive approach makes it feasible for the customer to know issues in advance. This in turn lets you build a base of loyal customers. 

Now that you know what a proactive customer approach is, the next is to understand the benefits your business gets after implying it.

Importance of proactive customer service

Serving the customer by moving a step ahead or taking the first step makes the customer feel valued. Because of this delightful experience, they stay loyal to your business.

The following points highlight the benefits and importance of proactive customer service: 

# Increase retention rate

Every business looks for ways to retain customers and offer them the best service. Offering a proactive approach will ensure that the customers know the answers to the most common questions. This can be done with the help of onboarding, email communication, already available FAQs or tutorials.

Proactive customer service is known to increase customer retention by 3-5% and turn customers into loyal customers. Improved loyalty and customer satisfaction result in higher retention rates, which is necessary for every business to grow and flourish.

# Boost reputation

When a brand has loyal and satisfied customers, the chances of having a better brand value increases on its own. The brand that is ready to serve its customers proactively attracts more customers who will stay longer.

It has been seen that loyal customers are five times more likely to repeat purchase and four times more likely to refer others to the business. By taking steps to help the customers proactively make the customers positive towards the brand leading to a high brand reputation. The best example of such proactive customer service is Amazon, as we saw before.

# Reduce complaints and dissatisfied customers

The increased amount of self-help materials when available on the company’s website or in the form of the brochure reduces the number of complainants. When a business focuses on creating proactive resources and serving the customer, the number of dissatisfied customers decreases.

How does this impact a business? For example, a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Approximately 13% of dissatisfied customers will tell more than 20 people, suggested by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. These statistics are enough reasons for a business to move to proactive customer service.

Suggested Reading: Address Customer Complaints And Better Your Customer Relationship

# Create a motivated in-house team

When most of the common queries and their respective resolutions are already available to the customers in FAQs and tutorials, the in-house team’s burden reduces a lot.

Using the proactive customer approach can help the in-house staff channel their energy to productive and innovative activities. A reduced number of tickets allows the employees to use their free time to learn new skills, helping them grow and grow the business. 

# Receive valuable feedback

The feedback form lets a company know whether the solution offered by the business is acceptable by the customer or not.

The flow of the solution, easiness of understanding, simplicity of application, and resolution speed are a few points that the customer focuses on while offering feedback.

When the business receives the feedback, it helps them know what changes must be made. This small step towards providing a solution adds to the customer’s positive impression of the brand, and hence, building a delighted customer base.

A study by SurveyMonkey suggests that 85% of people say they’re likely to provide feedback when they’ve had a good experience, and 81% offer it when they’ve had a bad experience, offering an insight into the actual value of feedback for the business.

Suggested Reading: Handling Customer-Communication On WhatsApp The Right Way

# Lower need for call support

Especially when the business is into the service or technical industry, there is a higher chance of customers calling support. A reactive customer service model demands the customer to reach the agent at all times.

Whereas when the business uses the proactive approach, the customer’s need to call the help centre reduces to a great extent. Identifying and resolving common issues before they become a problem helps the business make customers happy and satisfied.

# Saves time and money

Time and money are significant. Training support agents consists of time and money costs but ensuring customers receive smooth service is a high stake activity.

When we use the proactive customer service approach, the business can reduce the simple routine queries that come to an agent. Then, the amount of effort and costs that go into training new staff reduces too. One of the best ways for a proactive approach in answering FAQs is to use conversational AI chatbots. 

A report presented by Chatbots Magazine reflects that businesses can reduce customer service costs by up to 30% by implementing conversational solutions like virtual agents and chatbots. One can make potential savings of up to USD 23 billion easily.

# Word of mouth publicity

SurveyMonkey buyer trust report suggested that 82% of people trust customers’ voice more than messages that come from the brand. This makes it quite clear that word of mouth is more important than commercials.

The proactive customer service approach makes the customers feel satisfied and happy. Happy customers provide a positive message about the brand or the company. This is one of the key aspects that drive business’ growth actively and spread its reach to the greatest extent.

Undoubtedly, a business always wishes to have such benefits, but what is the right way to implement a proactive approach? 

Tips for implementing a proactive customer service approach

A proactive customer service approach is the key to having a loyal customer base and building a long-lasting relationship.

With the immense benefits a business gets by applying the tools and techniques of the proactive approach, it is equally important to know what a business needs to do to adopt the same. 

A proactive customer service lets a business grow and build a base of customers that stay with them.

Let us look at a few prominent yet simple tips that can help businesses apply the proactive customer service approach. 
  • Develop a knowledge base that the customers can easily access from anywhere and anytime. The FAQs or the tutorials act as first-hand information to help customers solve the basic and routine questions independently.
  • If an issue has come up, for instance, a downtime, let the customers know quickly; informing them about the incident in advance will make them feel valued and satisfied. Sending a mail or using the popup message service can help the brands to communicate with customers quickly.
  • Know what the customer expects from the product or service. Paying attention and listening to the customer’s view makes it easier for the brand to build a proactive base of questions and resolutions.
  • Follow up with customers when things go wrong. For example, if a customer has abandoned a cart or there was a payment processing error, communicate with them again.

Suggested Reading: How To Draft A Follow Up Email After No Response (12 Samples)

  • Feedback is essential for every business. Customer feedback helps a company understand issues with their product or services. Reviewing the feedback can help the business to make the potential changes that the customer will definitely appreciate.
  • For the proactive customer service approach, it is equally important to empower the employees. Using tools that let them identify trends in user behaviour and predicting issues before they arise goes a long way. Further, it helps in boosting customer support representatives morales which in turn motivates them to serve the customer effectively and efficiently.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys can offer great value to the customer. After providing the solution, asking the customer about experience-based questions will make the customer feel important. This survey will be an insight into how customers perceive proactive service.
  • Honesty and transparency are always appreciated. When in the business, you face a situation that demands the error’s disclosure; make sure to be transparent. Rather than hiding or avoiding the problem or situation, the same can get worsened. 
  • Stay active on social media. A business needs to have a proactive team on social media to promptly and proactively identify trends and address issues before it becomes big. Prompt responding on social media also builds a positive brand image.

Suggested Reading: 11 Signs That You Need To Better Your Customer Experience – Part I

Proactive customer service: the unbeatable edge

Customers today look for new brands and products daily. With the increasing level of competition, it is essential for the brands to focus on customers’ needs and experience.

The proactive customer service approach ensures that the business is ready to solve the customer issues and problems as and when they appear, if not before the issues arise. 

With a proactive customer service approach, you can create a base of loyal customers ready for word-of-mouth publicity, a step ahead towards high brand value.

If you are looking for solutions that help with both proactive and reactive support, book a demo with Verloop.io. Know more about customers, their needs and how to grow your business to reach the top in a competitive environment.

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