We know happy customers mean loyal customers. But, when it comes to customer service, we either receive good customer service or poor customer service as usual. Now, as the future of work keeps booming and Customer Retention becomes a top priority, how can companies provide Proactive customer service and how can Live Chat support their mission?
According to Wikipedia, Customer service is the “provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest.”
For years, even before the industrial revolution, companies have struggled to deliver services on demand across the globe and this has led to the birth of Proactive Customer Service strategy, which in turn gave birth to Proactive Customer Service.
What is Proactive Customer Service?
Proactive customer service is an approach to customer support in which businesses make the first move to help customers. These businesses go out of their way to first find potential problems and then resolve them before customers need to ask for help.
Forbes opine that one of the most effective ways to create customer confidence is to practice proactive customer service. The short description of proactive service is doing something for your customers before they know they need it. For example, the server at the restaurant who refills your water glass before you have to ask. Or the customer service representative who calls to let you know your shipment is delayed before you check on it and find out yourself. (And, that rep also explains the reason for the delay and when you can expect delivery.) You might have experienced some proactive customer service just the other day. Probably your flight was canceled and a customer service agent from the airline called to tell you before you went to the airport. And, she already had you re-booked on another flight.
Proactive customer support is about identifying and resolving customer issues before they become problems.
There are two buckets of customer service; you either fall into the proactive bucket or the reactive bucket.
- Reactive customer service: A customer is browsing your web store and has a question. Typically, they find a contact page, call or email you and wait for a response.
- Proactive customer service: It means anticipating customer issues and addressing them proactively. This can take a number of forms from FAQs and forums to knowledge base and instructional videos.
Most customer support teams fall into the reactive box, but in order to truly get your customers to live for your brand, you need to be proactive. When you practice proactive customer service, you’re letting the customer know in advance about a problem and sharing what you’re doing about it. And, providing updates along the way is important as well.
Why is proactive support important?
Proactive customer support offers a number of benefits for your business.
Here are three reasons by Support Office to get you interested:
- Increase customer loyalty — A report by Enkata found that taking initiative in your support could increase customer retention rates by 3–5%.
- Decrease support calls — By being proactive you can identify issues and resolve them before they become problems, which reduces the amount of tickets you receive.
- Control communication — Customers will talk about your brand to their friends and their family in private, but they will also talk about your brand in public via social media. By being proactive, it gives you the chance to be involved in their conversation and engage with them in a way that puts your business in the most favorable light.
How proactive support can benefit your business
Proactive Customer Service presents the opportunity to meet and exceed customer expectations, strengthen customer relationships and boost the value of your customers through both their business and their advocacy.
Here’s how proactive support can benefit your business.
- Acquire new customers. By being proactive, you can find opportunities to reach out to prospective customers, and encourage them to switch to your brand.
- Retain existing customers. Proactively reaching out to your customers, even when they haven’t directly mentioned you, can deepen those relationships. With more of your customers turning towards social media for customer service, you have to move a step ahead to break their expectations of good service.
- Create Advocates. Proactive customer service offers the chance for you to not only turn around unhappy customers, but turn them into brand advocates, as a happy customer will tell at least 3 people about their experience.
- Protect against escalation. Looking to identify negativity surrounding your brand at the earliest warning is the best way to protect yourself against a social crisis. Research by Altimeter found that the number one cause for complaints online was due to poor experiences.
Proactive Customer Service promotes efficiency in service delivery and customer retention and small or even large scale business should apply this strategy to best optimize their efficiency in delivery.