The customer service landscape is changing rapidly with new tools that allow us to understand what people really want and how to give them that. As a consequence, businesses are taking their services to the next level, thus raising customer expectations.
The power of customer service is great. As many as 90% of Americans say it’s a vital factor when deciding whether to do business with a company. What’s more, 50% of them would switch to a competitor after only one bad experience.
Responding to a problem after it arises, no matter how quickly you do it, may cost you your loyal customers. That’s why taking a proactive approach is essential.
Reactive vs. Proactive Approach
The difference between the reactive and proactive approaches to customer service lies in the fact that the former is linear and single-functional, whereas the latter is holistic. The reactive approach simply involves taking action only when the customer initiates it. Whether they’re asking for assistance, complaining about a problem, or asking for more info, it’s their responsibility to reach out to you.
This approach is not ideal since the burden of finding the best channel for resolution rests on the customer. What’s more, it only deals with one existing problem at a time, without considering the bigger picture.
On the other hand, the proactive approach entails anticipating potential customer needs and issues and taking steps to take care of them in advance. Of course, this approach means providing the best possible customer experience on all fronts and across an entire customer journey.
Proactive service takes some effort as it involves deep and constant analyses and listening to your customers’ needs carefully. However, it’s extremely beneficial and saves you a lot of trouble in the long run.
How You Can Benefit From a Proactive Approach
This type of service will make your customers love you and want to build a lasting relationship with your business. Here are some of its major benefits.
Build Strong Brand Image
Being proactive contributes toward building a strong brand image that customers trust. In fact, 77% of consumers say they view a brand more favorably if they invite customer feedback proactively. Asking for feedback lets them know that you hear them and want to meet their needs.
When you gain a good reputation for taking active care of your customers, your brand image will flourish. Moreover, happy customers are the best ambassadors.
It’s cheaper to retain customers than to acquire new ones, and nothing builds loyalty quite like proactive care. If you take the time to check in with your following, present them with special offers, and reward them for their loyalty, you will deepen your relationship and strengthen the bond.
Expand Customer Base
Being proactive also means identifying prospects, actively reaching out to them, and showing them why they should trust you. This type of treatment will show them you take your job and their needs seriously.
Furthermore, as you gain a reputation for treating your customers with great care, new prospects will come knocking at your door in no time.
Every business owner agrees with the old adage — prevention is indeed better than cure. When a problem arises, it might be too late to fix it. If your brand starts attracting negative publicity and social media criticism, it will be incredibly hard to recover from that.
However, by being proactive, you can prevent many problems and avert serious crises.
How to Provide Proactive Customer Service
A proactive approach consists of so much more than just customer support. You need to work on every stage of the customer journey to make sure they are happy with your service and engaged. Here are some of the most important practices this approach encompasses.
Reach Out Regularly
According to some research, a staggering 87% of people want to be contacted proactively by companies. That’s why you should establish a strategy to keep in touch with your customers. You can do this through various email campaigns and especially reach out to them if there is a change or a problem related to their specific account, product, appointment, etc.
However, you can also contact them with special offers, potential changes in their subscriptions that could benefit them, personalization options, etc.
Use Data to Solve Issues Before They Arise
Numbers and figures don’t lie. That’s why it’s wise to use various analytics tools that will allow you to see what aspects of customer experience need improvement. It’s also a good idea to establish your key performance indicators (KPIs), and changes in these figures will help you notice any potential issues before they get out of hand.
As we’ve mentioned, you can also encourage customer feedback and act on it regularly to prevent any future issues.
Provide Self-Service Options
Self-service options, such as a helpdesk chatbot or a thorough FAQ page, can save customers a lot of time and worry. If they can take care of the issue themselves, they don’t have to deal with live agents or potentially waiting in phone queues before anyone assists them.
What’s more, this way you shorten those queues and allow live reps to dedicate more time to each complaining customer.
Develop a Smart Customer Engagement Strategy
As we’ve mentioned, being proactive means taking a holistic approach to your customer engagement. The best way to do so is to develop a strong and cohesive customer care strategy instead of being all over the place.
Technology can help you greatly in this endeavor. Helpmonks, as a single platform that unifies all the customer engagement tools you may need, could be an ideal solution. It takes team collaboration to the next level and allows you to engage with and grow your audience at an unprecedented rate.
As you can see, boosting the overall customer experience by being proactive is a great way to build a strong brand and improve customer loyalty. It might be just what you need to help your business grow and reach new levels of success.
Infographic provided by Applica, a document automation tool company