Proactive customer service is recognizing an issue and acknowledging or resolving it before a customer brings it to your attention.
Proactive vs. Reactive
Most businesses offer various contact channels for a customer to get in touch when they need support. This is the standard across most industries and considered a reactive customer service approach.
A proactive approach means the business makes the first move and reaches out to the customer. This is usually completed through communication channels such as automated chat-bots, newsletters, or self-help tools.
Proactive customer service has a longer-lasting effect on customers. It improves engagement, customer loyalty, and strengthens the brand’s reputation. Proactive customer service also results in fewer tickets overall — which frees up time for support teams to focus on other tasks and handle each incoming inquiry with care. Ultimately, executing a proactive customer service approach strengthens your existing reactive approach.
Implementing a Proactive Strategy
To implement a proactive customer service strategy, you must be able to anticipate your customers’ needs. This means you must diligently track and analyze your customer inquiries to recognize patterns. Once you understand the common issues your customers encounter and the channels they use to communicate with your business, you can offer proactive solutions.
One of the best tools you can build is a knowledge base. A knowledge base is a library of content like how-to guides, tips and tricks, videos, and articles that answer your customers’ frequently asked questions. Buyers find it tedious to contact customer support, especially for simple solutions. A knowledge base is an easy way to empower your customers to help themselves.
Chat Widget & Live Chat
These are the most important parts of a proactive customer service model. Integrating a chat widget or live chat feature with preemptive greetings or specific prompts helps to reach every customer. You can have widgets programmed to offer personalized assistance based on each customer’s interactions with the site. Beyond its usual function, the chat widget can serve as the primary force directing customers to exactly what they’re looking for.
Another simple way to stay proactive with your customers is to actively communicate with them. Reach out if you see a consistent issue that may affect a large number of people. Take advantage of your mailing list and social channels to give them a heads up on issues or keep them in loop regarding changes to the business operations.
Taking it a step further, be sure to monitor all the places your customers might talk about your businesses. This includes FaceBook, Twitter, review sites, instagram, etc. When customers have compliments, complaints, or suggestions it creates an opportunity to capitalize on their discussion — thank them for their input and do your best to act accordingly.
At the End of the Day
The key to proactive customer service is having the data, being realistic, honest, and finding ways to reach out to your customers so they know you have their back.