Regardless of what you may think, social media did not invent the concept of proactive customer service. In fact, it has existed for quite some time. In essence, proactive customer service is the concept of helping people with their problems far before they reach out to you with queries or complaints. This way, you are seen as being in tune with their needs, rather than just looking to put out fires.

Prior to the advent of social media, companies used proactive customer service in the form of FAQs, forums, informative videos and more. These methods worked wonders. In fact, according to Enkata, preemptive customer service increased retention rates between 3-5%. Furthermore, Incontact reports that 87% of customers don’t mind being contacted by customer service personnel prior to any issues ever coming into fruition.

But while we all know proactive customer service precedes social media, social media took the practice to the next level as it enabled companies to see patterns in their customer’s queries, while also allowing them to get a sense for who their customers are and what exactly they want.

Read on to discover the best way to use social media to deliver proactive customer service:

Reach out before Problems Arise

As I have mentioned before, being proactive is all about discovering issues prior to a full blown crisis occurring. This way, you prevent dissatisfaction while also being perceived as a brand operating with their customer’s needs at heart.

Customers love brands that actively work to suit their needs. With 73% of customers reporting positive brand perception resulting from being contacted by customer service representatives, the numbers reinforce this stance. Taking it a step further, there is no platform as well suited to help you reach your customers as conveniently as social media.

Since your customers are already on social, you can use it as a virtual hub, bringing all of them together. Then, you can easily contact each customer in a manner that’s user-friendly and not overly invasive.

Pay Close Attention to all Issues

Only 3% of users use an @ when trying to contact your customer support channel. This means you are not getting the majority of notifications pertaining to your brand’s mentions and social queries. Keeping this in mind, it’s critical for you to keep your eyes glued to your social channels, actively looking for chances to engage your customer base in conversation and asserting your presence.

By doing so, you portray an image of being reliable and available, so you become more trustworthy in their eyes. As a result, you formulate a genuine relationship with your customers and increase loyalty.

Make it Clear you’re on Top of all Queries

Some queries are complex, but ignoring them until you can find a solution is detrimental to your customer service success. Since 42% of customers expect a response within an hour, it’s critical that you inform them that you are at the very least looking into the issue at hand and doing everything in your power to solve it.

Simply showing your customers that you are listening and working to resolve their problems can have a tremendously positive effect on their perception of your brand, making them more open to working with you again in the future.

Use KPIs to Measure Success

It’s important to make proactive outreach accountable with real customer service analytics and reporting. Demand volumes, customer sentiment, issue categorization and response rates should all be measured to glean an accurate picture of discussion around your brand and your team’s ability to make a difference.

By taking advantage of analytics, you can attain the results of your proactive customer service strategies so you can understand what is working and what’s not. This way, you can adjust as you see fit and become more successful in all customer interactions.

Proactive customer service is not just smart–it’s a necessity. Today’s customers crave seamless and personalized interactions with brands. Therefore, you have to be in constant contact to stop the problems well before they develop. By using social media to access your customer base, you formulate strong bonds while ensuring their needs are met.

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