mohamed_hassan / Pixabay

The era of social messaging and intelligent automation, for customer service, has truly come to fruition. With this, brands are starting to realize that the channels in which they serve their customers have changed drastically. Despite rapid evolution in the contact center, and expectations on digital being 81% higher than this time last year, the basic principles of social customer service have remained the same; including being able to proactively solve a problem before it arises. Being one step ahead, at all times, will make your brand stand out when it comes to delivering a full-out customer experience that rises above and beyond consumer expectations.

You can’t just sit back and wait for customer queries to come your way. Twitter, for example, allows companies to reach out to customers when they’ve directly or indirectly mentioned a brand or used a key term relating to that brand. With Twitter, you’re not just listening or monitoring; you are engaging with the customers who need you most. A rounded customer engagement strategy now means being able to anticipate and address a problem even before it surfaces.

It may seem like a daunting prospect to get the hang of, but proactive customer care will benefit your business in a plethora of ways in the long-run!

Here are my top 3 most important reasons why proactive customer service will work for your brand:

1) Don’t just be there for the problems!

In every walk of life, it is fair to say that the best relationships are those with open communication, at all times. Communication isn’t a one-way street! No relationship is sustainable if you communicate only when something is wrong, and the same applies to the customer/brand relationship. For a brand, when those relationships are with a rapidly growing customer base, social media is an efficient way to stay in touch with a large audience through individual conversations. Companies now need to be proactive, rather than just reactive, over social. They should be calling out to their customers—engaging with them—even when things aren’t necessarily deemed a customer service issue as of yet. This will add an element of “surprise and delight” for customers, turning them quickly into brand advocates, resulting in as much as 98.5% positive brand sentiment.

2) Open up to the positive PR

It goes without saying, social media is a public platform – many share and tell everyone about their experience whether good or bad. One simple issue, can snowball into a viral news story (we all know about THAT United story last year). By communicating proactively and getting ahead of problems before, or as they arise, your brand is immediately in the best position to take reigns over any conversation. Proactive engagement sets up a controlled brand-consumer dialogue and takes potentially volatile situations by confronting problems head-on, which helps build customer trust and avoids damaging brand reputation. It enables you to engage with them in a way that frames your business in the most positive light and can get them singing your praises all across social channels.

3) A proactive care strategy will give you loyalty

In today’s saturated markets, customer experience is the competitive advantage. Businesses should take stock of the fact that future generations of customers are going to be much more engaged with brands on social and digital channels, with their loyalty depending upon how engaged those brands are in return. There is little margin for error. Digital care gives brands the opportunity to turn unhappy customers into happy customers. In a recent Conversocial study, 57% of respondents indicated that they would stop doing business with a brand due to a poor digital customer service experience. The key takeaway here is; make the customer feel cared about and they are more likely to come back to your brand again and again.

Today’s high-value customer is engaged in, and open to, brand communication on digital channels, so businesses shouldn’t wait to start a conversation to build recognition and loyalty with what could be their most profitable customers. What was once considered simply reaching out to the customer has shifted to a comprehensive customer engagement strategy – mainly due to the public nature of most social content and desire for high quality customer service.

Want to know more? Read our Definitive Guide that lays out best practices for ensuring your brand is delivering in-the-moment resolutions, at scale, to drive profitable and lasting relationships over social and digital channels!