Do you detect and react to customer problems or wait for the customers to make the first move and ask for help? If you belong to the former category, then you are obviously on the right track as providing proactive customer service is what customers expect today. However, if you fall in the later one, then you are still following the default approach of responding to customers’ problems as they arise. This is reactive customer service.
Although, there is nothing wrong with offering help when asked. In fact, it is appreciated by customers when you successfully handle their issues as soon as they complain about them. But this approach is not revolutionary either. You can satisfy your customer with reactive customer service but can’t surprise or delight them. Delivering proactive customer service is way more powerful in today’s highly competitive environment where customer expectations are at an all-time high. Businesses need to go out of the way and anticipate customer’s needs and address them before customers ask for help.
Implementing proactive customer service strategy will definitely amaze your customers and make them happy. And we all know that happy customers mean loyal customers. Being proactive will prevent you from dealing with annoyed customers as you will be able to reach them before they come across any pain point or potential problem. Customers will consider you to be very thoughtful and they will admire your organization. It saves customers’ precious time and delivers value to them. Proactive approach will not only lead to cost savings for your business but also boost customer retention.
According to a research by Enkata, proactive customer service can reduce call volumes by as much as 30% and increase customer retention rates by 3-5%.
Let’s have a glance how organizations can implement proactive customer service approach to enhance customer retention and loyalty:
Real-time Monitoring of Customer Activity
Take proactive measures by intervening right before your customer can face a challenging issue. This can be achieved by closely monitoring the customers’ activity on your website on a real-time basis. Implementing a live chat feature will enable you to jump in as soon as you think the users need help and interact with them to solve the problem. For example- if your customer is spending more than the usual time on your shopping cart and is not proceeding to buy something, probably he is facing a problem. In situations like these, you can step in and start a chat with him and save the sale.
The Forrester survey found that, 44 percent of respondents believe the ability to get quick answers from a live chat representative during an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.
Keep your Customers Informed in Crisis Situations
On identifying a problem or a crisis situation, your company can act proactive by alerting the customers before they find out about the same. For instance- if your website is facing a technical glitch or if you are planning to upgrade your website’s software due to which the customers will not be able to use it for a few hours, inform your customers in advance. You can do this by
- Announcing about the situation on all your social media channels
- Sending individual SMSs or emails and offering an apology, if the issue is going to persist for long
- Having a status page set up on your website informing about the problem with an emergency contact number, in case customers have further questions
- Offering a discount or refund depending upon the damage caused to the customer
If your company follows reactive customer service, you will end up dealing with a huge number of calls and emails of infuriated customers. On the other hand, making your customers aware about crisis situations before they arise will help in building customer trust and reduces reputational risks.
Generate Useful Content that Answers Frequent Customer Questions
Customers often like self-service options and help themselves without needing to contact any company representative via calls, chats or emails. In order to cater to these requirements and reduce the volume of calls, businesses must create a list of most frequently asked questions and their answers and put it on their website under the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section. Or, companies can also generate frequent blogs which covers customers’ concerns which will help them a great deal in garnering customer satisfaction and improving their website’s rank.
Listening to Customers
Paying attention to what your customers are saying about you by monitoring the conversations happening around your products or services outside the purview of your own social media channels will ensure that you address their needs pre-emptively, thus enhancing customer satisfaction. Positive mentions can be responded with a gesture of gratitude or appreciation while negative mentions or complaints can be replied with an apology and assurance to rectify the fault soon or with a free gift to compensate for the loss.
Proactive outreach strategies allow a company to deliver exceptional, differentiated and high-touch customer services, thereby increasing customer retention and loyalty. It also maximizes the probability of cross-selling and up-selling by reinforcing company’s brand identity and customer value proposition.