The age of passive support is over. Well, maybe not ‘over’ over, but it should be over for you. Waiting for customers to come to you with issues is a relic of the past and now that customer care has moved onto social channels and the world is knit together in a vast web of interactivity, brands can (and should) intercept problems before they occur.

Please your customers with proactive support

Take Vega, a brand which offers premium nutritional plant-based foods. They had so much success resolving issues on social that they decided to go on the offensive. They installed a “surprise and delight” mentality, with their social ambassadors proactively reaching out over Instagram to turn happy consumers into advocates.

“Support no longer implies waiting.”

This sort of outreach can walk a fine line because brands don’t want to be interrupters. As Pepsi’s recent tone deaf ad shows, consumers don’t always want your presence or your products inserted into their daily lives. Yet if they have a customer service issue brewing, or there’s a potential to surprise a potential advocate with extraordinary service, you want to be there. It’s a matter of intuiting the signals from the vast sea of noise on social, and having a social care tool with powerful listening capabilities which allows you to be there at those right times.

Be there for the good and the bad

When Vega’s care team went searching for problems to solve, they stumbled across a sad moment in a customer’s life and showed empathy by sending a care package. Robin, an influencer for Vega, had a Labrador named Samantha who passed away from cancer. Vega turned Robin’s Instagram photo of Samantha into a piece of art which they sent along with a heartfelt message. Robin immediately shared their box.

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Image Credit: Vega

Just as families and friends support each other through good times and bad, Vega supports its influencers and builds much deeper relationships than would be possible if they just sat back and waited.

Prevent trouble from brewing

And of course, the best problems to have in support are the ones that never happen. Brands like Vega are out there scanning the airwaves for important touch points, both good and bad, proactively resolving issues and sowing seeds of goodwill. Customers are surprised and delighted by their actions because today, it’s still novel for a large brand to be listening and caring enough to engage.

And yet, as more support moves onto social, and as more pleasantly surprised consumers share their experiences, this will increasingly become the standard. No longer can brands afford to ignore the proactive power of social.

How do you surprise and delight your consumers? If you haven’t yet, why not?