Many companies provide traditional customer service. They wait until customers have questions or find out about problems before they take action. This is reactive service and can irritate customers, erode trust and destroy brands. Some examples include not informing customers about a delay in shipping or a delayed service call. An extreme example is GM’s delayed recall of 2.6 million vehicles for a defect that they knew existed and had already led to 13 deaths. While, companies often have to be reactive, there are opportunities to provide proactive customer service.
Proactive customer service is staying ahead of customer questions or issues and making the first move to offer solutions, before customers ask questions or reach out for help. Proactive customer service creates trust, loyalty and confidence in a business or brand.
Companies are getting better at spotting problems and addressing them before the customer notices. How can your company make the shift to take advantage of the power of proactive customer service?
Create a Customer Service Culture
Create a culture where all employees are focused on the customer, not just touchpoint employees. Employees throughout the organization should be encouraged to recognize problems that can affect customers and feel safe in bringing the problems and a proactive solution to light.
Know Your Customers
You can provide valuable proactive service when you understand your customers and what’s important to them. Engage with customers, especially your top customers, to identify interests and priorities. There are many ways businesses can engage customers. Our company helps businesses engage in real-time through two-way text communication. Using our platform, businesses can tailor interactions for different customer segments.
Ask for Customer Feedback
Asking customers for real-time feedback is key to proactive service. If a group of customers is experiencing a problem, there’s a good chance other customers are experiencing the same problem. Real-time feedback can be hard to get and requires a communication channel customers can easily access to engage with a company.
Listen to Feedback
Many companies gather customer feedback but don’t pay close attention to what is being said. Truly listen to customers to identify their pain points as well as emerging issues. Mine the information gathered for proactive service initiatives and share throughout the organization. Bring problems to the forefront and address them before they become bigger issues.
Shifting to a proactive customer service approach benefits businesses and their customers. The demand on your customer service department will decrease and more time will be spent engaging with customers to build loyalty and trust.