When was the last time you were really impressed by a brand’s customer service team? Was it because they resolved a problem quickly or was it because they do something above and beyond what you expected?
For most companies, customer service tends to be a reactive and passive response to enquiries and complaints. Reacting to customer needs in a quick and efficient manner is an essential element of providing good customer service. Yet it only goes so far.
Proactive customer experience is about identifying and resolving customer issues and needs before the customer becomes aware of them. Buyers are more likely to trust a company that shows they care and rarely lets them down, over a brand that only contacts them to sell them something.
Not all dissatisfied customers complain
For every frustrated or dissatisfied customer who complains there’s likely to be 10 who do not complain. Most of those who do not complain will simply leave and go to a competitor. Each of those silent customers who do not complain are still likely to tell 6 – 10 people they know. By delivering proactive customer experiences brands can ensure all their customers receive an adequate level of service and support.
It’s about adding value
Proactive customer service is about identifying and resolving customer issues before they become a problem. It’s doing something or offering something of value for your customers before they know they need it. An example would be an energy retailer contacting customers after a higher than usual bill and explaining to them how they could smooth out their payments and help identify appliances that may have caused the high bill.
Customers trust proactive companies
Customers trust companies that show they care over ones that only contact them to sell them something or to fix an issue. A survey by inContact revealed that 87% of customers surveyed wanted to be contacted proactively when it came to customer service issues. 73% who had been contacted proactively and had a positive experience said that it encouraged a positive change in their perception of the brand that contacted them.
It’s been reported that proactive customer service can often lead to an increase in customer retention by 3 – 8%.
Not only can does being proactive improve customer service and retention, it can significantly lower operation costs. Happy customers are cheaper to service, complain less and cost less to compensate.
Being proactive isn’t easy
Proactive customer experience requires a very deep understanding of your customers and the issues that will impact them. In many cases it’s about knowing what they need before they do. To do this, you need the right data and analytical tools to draw out insights and conclusions from the data. It also requires having an empowered and engaged CX team who are prepared to go above and beyond for customers.
You need to be able to identify issues or opportunities by drawing conclusions from data, and by having an engaged team of agents that know everything about your customers and are always looking out for new ways to delight them.