If you're in business, you know — customer service is critical. More and more consumers are turning to social media to speak with support rather than your typical 1-800 numbers. Because of this shift that it's essential to support your customers in whichever way they prefer communicating with you.
87% of customers expect to be proactively reached out to by brands for customer service-related issues.
Proactive customer service is just one of the many facets that have helped your company achieve success. Being proactive will help you become efficient at dealing with problems before they happen.
Let's dive deep into the topic.
What is proactive support?
Proactive support is a way of providing help or advice before the customer needs it. It is more efficient than reactive support because you can anticipate what the user will need and deliver it before knowing they need it.
There are two buckets of customer service; it's either proactive or reactive.
Reactive customer service: It means has a question while browsing your webpage. They find a contact page, email or call you and wait for a response.
Proactive customer service: It means foreseeing customer issues and addressing them proactively. It can be achieved throigh, FAQs, forums, knowledge base, and instructional videos.
Most customer support teams follow the reactive box, but it's vital to be proactive to get your customers to engage with your brand truly.
Why is proactive support necessary?
Proactive customer support offers several benefits for your business.
On average, 71% of customers express loyalty to brands that excel at customer support. And 9 out of 10 consumers say they will pay more for a better customer experience.
Customers expect customer service to be available 24/7, from any device, personalized, connected, and frictionless.
Here are five key ways your brand can proactively deliver better experiences:
- Make self-service easier.
Many brands make the mistake of developing support channels with a one-size-fits-all approach that alienates customers. Instead, embed support into every touchpoint. For instance, when Amazon introduced voice-shopping, it made it easy for customers to talk (or type) to Alexa rather than read extended FAQs.
- Provide real-time information.
Customers expect brands to provide easy access to information. Rather than forcing customers to contact you, empower self-service with a chatbot backed by live agents. This way, a customer can ask a question, receive a response and resolve the issue without contacting an agent.
- Automate repetitive tasks.
When customers need help, they want it quickly, and they don't have the patience to work through long calls. So if a customer asks the same question over and over, offer a solution through a chatbot.
- Prioritize the customer's needs.
Customers have high expectations, and they're always willing to share their opinions. When consumers feel ignored, they'll quickly move on to a competitor. So, listen.
- Don't give up.
The most successful brands are committed to providing an exceptional experience. That means getting feedback from customers and making timely improvements.
So, how will your customers themselves feel about proactive support?
Of course, they will like it. A lot!
In a study by inContact, 87% of adults surveyed are happy to be contacted proactively by companies regarding customer service issues.
The study also found that 65% of consumers are open to being contacted about fraudulent activity on an account, 53% are open to setting appointments or reminders, and 51% are available to be contacted for questions about an order they placed.
Besides, 75% of respondents who had a positive experience with an incoming call reported a positive change in their perception of the company calling them.
Read Also: Customer Experience Trends 2021
How can proactive support benefit your business?
Proactive customer service is the opportunity to meet and exceed customer expectations, strengthen customer relationships and boost the value of those customers through both their business and their advocacy. Here's how it can benefit your business.
Acquire new customers. Proactive support for businesses may help you find opportunities to reach out to prospective customers. In turn, you can encourage them to switch to your brand.
Retain existing customers. Proactively reaching out to your customers helps deepen your relationship, even if they're not directly mentioning you. With most of the customers moving to social media for customer service, you need to move a step ahead to conquer their expectations of good service.
Create Advocates. If you provide proactive support, you'll have the chance to turn unhappy customers into brand advocates since they will talk about their excellent experiences with your products or services with at least three of their associates.
Protect against escalation. Identifying negativity surrounding your brand is the first step to protecting against a customer service crisis. This will give you the ability to take control of the situation and prevent it from turning into a full-blown crisis.
How to go from reactive to proactive support?
Well, for beginners, it's easier than you think.
Firstly, it doesn't have to be time-consuming or expensive. And secondly, if you want to get the most out of a proactive support strategy, you must prioritize your customers above all else.
To begin with, you need to do a couple of things:
Make yourself available. That means more than just leaving a contact number on your website (41% of companies currently do not make this information visible). It means being available across various communication channels, such as phone, email, and social media. Allowing customers to get in touch with you in the channel of their choice lets you serve them more effectively.
Help your customers help themselves. Proactive support helps people resolve their problems on their own, which allows them to become more self-sufficient. For example, if you make an FAQ section on your website, your customers can refer to it when they have questions.
By putting your customers first, you will increase your brand's reputation, which will, in turn, increase your bottom line.