Why and How to Implement Proactive Customer Service

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If you are working in a customer service setting, you must have heard about proactive customer service.

It is the type of support service that identifies and resolves customer issues before they become problems.

Proactive customer service is unlike reactive customer service, where customers don’t contact a support team unless they encounter a problem.

Proactive customer service can take a number of forms. It can be through FAQs, forums, knowledge base, instructional videos, conducting surveys, or making follow-up calls.

Statistics show that 87% of customers would prefer that a company contact them proactively when it comes to customer service.

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But why is it important, and how can you implement proactive customer service?

As you read further, I will be answering these questions.

Importance of Proactive Customer Service

Proactive customer support can be highly beneficial for your company. Some major benefits include:

1. Retaining customers

As per a study, providing proactive support to your customers than waiting for them to reach out to you can help improve retention by 3-5%.

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It will also ultimately increase customer loyalty. Many clients today are turning to social media to access customer service. You will have to step up your game to provide more than what they expect.

2. Cutting down customer service calls

When you offer proactive service, it can cut down customer service calls by 20-30% in a year. 

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Just ensure to keep your objectives customer-centric when you implement the strategy. After all, the customers are the sole reasons for the existence of the function itself. 

3. Lowering operating costs

If you are able to improve retention rates and customer loyalty by implementing proactive customer service, you can save resources.

The customers that you retain are worth more and cost less than obtaining new customers. 

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It has been estimated that proactive customer service can decrease call center operating costs by 25%.

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4. Creating advocates

Effectively implementing proactive customer service offers you the chance not only to turn around unhappy customers but also turn them into advocates of your brand.

As per White House Office of Consumer Affair, satisfied customers go about telling 4-6 people about their experience post their issue is resolved.

5. Improving Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

As per Zendesk, proactive initiatives like interacting with customers via Live-Chat can improve CSAT by 92%

As humans, seeking attention is only natural. When you provide your customers with the attention they need, it improves their satisfaction. And happy customers are more likely to keep purchasing from your brand.

6. Increasing sales

Many customers abandon their purchases. And the reasons are manifold. 

It has been estimated that 83% of online shoppers require assistance to complete a purchase.

If you can offer proactive support while a customer is hesitating on your checkout page, it can considerably increase your sales by up to 29%, as per Forrester reports

7. Freeing up your team

Your team will also have fewer support calls to attend to as your proactive initiatives will assist customers in resolving issues on their own. 

How to Implement Proactive Customer Service

Your company can’t implement proactive customer service on their own. It should be a combined effort of your team, your customers, and the company. 

Here are some effective ways to implement this type of customer service.

1. Conduct surveys

Knowing your customers is the first step you can take to implement proactive customer support. Never assume that you know what your customers need. And what better way to find out than to send out surveys. When you send out questionnaires, you gain information about the areas to improve on and thus can take corrective actions.

Make sure that you gather both qualitative and quantitative customer data.

2. Create a knowledge base

Create knowledge bases that include information about your company, products or services, and other related topics. It should answer all the common questions.

You can use AI to collect and store the data or manually upload data contributed by experts.

It will greatly reduce the need for customers to contact support to clear simple queries. As shown in the graph below, the phone is the most-used channel when it comes to customer service.

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3. Form the right support team 

Your proactive support team should not only include your support staff but everyone in your organization.

Use the insights and experience of everyone in your company to build an effective support system of this kind. Only then, your customers will benefit.

Your team should be the right mix of people from different functions in your company. 

4. Call out your mistakes

It is easier said than done, but apologizing for a mistake can do wonders in satisfying customers. 

As per a study, unhappy customers are keener to forgive a company that offers an apology than compensation.

The study found out that 45% of customers removed their negative feedback of a company after receiving an apology, while only 23% of customers removed their negative feedback after receiving compensation.

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5. Send follow-ups 

Many customers leave a company because they think you don’t care about them.

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After you resolve a customer’s issue, send follow-ups via email, or conduct a survey asking for feedback on how the issue was handled.

This tactic will make the customers feel valued as it shows you care. Making the customer feel important should be a priority.

6. Provide a Live-Chat option

In a survey, it was found that 31% of customers expect to find online help immediately.

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You will risk losing customers if you are not able to provide immediate help when they want it.

Offering a Live-Chat option can help solve the issue.

It will also save the trouble for customers of having to call or email the company. Moreover, it will improve the chances of maintaining a healthy company-consumer relationship while improving sales.

7. Invest your time and effort

Train your support agents so that they have knowledge of all operations to offer top-notch customer service. 

To train new employees or provide support agents with on-the-job training, you need effective tools. That’s why it’s essential to pick top workforce training tools to use across your various training methods and approaches

For instance, tools like Whatfix, one of the most prominent Walkme Competitors, can help you easily create real-time interactive walkthroughs. Such platforms are smartly designed to scale with your requirements. 

Using such tools, you can train your employees to confidently take the initiative in implementing proactive customer service. 

Ensure that you train your agents on how to handle Live-Chat and other support services you are offering. 

Also, offer personalized services, another crucial proactive strategy. 

As per studies, 79% of customers say they are only likely to engage with an offer if the brand has personalized it to reflect previous interactions they had with the brand.

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Also, 88% of U.S. marketers said they had seen considerable improvements after they provided personalized services.

Over to You!

Proactive customer service is the need of the hour if you want your company to win a cut-throat competition.

Research shows that by 2020, 51% of consumers expect companies to foresee their needs and come forward with relevant suggestions before they approach the company.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to implement proactive customer service. You can experiment with the different strategies and see which strategies bring the best results.

If you are still implementing reactive customer service, it is high time to replace it with proactive strategies, as customer satisfaction should be the chief goal of every company.

Moreover, this strategy reduces the workload of the employees and helps them perform more efficiently. You will be receiving lesser complaints and increased customer retention and loyalty.

Gaurav Belani is a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Growfusely, a content marketing agency that specializes in data-driven SEO. He has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing and loves to read and write about education technology, AI, machine learning, data science, and other emerging technologies. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and listening to music. Connect with him on Linkedin and Twitter @belanigaurav.

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