Customer service falls in two brackets:
Reactive customer service
A customer is browsing your web store and has a question. Typically, they find a contact page, call or email you and wait for a response.
Proactive customer service
It means anticipating customer issues and addressing them proactively. This can take a number of forms from FAQs and forums to knowledge base and instructional videos.
Most customer support teams fall into the reactive box, but in order to truly get your customers to live for your brand, you need to be proactive.
Why is proactive support important?
Proactive customer support offers a number of benefits for your business.
Here are three reasons to get you interested:
Increase customer loyalty
A report by Enkata found that taking initiative in your support could increase customer retention rates by 3-5%
Decrease support calls
By being proactive you can identify issues and resolve them before they become problems, which reduces the amount of tickets you receive.
Customers will talk about your brand to their friends and their family in private, but they will also talk about your brand in public via social media. By being proactive, it gives you the chance to be involved in their conversation and engage with them in a way that puts your business in the most favourable light.
How will your customers themselves feel about proactive support?
Well, apparently they will like it. A lot!
A study by inContact found that consumers were generally positive with proactive service. In fact, 87% of adults surveyed are happy to be contacted proactively by companies regarding customer service issues.
And not only that, the survey 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 open to being contacted for questions about an order they placed.
Furthermore, 75% of respondents who had a pleasant surprise or positive experience with an incoming call reported a positive change in their perception of the company calling them.
How proactive support can benefit your business?
Here’s how proactive support can benefit your business.
Acquire new customers
By being proactive, you can find opportunities to reach out to prospective customers, and encourage them to switch to your brand.
Retain existing customers
Proactively reaching out to your customers, even when they haven’t directly mentioned you, can deepen those relationships. With more of your customers turning towards social media for customer service, you have to move a step ahead to break their expectations of good service.
Proactive customer service offers the chance for you to not only turn around unhappy customers, but turn them into brand advocates, as a happy customer will tell at least 3 people about their experience.
Protect against escalation
Looking to identify negativity surrounding your brand at the earliest warning is the best way to protect yourself against a social crisis. Research by Altimeter found that the number one cause for complaints online was due to poor experiences.