For as long as business has been a thing, most companies have approached customer service from a reactive perspective. That is, they respond to consumer queries, concerns and issues as they arise. The digital revolution means people have increased access to a greater number of products and services than ever — which also means a more competitive marketplace.
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As a result, business operators have had to find creative ways to up their game, and attempting to solve problems before they arise is a great way to do it. Getting proactive customer service right is guaranteed to impress modern consumers and help your company grow.
What Is Reactive Customer Service?
Reactive service describes what you probably know simply as customer service. It involves having agents available to respond to queries via phone, social media and email. The key here is that the client has to make the extra effort of reaching out to you to get the help they need.
Considering a large chunk of the calls made to contact centers are avoidable, adding proactive measures to your website is an excellent way of streamlining the buying process and cutting call center operating costs.
As many companies are set to move to proactive service in the future, it’s likely that those that don’t adapt will get left behind.
Drawbacks Of Reactive Customer Support
- Less engaging
- Onus is put on the customer to solve problems with your product or service
- Additional operational costs handling minor issues
- Negative correlation with customer retention
What Is Proactive Customer Service?
When you take preventive measures to address common queries and concerns, your team spends less time dealing with avoidable inquiries. What’s more, you learn what customers’ priorities are so you can preempt their needs and continually delight and exceed expectations.
Consumers are more forgiving when it comes to issues that are easily fixed compared to big problems that quickly snowball into a poor reputation for your brand.
Your business exists to fill a need in your customers’ lives, but they’re equally important in this two-way process. By giving consumers what they want without them asking for it in the moment (when they’re potentially not in the best mood), your company looks infinitely more professional and knowledgeable.
Benefits Of Proactive Customer Support
- Improves customer retention
- Reduces the number of support requests
- Stays relevant by responding to feedback
- Increases engagement and humanizes your brand
What’s The Difference Between Proactive And Reactive Support?
When it comes to proactive vs reactive customer service, the main thing is the attitude of your workforce. When your team is considering ways to prepare for problems before they arise, a large portion of the most common problems customers have with your company are eradicated.
Plus, your staff isn’t on the wrong foot in every customer service conversation, because the customer has been able to easily maneuver through the buying process unaided. With reactive support, the customer is usually frustrated or unimpressed by the time they get through to someone. By fixing these small problems before they reach the client, you can make sure every interaction between them and you is reflective of your company culture and brand values.
Examples Of Proactive Service
Proactive customer service allows you to build a stronger emotional connection between you and your customers, which is essential for brand loyalty. If a customer trusts and believes in your business on an emotional level, their entire perception of your brand is better. For example, if there’s a small mistake in the paperwork or delivery of a service, a bonded customer will be more forgiving.
Here are some of the top examples of proactive service that future-focused business owners are using to improve customer experience:
- Live chat: When a customer is navigating your website, they’re likely to bounce pretty much immediately if they can’t find something. Even if they call to ask a question about how to perform an action, they’re not off to the best start with your company. Live chat provides a convenient alternative to calls that lets the agents approach the customer and guide them or answer questions.
- How-to videos: Adding how-to videos to your website is a great way to preemptively help customers. You can even add videos to YouTube or other streaming sites and start attracting business that way.
- Website FAQs and tutorials: Creating content such as FAQs and tutorials is a great way to solve customers’ issues before they arise, but it’s also an excellent strategy for improving your search engine rankings.
- Canned responses: Just like FAQs and tutorials, canned responses on the phone are another great way to improve operational efficiency while solving problems.
Customer Service Is Ever-Changing
Now that we’ve gone into detail about proactive versus reactive customer service, you’re in the perfect position to decide which is best for your company. Proactive service is an excellent way to exceed customer expectations and command loyalty and recommendations in a highly competitive marketplace.
Consumer demands and expectations are changing faster than ever, so the more adaptable your business is to change, the better.