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Why Proactive Customer Service Should be a Top Priority

Read this to learn why proactive customer support should be a top priority in your business and how to develop proactive customer support skills.

Customer service is an important part of every business. But unfortunately, not every business does customer service correctly.

Businesses of all sizes have engaged in reactive customer service that essentially builds a brick wall between them and their customers. This causes customer dissatisfaction and makes them feel like they don't matter to the business. However, switching to a proactive customer support model improves customer relationships and results in more loyal customers.

Proactive customer service builds a connection between the customer and the business and improves customer loyalty over time. It's an important part of your customer retention strategy and leads to higher customer satisfaction over time.

This guide will review the benefits of proactive customer service, how to create a customer service strategy, and more. Read on to learn more about how proactive customer service works and ways to incorporate it into your business.

What is proactive customer service?

The core of proactive customer service is anticipating your customer's needs and providing a solution that works best for them. This solution can be anything from reaching out to customers when a problem with a product is uncovered to suggesting a similar product when the desired product is sold out.

Proactive customer support is the opposite of reactive customer service, which occurs when a customer contacts a business first about an issue. Proactive customer support focuses on solving customer pain points and delivering quality support.

Proactive customer service can get your business ahead of a potential issue so you can solve it before the customer discovers it on their own. Proactive customer support can include providing information on a website about an issue, immediately reaching out to a customer about a delay, or making it easy for customers to learn more about their purchases.

Why is proactive customer service important?

There are multiple reasons why proactive customer service is important, but the biggest one is that it creates a feeling of support between the customer and the business.

Customers buy products with their hard-earned money and don't like being left out in the cold if there's a problem with the product. A business that has a proactive customer support strategy creates a positive impression on the customer, and improves customer loyalty in return.

Reaching out to a customer when a problem is discovered can help reduce the customer's desire to return the product. Initiating these customer conversations shows that customers can trust you and that you care about their experience with your brand.

Offering a workable solution through proactive support benefits both the customer and the business.

Benefits of proactive customer service

Businesses often come across as a monolith to customers, especially when the business only engages in reactive customer service. Instituting proactive customer service strategies serves to humanize the business and makes the customer feel like they're appreciated.

Here are some of the benefits of taking a proactive customer service approach:

Improves customer satisfaction

Mistakes happen, but customers will remember them. That is unless you redeem yourself by providing proactive customer service that exceeds their expectations.

Customers aren't always forgiving of mistakes, especially when they expect their product or service to work a certain way. Using a proactive customer service approach goes a long way towards reducing a customer's feelings of dissatisfaction with the company and its product and increases their satisfaction.

A company that tries to resolve an issue makes the customer feel appreciated and can improve your brand's reputation.

Increases customer retention

When you provide proactive customer service, you make the customer feel important to the brand and that their feelings or experience are valued.

It's a simple act that doesn't take a lot of effort, but it improves customer satisfaction, which leads to an increased customer retention rate. A customer that has a positive experience with a brand is much more likely to return or recommend the business to their friends and family.

Enhances brand reputation

A brand that has a proactive customer service philosophy and sticks to it is one that builds a positive reputation with its customers. Customers who are treated well by a company that goes out of its way to fix a problem are more likely to spread the news by word of mouth and/or post about their experience on social media.

Boosts revenue

Fixing an issue as soon as it's found shows your customers that you're willing to go the extra mile for them. This can increase customer loyalty, which in turn, boosts revenue.

Customers appreciate the effort you put into resolving their problems and will reward you in the form of becoming loyal customers that keep buying from your brand over time.

How to create a proactive customer service strategy

Creating a proactive customer service strategy requires you to look at your customer's expectations, understand their wants and needs, and train your support teams so they can effectively deploy the strategy and improve customer satisfaction.

Understand your customers

The first step in implementing proactive customer service is understanding who your customers are. Taking the time to understand your customers helps you provide proactive service when a problem arises or when a customer has a need that can be anticipated.

Send out surveys, pay attention to customer behavior, and encourage open communication with your customers. This will help you better understand your customers and their pain points.

Predict customer needs

There are a number of ways to predict customer needs, but one of the best ways is to use predictive analytics.

Predictive analytics uses historical data to reliably predict what customers want from a product, their needs, and why they're buying it. It can also identify pain points a customer experiences before making a decision. Reliably anticipating your customer's needs and wants helps you tailor the customer experience and make the customer feel valued.

Develop a plan

Your business has a lot of customer data readily available. The data you collect from customer surveys can be helpful in coming up with an effective customer service plan because you can gain insight into common customer service issues. Use the information you have available from your customers to devise a plan that your support teams can follow.

Train your customer service team

Training your support teams to provide proactive customer service helps increase customer satisfaction. Customers are used to reactive customer service and dealing with agents that don’t do much to help the customer. But letting the customer support team take a proactive approach to customer issues makes it easier for both parties to find a positive resolution to a problem.

Utilize customer service tools

Customer service tools help you build a strong overview of your customer demographics, their motivations, and what attracts them to your business.

These tools collect everything from personal contact information to account management, so your proactive customer service representatives can be more efficient in helping customers. The overall purpose of customer service tools is to speed up customer service processes and resolve issues more efficiently.

Customer service automation also helps with proactive customer support because it can automate various processes that would be time-consuming to do by hand. The more tasks that you automate, the more time you can spend actually solving your customer's issues.

Monitor and adjust your strategy

After you implement a proactive customer service strategy, you'll want to monitor the results to determine how well it's working.

As you look at the results of your proactive customer support processes, you can identify areas that need improving, areas that are working, and areas that should be eliminated in favor of another approach.

Examples of proactive customer service

Proactive customer service comes in a few different forms and can be as simple as supporting customers with timely information. A couple of proactive customer service examples include the following:

Automated messages

An automated message that welcomes customers to your site and has a menu with actions that they can pick from is an example of exceptional customer service.

These actions can be anything from talking to a proactive customer service representative to making a service request. This makes it easy for customers to find what they're looking for and contact your support team.

Free knowledge base

A free knowledge base lets customers find solutions to issues on their own and helps them learn more about the services or goods sold by the business.

You can make the information as in-depth as you'd like, but the more information you give to the customer, the more likely they are to become repeat customers through brand association and a feeling of insider knowledge.

Improve your customer relationships with proactive customer service

Customer service is a key component of any business strategy. A proactive approach to customer service increases customer loyalty, improves customer retention rates, and builds a positive image for your brand. Implementing a proactive customer service strategy will improve your business in countless ways and help you retain current customers and attract new ones.

At Mailchimp, we're strong believers in the importance of customer service. That's why we've designed tools to help you better understand your customers' needs, wants, and desires.

In turn, you get to connect with your customer base, generate quality word of mouth, and build a solid foundation for the future growth of your business. Try us today to find out what we can help you and your business achieve.

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