How to Deliver Proactive Customer Service

When contact center agents are proactive about the customer experience, customer loyalty increases while support calls decrease. By identifying and solving small problems before they become larger, contact centers receive fewer inquiries overall. Additionally, proactive customer service is a way to control word-of-mouth. Customers routinely discuss service experiences with friends, family and social media networks. By being proactive, brands are better able to frame those conversations and present their company in a favorable light.

Offer self-help options.

Every brand’s knowledge base should be regularly updated. Customers will be able to find the answers they’re looking for, reducing the number of support tickets agents receive. The knowledge base should include product information, usage advice, common customer issues, best usage practices, troubleshooting tips, terms and conditions, and shipping info.

Provide live chat support.

Live chat is ideal for shoppers in all stages, including when they’re casually browsing and also when they’re ready to make a purchase. Customers like to use live chat for certain types of enquiries, like getting their order status, finding out about current promotions or asking about shipping. Live chat adds a human touch to the customer experience and gets questions answered quickly. Having a live agent walk a customer through part of the sales process via web chat, without waiting on a phone queue, is extremely convenient.

Monitor customer conversations.

Customers talk about brands both in private and online. When it comes to social media mentions, software and online tools make it easy to monitor brand mentions. When customers say something that requires customer service action, agents can act quickly. If a person is complaining, it’s best to apologize and offer a solution. If a customer recommends a brand or product, thank them and show gratitude for their business. Every mention, whether positive or negative, is a customer service opportunity.

Monitor customer actions.

In order to be proactive about the customer experience, it’s best to monitor and track how customers use the brand’s website. This allows for audience segmentation based on actions. Then, relevant messages can be sent to segmented groups. For example, one segment can include people who have created an account on the website but who haven’t made their first purchase yet. Those people can receive an e-mail asking them if they need help finishing their purchase. Another segment can include regular shoppers who are sent a special “thank you” coupon every few weeks.

Deliver post-sales support.

Companies often forget about providing post-sales support. Shipping an item doesn’t conclude the customer-brand relationship; there are customer service opportunities following a sale, too. Plus, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to provide post-sale support. After a transaction, contact customers to find out if everything is going smoothly. For example, sending an e-mail to find out if the customer is satisfied gives the customer the opportunity to explain a problem before becoming frustrated and posting online.

Pay attention to support trends.

Support tickets should be monitored in order to spot trends and recurring issues. When a problem repeatedly comes up, like an issue with a particular payment method, fix the root of the problem. This will help manage minor issues before they get out of hand, which will in turn increase customer satisfaction and limit the number of incoming support tickets.

Announce company mistakes ASAP.

Customers should find out about mistakes from the company, not on their own. By discovering problems themselves before the company is able to get ahead of them, issues can escalate quickly and publicly. Brands should always be transparent with customers. For example, when an order is shipped later than promised, e-mail the customer to let them know. Problems can snowball when they’re hidden or ignored.

Positive customer experiences can mean the difference between having a good company and a great company. By being proactive about customer service, the customer will have the best experience possible.

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