When it comes to offering customer support services, there are basically two ways any call center may approach, they can either respond reactively (responding to situations after they have occurred) or proactively (eliminating problems before they have a chance to appear). Though there’s nothing wrong with the first approach and it might even satisfy the customer a well but it won’t be enough to surprise or delight them. Here, let me explain with an example.
Due to any unknown reasons, the website of your company is facing some serious issues because of which one of the pages is taken down for an indefinite period. What will you do?
a) Kindly explain the issues whenever customers start calling you.
b) Notify your customers at once of the issue before they notice it.
Now both of these approaches reveal a great deal about your company. Waiting for the customers to call and then explaining the issue tells your customers that you have a habit of dealing with problems as they arise and aren’t comfortable with going out of the way to help them whereas having the second approach means that you are a man of action, tackling problems head-on and early and willing to go extra mile to accommodate them. Also, it shows your customers how much they mean to your company.
How to implement a Proactive Customer Service?
Easier said than done, switching from reactive to proactive is not a child’s play. The biggest challenge you will face is identifying possible situations where a customer need your help before they even ask for it. To help you out, below I have mentioned some such ways to help you introduce a proactive approach to your otherwise reactive service.
Reward Loyalties with Discounts/Coupons
Offering rewards and offers to regular customers falls slightly behind providing ‘exceptional customer service’ and goes a long way when it comes to building a powerful customer loyalty base. Often times it is seen that regular customers are irked just because new customers enjoy attractive deals whereas they have to pay full price while purchasing something. It’s also a great way to show appreciation.
Also, its much cheaper to retain an old customer than to acquire a new one.
Creating Self-Service Materials
Have you ever wondered that a call center agent at any given time can handle only one customer and of all the calls he/she receives, most of them are related to same old issues? So, shouldn’t there be a better way to handle this situation? As it turned out, there is. All you have to do is offer a self-service material.
Offering self-service materials and guides to solve customer problems is also one of the most scalable ways to provide a proactive customer service. All you to do is create guides explaining the most common of problems and link it directly to every time a customer asks about that problem.
Introduce a Live-Chat Option
Many times, customers find it unpleasant when they come to a site looking for any information and cannot find one. But providing them with a live chat option is an amazing way to gain perspective and help existing customers resolve their issues quickly. It also saves the customers from the trouble of having to call or email the company. This feature not only helps the customers to overcome the barriers of contacting the company but also improves the chances of a healthy company-consumer relationship.
Gathering Customer Feedbacks
Understanding customer’s needs is always the first step towards giving them an exceptional customer service and the best way to do that is to ask them on your own. It is also one of the best strategies to nip the problem in the bud by regularly checking in with your customers to help identify areas of weakness and correct them way before they become any real issue.
Nowadays, you can easily gather customer feedback and use them to identify and fix common customer pain points. Some such ways you can gather these feedbacks is through-
a) Basic surveys which can easily be performed with the help of various services like Google Forms, the best thing is, it won’t even burn a hole in your pocket.
b) Creating an email campaign where you can ask for feedback about your products and services and checking in on any particular topic that has been raised too many times.
c) Asking for a feedback at the end of calls or chat is also another great way of getting their feedbacks.
Monitoring User Activities
I have saved the best strategy for the last. Till now, we have talked about creating a feedback platform, offering self-service materials etc. Though effective, these strategies come with their own set of limitations. Also, I have discovered that nothing speaks proactively more loudly than stepping in right when the customer is about to face any challenging problem.
But for that to happen, you need a little bit more than the above-mentioned strategies. You need to monitor your customer’s activities on your site by getting a real-time monitoring that comes with its own set of benefits such as what different pages your customers are visiting and how much time they are spending on any
Though the strategies that I have mentioned here are not the only ones to deliver a proactive customer service but you can rest assure that these are the best strategies when it comes to taking an initiative toward such direction.
The proactive customer service strategy which is a powerful tool in itself goes a long way when it comes to delivering the desired results, building trust with your customers and establishing a clear brand image for your company.