Proactive support. The initiative that pays off
Today, every company wants to provide quality reactive support to its customers. For this purpose, call centers, teams of consultants, online chats, and more are being created. An equally important but often overlooked way to improve brand reputation and customer loyalty is proactive support. We will consider what it is and what opportunities it opens up for your business in this article.
A reactive support task is a timely response to customer requests. Its mechanism is simple. The customer faces a question or problem and asks for help at the specified contact, and the support team has to solve this problem in the best possible way. What about proactive?
- Please get to know your customers and their problems better.
- Be active on social media.
- Create a base of information.
- Install bad experience tracking tools on your site.
- Create customized offers.
- Reward customers for their purchases.
- Add a presentation of products customers may like.
- Send email notifications.
- Offer an SMS reminder option.
- Report your mistakes and failures before the client knows about them.
The proactive support mechanism is to take the initiative and anticipate the client's problem or pain before they come to you or even before they know about it.
Proactive support strategies include providing customers with information that can be useful to them and the creation of individual offers.
Benefits of proactive service
Let's see what's in it for your business:
- Time and money on reactive support - saved. Implementing proactive support strategies won't cost you a lot of money, but you can reduce a reactive support team’s workload. That’s important for the quality of your Customer Support Service.
- Existing customers - saved, new - acquired. Proactiveness deepens your connection with the client and improves the quality of interaction with your brand. This turns an ordinary customer into a loyal one. And a loyal customer will become your brand advocate by telling others about you.
- Improving brand reputation. The happier your customer is, the better your reputation will be. Solving customer problems and saving their time contacting you for this makes your customer experience a happy one. This can become your advantage over your competitors.
Now let's make ten tips that you need to follow if you want to move your brand to a proactive support model and explore some examples of their realizations.
Tips to make your support proactive
To make your customer service proactive, you are welcome to follow these recommendations:
1. Get to know your customers and their problems better.
The best way to anticipate customers' problems is to be aware of them. To do this, use information and statistics from your reactive support team, leave feedback forms and apply for feedback personally, send surveys and follow what is written about your brand on social networks using the relevant keywords and tags.
2. Be active on social media.
Pay attention to your social media activity, quality of interactions with your audience, and the content you produce.
If the client did not contact you about a problem or wish but wrote about it on the social network, do not miss the opportunity to respond. This will not only provide you with valuable feedback, but it will also show the client, as well as their followers, that you care. Please pay attention to bloggers' posts about you, and do not miss the opportunity to use them to your advantage.
3. Create a base of information.
The client must have the opportunity to find the answer to their question on your sources. Frequently Asked Questions, interactive chats with prepared answers, or step-by-step guides can help with it.
In this picture, you can see how Facebook handles this issue.
Debenhams, a UK retailer, uses easy-to-understand wardrobe guides for various purposes, helping the shopper solve their most significant online shopping problem - understanding if the item will match their wardrobe. This significantly reduces the number of returns and exchanges and the overall quality of the customer experience.
4. Install bad experience tracking tools on your site.
The clearest indicator of a bad website experience is an abandoned shopping cart. Be sure to save it and remind the customer about it by asking a question about a possible problem or offering a discount on an item.
Less obvious signs of human frustration on a website are things like "rage click" (clicking repeatedly and rapidly on one point), "dead click' "(clicking on something that looks clickable but isn't), or "thrash cursors" (moving the mouse erratically or in circles). By installing tracking tools for these episodes, you can resolve the crisis.
5. Create customized offers.
By giving the customer personal attention, you strengthen your bond and brand loyalty. A birthday can be a good reason for such an offer.
For example, HDFC Bank calls the client on their birthday with congratulations and a casual conversation about plans for the day. This touching approach always engages customers and adds a personal emotional aspect to your communication. Let them see that you care!
6. Reward customers for their purchases.
Rewarding a customer is always an excellent way to keep them loyal. The standard reward method is the Loyalty Program, which provides members with discounts, gifts, and other opportunities. You can also add special points for purchases, which can later be exchanged for a product or a discount.
The fixed-price coffee shop Cofix has created an application to accumulate points for each purchase and exchange them for various meals and drinks. With the help of the same application, Cofix collects feedback and reports news to customers.
7. Add a presentation of products customers may like.
Create offers with your products based on the shopping cart that the customer has collected, previous purchases, or even just viewed and added to “favorites” items. Some companies take this challenge very creatively, showing customers items that they really needed just didn’t know about that yet.
An example of such creativity is a Timberland outdoor campaign in Poland. The store installed virtual “dressing rooms” on the windows, which were digital screens that showed the shopping center visitors how they would look in different clothes from the brand's collection.
8. Send email notifications.
Informing clients about their news, blog posts, promotions, or events is a classic, discreet way to remind them of your brand and interest them with the content or offers that they could not find out about on their own.
When Cinemark cinema chain has a premier coming, they send the news about it to the user base, who, according to their calculations, may be interested in that.
9. Offer an SMS reminder option.
If your product involves a subscription or a recurring payment, offer your customers an SMS reminder feature so that you take care of the deadlines and they don't have to think about it. Also, a good solution is to enable auto payment.
10. Report your mistakes and failures before the client knows about them.
The client will respect the ability to recognize your mistakes or failures in time and tell about them correctly instead of hiding them. This is a much better deal than having a disappointed customer calling you with a complaint. In the ethics of such a message, it is important to apologize and report what actions are being taken to fix the problem. A small reward in the form of an apology can also be a good solution.
A proactive customer support service is a powerful marketing tool. It can make your client not only satisfied but also helps to increase customer loyalty. Proactive customer service improves your company's image and reputation, and build brand advocates on moving your business forward.