Motivational speakers, the world over, have addressed the need for proactive living. Management gurus have spread the message loud and clear about how wise it is to be proactive rather than reactive in business. And even more so when it comes to customer service.

Reacting to a catastrophe is the least sensible way of doing business when you could have been proactive and avoided the very same catastrophe in the first place! It is but logical that people would, much rather, avoid an unpleasant situation than have to face it and then be compensated for that experience eventually!

It is the same with customers- they don’t look forward to your apology notes, not the incentive you send in their way to make up for the inconvenience caused (for whatever reason). This is one of the reasons why being proactive and staying on top of things by tying up all loose ends is always the best idea.

And, the stats seem to agree with us, three times…

1. A staggering 87% of customers want to be contacted proactively by a company, in matters relating to customer service. This was revealed in a study initiated by inContact.

2. The same study also showed that 73% of those who were contacted proactively and has a positive experience on the call with the representative felt a positive change in perception towards the brand! That, right there, is a huge opportunity for brands to tap into.

3. In a research from Frost and Sullivan, the same percentage of customers, 87%, are also said to have formed a positive image of those companies that make follow-up calls. Meaning, being proactive does not just mean making the initial move to make sure your customers are happy (and no less) with your service, it also means that you have to follow up at regular intervals.

4. This one is particularly of value if cost cutting is something that you believe in. Research by Sabio and the Customer Contact Association proves that 25% to 40% of all calls to UK contact centres are either unnecessary or avoidable. It went to examine that the most common causes of such calls included customers searching information about deliveries or updates on what was due to happen next in the purchase cycle; customers calling to clarify issues relating to pricing or terms & conditions; and customers having to re-call the contact centre as the contact centre was not very impressive with first-call resolution.

5. The above research is supported by another study conducted by Corporate Executive Board which shows that 57% of all inbound calls to a contact centre could largely be attributed to a customer not being able to find what they were looking for on a company’s website. And in the day and age we live in, this is just inacceptable!

For those of you who like to make decisions driven by data, we’ve given you not 1, not 2 but 5 stats that show us how proactive service can work in your favour in terms of brand image as well as in cost cutting. Now how do we inculcate the habit of getting proactive in our customer service attempts?

TIPS TO PROMOTE A CULTURE OF PROACTIVE SERVICE DELIVERY

1. Understand the sentiments of your customer
Many companies use analytical tools to gauge the sentiment of their customers based on text analytics. This is a crucial factor that can tell you lot about what it is that your customers are looking for and how you can not only make that happen but also go one step ahead and delight them proactively!

2. Train your frontline staff to be delightful people
Companies that have an extremely happy set of employees have rarely had to face grave customer experience issues. And understandably so, when your employees are fully inspired, they take the initiative to make it contagious. They spread the inspiration and love for the brand to your customers! Here’s a fun stat: 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback once in a week as opposed to 18% of employees with low engagement.

3. Create a customer journey map to understand customers better
When you list out all the touchpoints on which your customers interact with your brand, you also have the chance to predict the issues they could possibly have and resolve the issue before you encounter the situation. This is a very effective way of being proactive as it lets you understand your customers, their needs and expectations which is the very foundation of delivering an excellent customer service.

4. Customize the conversations you initiate with customers
Take to the phone and get your agents to call your customers every now and then and find out if they are getting the best service they could ask for from your brand. Anything short of perfect will not suffice. It is vital to keep these interactions 1 to 1 as it encourages a more genuine response from the respondent.

Taking to social media with an initiative like this might fetch you insights but it could also fetch comments from public which does no good to anyone. This is a great way to get to know where you lag and where you can improve. Pick out the most commonly repeated aspect and then work on it. A kaizen-based approach is best for such improvements.

A stitch in time saves nine. There couldn’t possibly be a more concise way of summarizing this blog for you. It is a lot cheaper and even more rewarding for your business to stay on top of things and be proactive, don’t you agree? Write in to us if you’ve had any awesome proactive customer service stories. We’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, why don’t you take your first step towards ‘proactive customer service’ with CloudCherry?

IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE NOW!