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Yet one thing to bear in mind is that you may not get any great plaudits for this. However, even when we are just informing and alerting customers, we should not limit our thinking to just sending proactive messages to our customers’ phones. Get the latest exciting call centre reports, specialist whitepapers, interesting case-studies and industry events straight to your inbox. If that road gets repaired smoothly, you can’t see that there was a problem there or appreciate the effort that went into repairing it. The guides help pre-empt what is a common concerns for shoppers online – deciphering whether a new item will work with their wardrobe. If we cover it with planks, it’s all very well and good, because the user can see what we have done, the positive impact that we’ve made, and it’s easy to understand the benefit of it. “While there is a tendency, because the technology is there, to go to market a little sooner than the rest of the organization is ready to support, we need to remember that being proactive will impact the entire customer journey,” says Christopher Brooks, a Customer Excellence Consultant at Clientship. “With Proactive Support, we’re starting to put an end to that type of support experience. They can work well when following up with/presenting offers to low-satisfaction customers and better engaging with customers who leave great feedback. For example, if the flight departs ten minutes later than scheduled, the arrival time of the share car or “Amber” – as discussed in the video – the arrival time of that car will be adjusted automatically. If you are an organization that is well known for recovering issues with customers and it’s a way that you actually retain customers – proactive customer service could work against you. So, when creating rules for proactivity, make sure you include all relevant departments in the process, ensuring that you aren’t overwhelming customers and that they only receive the most beneficial alerts. A good channel for communication is then lost. But whatever we do, it is good to vary our proactive strategy, by splitting our customers into detractors, passives and promoters or similar groups, based on their satisfaction levels. How to Wow: 68 Effortless Ways to Make Every Customer Experience Amazing. It certainly seems the most basic approach, but saying sorry after the incident creates more work for contact centre in the long run than if we were to take on one of the following three approaches: While many companies that are looking to change are choosing to be proactive, you can use elements of each of these approaches within your overall customer service strategy. Debenhams, a UK retailer, is taking a different approach by using comprehensive buying guides on its website to dramatically reduce the rate of returns and exchanges that they receive which saves them costs, frees up resources and improves overall customer satisfaction. Self-Direction. However, if you’re looking to have long-term relationships with your customers, then an activity like proactive customer service will likely pay dividends. In general, customer service skills rely heavily on problem-solving and communication.Customer service is often considered a “soft skill,” including traits like active listening and reading both verbal and nonverbal cues. Sometimes moving to proactive customer service is very impactful in terms of culture, not just for the contact centre, but for the rest of the organization and how you manage data. Make the best use of live engagement tools. How can contact centres become more proactive? With this in mind, Christopher has compiled two separate lists of potential benefits for both your customers and your organization that a proactive customer service strategy could bring. Now with the capability of five billion real-time data feeds through the smart meters, there is so much more data, and algorithms can be much more predictive. If you take a company within a utility industry, for example, they will have likely moved into smart metering, which means that the number of data points that they have – compared to what they used to have – is significantly different. So, through the self-serve app, customers get served with some offers that they can take advantage of during that 35-minute delay. If the customer is receiving three or four pop-up messages from your brand a week, they may grow tired of you and send the messages to a spam folder. Lead with Positive Language and Reaction. There is little wrong with doing this, but is it really the best approach? The heart of knowing what you want to deliver, in terms of proactive customer service, lies initially in which benefits you want to deliver for your customers. 4 Mistakes to Avoid With Proactive Customer Service. With this in mind, one key consideration is if you, as an organization, are ready for that. Let’s think a little outside the box. Proactive customer service can be tricky to get right and, in order to gain some of the benefits above, some brands have rushed into implementing a strategy. So, we’re already self-serving proactive customer service. The 2017 UKCCF Proactive Customer Service Survey, for instance, highlights that 87% of businesses think proactive service will save on inbound contacts to their organisations, “potentially equating to millions of pounds saved each year for large customer contact operations”. Let’s not forget that some of these proactive tools can be bought on Amazon for £20 by the customer themselves. There are also benefits that you will deliver to your organization if you get your proactive customer service strategy right. Proactive customer service is not a one-size-fits-all model, and some organizations actually like to be reactive, so they can openly engage with customers and blow their socks off in the process. How to build a proactive customer service strategy, How to switch from reactive to proactive service, Improve customer experience in the contact centre, Global Automaker Modernises Customer Engagement, Opinyin brings CSAT survey app to Freshworks. This extra support can help to remove any last-minute jitters and increase revenue. For more on service strategies that will differentiate your organization, read our articles: Published On: 29th Jan 2020 - Last modified: 5th Feb 2020 Read more about - Customer Service Strategy, Customer Effort, Customer Journey, Customer Service, Editor's Picks. With this in mind, we need to consider if our customer journey maps are ready to become operationally useful, as many are still carried out by external agencies and this mindset can carry  into the rest of the organization. Analysis of leading companies shows that many realise that relying just on reactive customer service is no longer sufficient in order to compete, differentiate and drive their businesses forward. Saying sorry after the incident creates more work for contact centre in the long run…. This has huge utilisation and cost implications for Virgin Media. We want customers to see the value in what we’re delivering!”. The contact centre can then send a proactive notification to their customer to inform them that the product needs to be changed. Following implementation, they have been reduce inbound call centre calls by 28% and achieve $875,000 of cost savings and online revenue gains in the first 7 months of operation. Identifying where opportunities to be proactive lie, Kate Leggett, VP and principal analyst at Forrester wrote back in 2015 that we should “expect organisations to explore proactive engagement ……delivered at the right time in a customer’s pre-purchase journey to help answer customer questions”. These tools are fed by data, so it’s key that we are reassessing our data, consolidating and then, eventually, automating – as pictured in the diagram below. While we will later present some great use-cases of how best to implement proactive customer service, there is a lot to think about before designing your strategy. BetterCloud is a US-based tech company that helps businesses manage software-as-a-service applications like Dropbox and Slack. Some customers may already be dissatisfied with our brand and an “annoying” pop-up might send them over the edge and off to a competitor. Alternatively, if your organization doesn’t look to build relationships with customers – and customers don’t necessarily want a relationship with you – sendong lots of proactive notifications could become overkill. A form of customer support where an organization makes the first move to help the customer, preventing them from calling in to the contact centre. We’ve discussed how we can boost revenues by proactively notifying customers of relevant special offers. The first thing you do is call your water supplier. We need to consider if proactivity has an impact on our ability to be relevant and valued by our customers, remembering that customers will leave if they no longer recognize the value that they receive. So, we need to create proactive rules within the customer journey map, which every department can see and consider how this change will impact them. A great example of using a proactive message would be to notify a customer when a product that they have viewed multiple times online is on special offer.

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