6 Opportunities for Proactive Customer Service


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Customer service is an important facet of any business. Consumers expect a level of responsiveness when they purchase a product. It not only means taking care of the customer at the point of sale, but before, during and after the transaction is executed.

Based on surveys conducted by Right Now and Harris Interactive, 89 percent of customers switch to the competitor after experiencing poor customer service. Since the potential loss of revenue is so great, businesses must take a proactive, rather than a reactive approach to addressing customer concerns.

To create optimal success, here are 6 opportunities for proactive customer service:

Know Your Business

Create a mission statement for your business to identify goals and how they will fit with the customer service model you want to provide. Your business specialty will dictate the level of involvement and interaction that is required to keep your customers happy.

Some businesses may be able to take a laid back approach, while other industries might require regular interaction with their consumers. If you know your business well, then you have the potential to target your customer’s needs and increase consumer confidence.

Know Your Customers

Consumers are busy people and they strive for knowledgeable and efficient service. A Parature survey reported that 65 percent of consumers out of a pool of 1,000 decided to cut ties with a business based on a single poor customer service experience.

Businesses must identify and respond to the needs of their customers in a quick manner. It appears that most consumers are reluctant to offer a business a second chance.

A business can launch social media campaigns and monitor trends in their industry on a consistent and continuous level to keep pace with the evolving needs of their customers.

Keep Customers Engaged with Loyalty Offers

To create a relationship with your customer base, implement loyalty offers. Loyalty offers are a way for a company to thank their customers and offer a little something extra to keep these consumers coming back to their business.

In order to make the offers viable and sustainable, reach out to customers proactively to let them know the description and reward for the particular offer so that they feel like there is an effort by the business to actively retain their loyalty.

Understand Customer Issues before They Become Problematic

It is an important gesture to reach out to customers prior to a problem arising. Services by Zipwire allow businesses to conduct this effectively. Establishing a service for both inbound and outbound calls, as well as online chats or contact with a service representative allows businesses to monitor customer satisfaction to determine where improvements should occur.

By anticipating the problem by utilizing a platform, businesses can push toward taking a proactive approach to anticipating trouble areas before they become too large to pacify. A proactive business model, according to Forbes, prevents typical customer problems which result in an average of 20 percent damage to customer loyalty.

Provide Timely Service

Customers are not likely to wait too long for a response when trouble arises. According to New Voice Media, United States businesses lose $41 million dollars worth of revenue because of poor customer service. Providing timely service requires implementing a multi-tiered approach.

Businesses must anticipate the needs of customers, plan outreach options like interacting with customers via social media, chats or phone conversations, respond to customer’s needs and then measure how effective these campaigns satisfy consumer needs. By taking a layered approach, you can address needs from several different directions, thus closing the gap for potential dissatisfaction.

Offer Customers a Way to Note Their Feedback

Businesses should offer customers a way to note their feedback. Surveys, forms on the website, as well as calling customers directly can reveal customer trends. Businesses desire to give customers what they want and by asking them directly it minimizes the guesswork of advertising campaigns and marketing. Make certain that customers can contact a representative in case they want to add something further to their feedback or want to talk to a person directly.

Addressing concerns about customer service is the touchstone in maintaining a viable business. Businesses need to employ a proactive approach in pacifying customer’s concerns, rather than taking a wait and see approach. Ultimately, this will build consumer confidence and help in paving the way to customer loyalty.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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