Gartner Research: Flawed Proactive Customer Service Does More Harm Than Good

New research reveals that many proactive customer service strategies are increasing contact center demand

Gartner Research: Flawed Proactive Customer Service Does More Harm Than Good
Loyalty ManagementLatest News

Published: April 7, 2022

Charlie Mitchell

A new Gartner study has revealed that two-thirds of customers contact customer service after receiving proactive notifications from a brand.

According to the market analyst, these additional contacts often flow through costly human-assisted channels and often occur because customers ask for further information or confirmation.

Such results highlight how a proactive approach to customer support can create customer confusion and unanswered questions, eroding the benefits of developing such a strategy in the first instance.

Sharing more insights into the study, Eric Keller, a Senior Research Director at Gartner, says:

Receiving proactive service leads to a 9% increase in a customer’s value enhancement score. However, proactive outreach that raises unanswered questions erodes the benefits for customers and leads to additional costs for the company.

To avoid this, Keller states: “Customer service and support leaders must center their proactive approach around building customers’ confidence in the company’s ability to serve them effectively.”

Of course, achieving this is much easier said than done. Yet, a critical part of this is instilling confidence in the authenticity of proactive communication.

Supporting this statement, the research finds that 10% of B2C and 24% of B2B customers receiving a proactive alert followed up with the company only to confirm that the notification was not a scam.

The research firm also makes further suggestions, such as prioritizing proactive outreach for urgent issues. Why? Because typically, customers value this form of proactive outreach more.

Indeed, the study notes that customers who receive proactive alerts regarding urgent issues – such as a security threat – generally report superior customer effort scores than those who discover the problem themselves.

To uncover these findings, Gartner surveyed more than 4,800 customers from November through to December 2021.

Discover more contact center and customer service insights from the leading market analyst by checking out our rundown of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CCaaS 2021



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