The past few years have been a whirlwind. Amongst the angst of the pandemic, organisations have been doubling down on digital innovation. Although, it has not necessarily been a choice but an obligation to the customer service world. Organisations have had to adapt or risk being left behind.
Brands and customers alike have become digital-first consumers. It’s no longer just the Gen Z’s and Millennials who expect online experiences. The pandemic has thrown us into the world of digital customer service, whether we were ready for it or not.
As consumers become more accustomed to using self-service channels such as chatbots or instant messaging, they also become more independent and empowered to find the information they need.
Re-Building Customer Service Strategies
Shifting from reactive customer service to a proactive customer service approach is often easier than most organisations think. Brands that check-in with their customers can easily spot areas of weakness or strength.
There are many ways to collect customer feedback to help form a proactive customer service strategy. Some alternatives include:
- Adding a feedback form to the website
- Reviewing customer service tickets and analysing the most frequently asked questions
- Interviewing customers to find out how to improve products and services
- Employing social listening on your branded social media accounts to isolate feedback on products, services, and experiences.
45% of customers will switch brands if the company does not anticipate their needs, according to recent research by CRM provider Salesforce. That’s almost half of a customer database – a frightening thought. Prioritising a proactive customer service approach has now become key to maintaining a good customer experience.
A proactive customer service strategy has become much more than differentiating a brand from e competition. It has also become an essential way for brands to establish customer loyalty in an ever-changing market.
Indeed, according to a Walker study in 2020, CX may overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Customer loyalty has become like gold dust in today’s world. It’s a fact that customers with positive associations with a company are more likely to spend more, be loyal and recommend the company to friends. Creating a loyal customer base means organisations should offer faster, more results-driven service while cutting costs, increasing revenue, and making customers happy.
How to Achieve Proactive Customer Service
Proactive customer service is all about solving customer problems before they even happen. With so much data out there, the possibility of using predictive analytics has become a reality, with various ways to collect the data.
Here are some tips to achieve proactive CX:
- Chatbots: Chatbots or instant messaging applications which are readily available on the website. These may feature alongside traditional contact forms.
- Callback Functionality: Automated callback options for those waiting on hold. Such a callback option will significantly reduce the frustration of waiting in line to speak to an advisor.
- FAQ Section: Adding a FAQ section could reduce the number of tickets logged. Speak to customer service or sales teams and listen back to previous customer calls to understand what is driving customer contact.
- Optimising Web Searches: Optimising content for web searches, so the website appears at the top of the Search Engine results page. By doing this, potential consumers are proactively guided to the website after searching for a specific query.
- Analytics Technology: Investing in an Analytics solution or ‘listening technology’ which can analyse customer interactions and intent. This technology can help organisations better understand customer behaviour, pain points, and broken processes within the customer journey.
- Choice of Channels: Giving customers the option to contact via their channel of choice – i.e., phone, email, or webchat – will help serve them more effectively.
We are now in an era where passive service is no longer good enough, and customer engagement is vital. Brands that make customers feel good about their experiences will enjoy higher revenue and – even better – loyal customers.
If 2021 was the year your organisation fast-tracked digital transformation, then make sure that 2022 is the year in which you take a step back and evaluate your customer service strategy with proactive CX in mind.