Proactive Customer Service is essentially the practice of reaching out to customers in order to address their problems before they reach out to you. Due to ongoing shift in customer demographics and behavior of Gen-Xers who mostly rely on email, social media and text messages, proactive care can increase brand loyalty and advocacy as well as reduce call center inbound call volume.
Proactive outreach solutions enable banks and other financial services companies to generate a top-notch customer experience and improve their business and bottom line. Proactively reaching out to customers via automated voice, email or text –for reminders about bill payments and card balances, tips on protecting credit or debit card security, how to manage finances or timely news on service updates, creates more than good will and enhances the overall brand experience while cutting costs.
Proactive customer service can help banks to:
Educate the Customers
Banks can easily educate the customers to move their businesses forward. Whether it’s a welcome call that gets a new relationship off to a profitable start or an email with the latest interest rates that accelerates a policy renewal, customers can be informed well about everything.
Banks can keep their customers up to date in situations that matter. For example, conveying a customer through text message that his/her loan application is being processed.
Consumers are increasingly forgetful in today’s “always connected” world. They expect good service to include reminders for essential actions like paying bills. Automating this outreach – using preferred channels, personalized messages and options to take immediate action – keeps your customers and your results on track.
Effectively and proactively gathering customer data is essential for any bank. Leverage voice and SMS text-based surveys to identify customer service issues before they become complaints or, to assess risk and adherence within target population. Responses outside set parameters can be escalated to trained agents for immediate attention.
Customers will definitely appreciate to hear about a problem directly from you rather than coming to know about it after they use the product or service. Build your customer trust by informing the customer about the problem that you identify and avoid damaging your reputation.
Offering tangible rewards is a powerful loyalty-building tool. Proactively reach out to a customer with a good offer as a gesture to thank him/her for regular business. This will strengthen your relationship with the customer and most likely generate more brand advocates for you.
Banks should investigate and discover the most common and costly problems that exist across the different stages of customer lifecycle and should take proactive approach to solve them.
Instant Chat and Social Media have evolved as the two important mediums for delivering proactive customer care.
Proactive chat allows a bank to help the customer before they ask i.e. without waiting for the customer to click on a Help button. Bank’s customer service team should try and anticipate a specific customer’s needs based on his/her behavior. For example, if a customer is clicking through several help pages then it could be extremely helpful to pop up a chat window asking if any help is required.
A bank’s social media team can monitor and engage in social conversations around their brand and market. The team can gauge the social health of their brand in a single glance. Let’s take a closer look on how social media can help deliver proactive service:
Listen out for mentions of your brand or business on online platforms. Get creative to leverage the power of proactive listening. E.g.: Search for customers visiting a town/city & send them a welcome tweet, with the locations of ATMs or branches.
Create a repository of “how-to” videos on step-by-step process. Send them to the relevant customers for educating them about different processes. For example, if a customer is not using internet banking. the bank can send him/her a video demonstrating the process of using internet banking and how this convenient option can save their time.
Create forums of your customers. Enable and encourage them to help each other.
Social media channels such as Facebook allow for brands to broadcast messages to large numbers of customers at once. If an issue arises that may adversely affect a group of customers, bank can use social media to inform them about it. This will reduce the inbound call volume of the bank. Or if a customer shares a tip or trick that may help or delight others, you can share it broadly.
Enlightened banks aim to delight their customers by anticipating their needs in advance and exceeding their expectations. Customer service is not just about correction after the damage to the customer has been done, rather excellence in banking service can be achieved by being more responsive and proactive to changes in customer needs.