In the realm of customer service, an organization can choose to respond in either a proactive or a reactive manner. Though the world has by far favoured a reactive approach till sometime back, but things are changing pretty drastically in contemporary times.
Identifying a ‘Reactive’ Approach
If an organization prefers to handle customer problems as and when they occur, it is said it approaches customer service in a reactive manner. It also means the concerned organization is not going out of its way to solve the problem for its customers.
While this may not necessarily be a bad thing always, a reactive approach can hardly impress the customers with the way the taste of Millennials are altering with every passing day.
Identifying a ‘Proactive’ Approach
If an organization takes a proactive approach towards customer service, it indicates that it is putting added efforts to show its customers how much they are being specially cared for. Such organizations like to handle problems early and provide effective and quick resolution.
Moreover, even customers believe that the organization is doing extra to accommodate their issues. The big question is how an organization should shift its strategy from reactive to proactive.
Let’s talk about the added efforts:
The efforts need not be expensive or difficult. The aim behind delivering proactive customer service is to put the customers’ needs first, and it is really not difficult for the organizations to achieve that.
The first way to do that is by making itself available. It is not only about adding a contact number in the corporate website. A live chat can be added to a corporate website for greater accessibility. When customers can access the organization instantly, it can also serve the customers effectively.
Secondly customers should be able to help themselves easily. This can be done through a well-designed FAQ page or by creating alerts so the customers can know the common problems and how to resolve those issues by themselves. When customers are given more empowerment, time can be easily saved while serving the others who help in keeping a business alive.
As social media has become increasingly popular today, any dissatisfied or disgruntled customer has the ability to access thousands of online users within a short span of time. While satisfied customers may share their good experiences, disgruntled customers can and will be more vociferous in spreading the negative news.
Studies reveal that the smarter the customers are – higher is their expectation towards the companies to be more active, rather than being reactive in solving their issues.
There are some sectors that need to be more proactive than others. Banking, as well as credit card institutions must get in touch through phone or by text if they expect certain fraudulent activities on a customer’s account and this could be priceless.
Major Steps for a Proactive Approach
There are 5 key steps to develop a proactive and effective customer service approach. Let’s talk more about them in the following pointers:
1. Processes should be in place: To err is human – mistakes are bound to happen at some point or other. So, all the business processes of an organization should be in place for it to get alerts about the potential concerns before they come to the knowledge of clients. Organizations can declare or fix those mistakes even before its customers can get to know about it.
2. Feedback: An organization should be always asking its customers to give feedback of their dealings with it and ensure the suggestions mentioned in the feedback form are taken care of promptly. Based on the feedback received, a note of thanks can be shared with them to demonstrate that their thoughts were greatly appreciated.
3. Keep in touch with its customers: If a problem occurs, an organization needs to be proactive by getting in touch using text, phone or email. When customers are kept in the dark, it is pretty easy to lose them forever.
4. Have a close watch on the online conversations: It is important for an organization to know what its clients are discussing online. Otherwise, it may miss out on key opportunities to improve. When an organization tries to reach out to its customers who are talking about it negatively or positively, the former can quickly address their requirements.
5. Respond to queries before they are asked: An organization must upload content in their websites that can answer common questions the customers may have in their minds (FAQs). All customers should be given a copy of the FAQs after they sign up with an organization. It is recommended to include a Live Chat service on the corporate website so that customers can easily get in touch.