The millennial generation of customers has an entirely different set of expectations from the brand that they purchase from. Customer service is considered to be the biggest differentiator when it comes to purchasing decision-making. According to American Express, 70% of consumers say they have already made a choice to support a company that delivers great customer service.
Let’s face it. Lower price and better quality of products are simply not enough to ensure customer loyalty and business growth. Businesses need to invest in customer service.
The two philosophies of customer service
When it comes to philosophies of customer service, there are two types of philosophies that you will come across — reactive and proactive customer service.
Reactive customer service is when your business reacts to customer wants as and when they arrive. For example, helping a customer solve an issue or find information through phone, email, social, etc.
Proactive customer service, on the other hand, anticipates customer wants and serves them even before the customer raises an issue. For a layman, this might sound like an impossible or at least difficult-to-implement customer service model. However, with easy and ready-to-use tools like chatbots, live chat and knowledge base, it is possible to deliver proactive customer service to customers.
It is worth noting that 68% of customers have a more favorable view of brands that offer or contact them with proactive customer service notifications (Microsoft).
In a way, proactive customer service can help your business maximize customer retention and revenue growth.
- It makes your existing customers forget about the competition
- It turns customers into raving loyalists
- It makes it super-easy to acquire new customers
- It eases pressure on customer support (Reduces low-priority, high-volume issues)
1. It makes your existing customers forget about the competition
Be it buying a new pair of sneakers or investing in B2B software for their startup, millennial customers are putting ‘easiness’ on the pole position of their priorities. “Hassle-free, ‘No complications’, ‘As easy as email’ are some terms that explain how millennials expect the products and the business that offer them should operate.
Proactive customers make it super-easy for customers to find resolutions for their problems. Since the business has already anticipated the problem a customer might face and set up a solution for it, it is able to impress the customer.
With time they get habitual to the ease of working with the business and forget about switching to a competitor. In formal terms, this means proactive customers maximize customer engagement.
Let’s look at how Facebook offers proactive customer service to its new users. To help its burgeoning new user base get used to the platform easily and in the right way, Facebook offers a FAQ section that proactively answers most of the user’s questions. There is no need to raise a ticket or call a call center to find this information. It is just there on the website waiting to be accessed by the user.
2. It turns customers into raving loyalists
Loyalty is earned and not bought. This is one adage that holds true for customer service as well. It is not possible to keep your existing customers as recurring ones without some effort. That effort comes in the form of proactive customer service.
Proactive service sends the signal that your business cares for the customer like a favorite one. It knows all about the customer preferences, what purchases they have made in the past, and what sort of problems they might face in the near future. All of this with the efficiency of a personal butler. This sort of personalized customer support provided proactively will only turn existing customers into raving loyalists.
3. It makes it super-easy to acquire new customers
There is an allied benefit of loyal customers that most businesses often overlook. Loyal customers tend to share the gospel of the brand with their near and dear ones. They are willing to refer new customers to the brand because they want the people whom they care for also to experience the goodness of the proactive service.
For the business, this makes it super-easy to acquire new customers. It just has to continue good care of its existing customers while they bring in new customers. In fact, a Neilsen report found that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising. This asserts the fact that proactive customer service is an excellent way to win not only one customer but including the customers’ immediate social circle.
4. It eases pressure on customer support
In every company, the customer support function is always swarmed with high-volume, low-priority tasks. Most new customers who are using a product or service for the first time stumble upon basic doubts that do not require the time and effort of an agent to resolve. It can be easily resolved with the help of a knowledge base article, a how-to video, or even with a GIFor any other form of visual content.
Identifying those recurring questions and preparing solutions in advance ensures that new customers do not have to reach out to new customer support. It drastically reduces the volume of support tickets that the department has to handle on a regular basis.
At the same time, it gives them enough bandwidth to handle high-priority customer complaints in a personalized manner. This improves the overall customer service culture of the business.
Why proactive customer service trumps reactive customer service
Proactive customer service always places the business ahead of its customer wants. It is able to anticipate what the customer wants and offer customer service revolving around those pain points. From a customer perspective, this is the most hassle-free way of transacting with a business. This easiness itself can persuade the customer to continue engaging with the business without having to think about switching to another brand.
Proactive customer service also offers a long list of other benefits like improving customer loyalty, making it easy to acquire new customers, and also reducing the pressure on customer support.
All said, proactive customer support is perhaps one of the biggest investments a business can make with regard to its future.
Guest Author Bio: Ashwini Dave is passionate about Business, Entrepreneurship, eCommerce, emerging technology and Digital Marketing. She is working with Acquire as a digital marketing expert. She is a free soul and adventurous scholar who spends her free time with herself and loved ones, music, as well as watching & playing sports. She is ocean addicted and on roads being a thrill-seeking traveler to get new experiences as she looks at life as our very own works of art. Check out her Twitter for updates!