Does your business interact with your customers reactively rather than proactively? Do you deal with questions, comments and issues as and when they arise? Sure, the customer may be left satisfied that their question or problem has been resolved, but what if you could go one step further… Could you predict and answer their queries before they need to be asked?
A shift from reactive to proactive engagement with your customers can be a challenge to implement at first. But once your staff are all on board, your company will certainly reap the rewards. For example, a recent report by Enkata found that a proactive customer service strategy lowered inbound calls by 20-30%, reduced operating costs by up to 25% and increased customer retention rates by 3-5%.
Impressive statistics to say the least!
If you’re unsure of where to start, take a look at our five top tips to start you on your journey from a reactive to a winning proactive customer engagement strategy.
1. Ask customers for their feedback
The key to effective customer service is providing the customer with what they want, and the best way of finding out what they want is to ask them. Imagine you have delivered a service or product to your customer. Do you just assume they are happy with it or follow up with a phone call or email?
Giving your customers a chance to voice any concerns as well as providing constructive suggestions on all aspects of your service will allow you to identify and fix problems and weak areas before they take an effect.
2. Keep up with your social media channels
A powerful way to show you are listening to your customers is through social media engagement. Keeping tabs on your social media channels will allow you to monitor for any negative feedback communicated either directly or indirectly, and get in touch to try to remedy the problem.
You can also feature some of your clients on social media pages, promoting their company and work, boosting your audience and theirs.
3. Create helpful, dynamic content
Help your customers to help themselves! Rather than making a time-consuming call or typing out an email, many consumers prefer to find the answer to their question online. However, when this proves too difficult, it may be an opportunity lost as they give up on the interaction altogether.
Avoid this by identifying those questions and problems that arise time and time again, and addressing them directly. Examine your customers’ frequent website searches, email and call logs, and use the info to create an easy to find, easy to read FAQ section.
4. Be transparent and publish problems as they arise
When something doesn’t go to plan, do you wait for people to get in touch or let them know first? Although reporting news of a problem may seem counterintuitive, it’s always better coming from you first. Plus, customers will appreciate this much more than finding out for themselves. Minimise any damage by communicating the problem, apologising for the inconvenience and offering assurance that it won’t happen again. Honesty is the best policy.
5. Plan for the future
You have built up a list of regular clients who have been using your services for many years. Don’t take them for granted. Thank your customers for their business and keep them coming back to you by offering loyalty schemes and real rewards such as discounts, keep them updated on special offers and the latest news.