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You may have heard the question “Why cure, when you can prevent?” before. It’s usually referenced when talking about disease; that it’s better to just eat healthily and not get sick, rather than get sick then cure the disease with drugs.
This same logic can be applied to customer service. To rephrase the above ‘wisdom’, it would be: “Why be reactive, when you can be proactive?”
All companies can expect to have some customers to have problems, either caused by them or by your own mistakes. What’s strange, is that a lot of them don’t act before such problems happen. The ones that do, understand the value of this phrase and know that customer service and brand loyalty is what makes or breaks a business in today’s fast-paced era.
Reactive customer service waits until something is broken or goes wrong. That’s when a company relies on the agitated customer to go through the trouble of finding them, contacting them, and then have to basically make an appeal as to why the company should fix their issue. Even then, the resolution to the problem is just good enough, and rarely is it better than the customer hoped.
Perhaps more of us business owners should be more proactive, and not reactive. How many people on your team are actively trying to keep your customers satisfied by being proactive? This means being able to guide the process so that most disappointments don’t come up, which means you won’t even have to fix them. Sounds pretty good right?
Here are some ways you can help improve your customer service.
- Gather Feedback
This is the first step to being proactive. You might not need this if your company already has a way or system in place to track reoccurring problems. If not, then you have to start asking your customers what they would like to get help with. I know, it might seem awkward or even unprofessional to ask your customers this, but trust me, the effort will be highly appreciated.
2. Monitor Customer Activity
You should take monitoring your customer activity seriously. Gathering that feedback in point number one is a great way to go about knowing how you can fix problems your customers are facing. But you can’t keep doing that forever.
So instead, you should monitor your customer requests. Find out all the reasons they’re calling your customer service agents, & monitor the tickets they submit, as well as the different issues they come across.
When you constantly have your team on the lookout, they’ll be able to detect issues as they happen and react accordingly by having adequate resources.
3. Create Self-Serving Materials
The last thing you can do is to actually create a resource that your customers can refer to when they come across a certain problem.
One of the quickest and most useful ways to have proactive resources is to create self-serving materials. This is what’s called a knowledge base. It’s a great type of resource, especially if your product or service is really technical. The people who are not so tech-savvy will find it much easier to deal with it.
Think about the basic steps your client goes through when first encountering your service or product. Things like creating the account, setting things up and making that first, valuable action. If you easily explain these things, I promise, people will find it much easier to start using your offer.
What’s the best part? This will help you with user activation and getting more trial conversions. Yup, two ways you can bring in some extra money.
The knowledge base is just one type of resource you can hand your customers and prospects to help them deal with common issues. Don’t forget though, you’ll probably have to constantly upgrade it as time passes with more common errors and hard-to-get-through steps. Start with self-serving materials and build your proactive customer service on that foundation.
The most important thing to remember is that proactive customer service is all about you reaching out first. Everything else, software, tools, and best practices are there to help you deliver that type of customer service. Start making a change from solely having reactive customer service but always keep in mind that both are necessary. At the end of the day, balance is the answer.
Do your research, train your agents, experiment with different ways of implementation, stick to the best practices, and equip your team with the proper tools. Do this, and you’re ready for success!