Think about a traditional inbound call center that handles customer service inquiries from clients. Typically this involves agents waiting by the phones for customers to call with problems they need solving, questions they need answering, and issues they need resolving. Depending on the nature of the calls your call center is getting, you may find that this reactive customer service strategy, in which you are waiting for the customer to come to you with their problems, is working just fine. But almost 100% of the time, taking a proactive approach to customer service is going to increase customer satisfaction, improve their experience and boost your company’s reputation. Here’s why.
A proactive customer service approach aims to anticipate the issues that customers might face and provide them with the tools and know-how to resolve or bypass those issues before they begin. Instead of waiting for them to experience a problem and then coming to you for help, this approach attempts to prevent the problem from happening in the first place. If implemented successfully, a proactive customer service approach has numerous benefits. First and foremost, it prevents the customer from ever getting to a point at which they feel that a product has failed them and they need help. Even if they are able to resolve their issue over the course of a single call with an agent, they won’t forget the fact that they had to make the call in the first place and this may taint their trust in the brand going forward. A proactive approach seeks to provide them with the tools they need to head off those issues before they arise. Say that your product is software and you are releasing an update. Instead of just pushing the update to all customers using the software and then waiting for questions to roll in (the reactive model), first send a notice to customers that the update is coming. And then, when it is released, include information like the changes customers can expect to see, frequently asked questions, or installation instructions (the proactive model).
The second benefit to the proactive approach is on the agent side. Call center staffing is a tricky business and it’s not uncommon for call centers to be bombarded with calls at certain times, especially around the release of new products or changes to existing ones. By taking a proactive approach, you are drastically decreasing the likelihood that your call center volume will be unmanageable during these times. Plus, you’re likely reducing the volume of calls your agents receive overall, which can lead to reduced stress and lower attrition for them and perhaps even lower staffing numbers (and costs) for you.
How do you implement a proactive customer service model? By anticipating your customers’ needs. And how do you anticipate your customers’ needs? By collecting data, data, and more data. The good news is that it is easy to transition your customer service approach from a reactive one to a proactive one, as long as you have been collecting and analyzing the data your reactive customer service team is producing. You need to know what your customers want and need in order to give it to them before they even ask, which is at the heart of the proactive model. You also need people with the expertise to create and provide these resources for your customers. Indeed, knowing what your customers need is only half the battle. You need to know what they are looking for and be able to package and provide it in a way that is clear, helpful and usable. But do all of this and your customer satisfaction and retention numbers will go through the roof, guaranteed.
Regardless of the customer service model you adopt, a reliable call center platform like CallShaper to support your agents is crucial. To learn more about our software, contact us today.