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Proactive Customer Service: Definition and best practices


Proactive customer service is the act of providing contextual customer service at the right time, right place, and the right way, even before the customer asks for that service

Proactive customer service is also sometimes referred to as preemptive customer service, and it has a number of benefits for the customer and the business.

  • It reduces a large number of avoidable inbound customer inquiries.
  • It lets the business control the communication process.
  • It provides customers control over the channel they want to receive notifications in.
  • It reduces the anxiety that accompanies waiting for the next step from the business.


1. Proactive customer service to the right customer

You can’t be everything to every customer. You may want to consider offering proactive service to your high-value customers. If they are authenticated, this information would be easily available to you from your transactional systems of record.

2. Proactive customer service at the right time

You would have seen this as a consumer—the second you go to a website, you will be literally ambushed with an offer to chat or a form about filling out a survey. This is a major turnoff. A better approach would be to set rules to offer it at the right time—for instance, if a consumer had been on a page for some time or if the consumer has filled up the shopping cart to a certain dollar amount.

As part of the government’s digital services initiative, this European tax agency goes digital and proactive for maximum customer satisfaction.


3. Proactive customer service with the right mode

Proactive service could use automated services such as a chatbot or human-assisted service such as chat. For instance, you may want to offer human-assisted, proactive service to a high-value customer that has been on a page for a while but offer chatbot assistance otherwise.

4. Proactive customer service with the right offer

Proactive service entails making the right offer, based on context. It could be an offer to talk to a chatbot, chat or cobrowse with a human, escalate to a phone conversation, a useful companion product, a cross-sell offer, or a tip that will avert a future call (i.e., Next Issue Avoidance).

5. Right strategy

If you are a high-touch, service-oriented brand, you may want to err on the side of human-assisted proactive service rather than making the customer jump through multiple hoops and cross a moat with alligators to get such a service!

Smart businesses are proactive

Navy Federal Credit Union selects eGain for proactive member service

Premier pharmaceutical services provider selects eGain OnDemand™ to deliver proactive customer service to participants

Want to transform customer service and engagement with eGain?

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