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.
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Best Practices in Providing Proactive Service
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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Government tax agency goes digital and proactive
As part of the government’s digital services initiative, this European tax agency was tasked not only with achieving a 15% net costs reduction by 2020, but also with the goal of making digital services so appealing and easy to use that digital became the preferred way of interaction for citizens. According to their Chief Digital and Information Officer, they aimed to become one of the most digitally advanced tax authorities in the world. Now…
- 257,000 interactions are handled using the virtual assistant
- Volume of tax returns being completed online has increased to 89%