How proactive customer support stops problems before they arise

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We rarely love customer service experiences. Most of us can detail an unpleasant customer experience (looking at major US airlines) where it seems our business is taken for granted. These unpleasant experiences bring out the great experiences.

I have already written about MMLaFleur and its support for its community of clients. A few weeks ago, I had sent a gift card to another member of the MMLaFleur Slack community, and the confirmation email did not arrive. I messaged the community manager, who within five minutes not only emailed me the confirmation – she also messaged me the code directly. This pleasantly surprising example of added value is proactive customer service. Proactive customer service is important for increasing customer retention, as well as improving customer satisfaction and enjoyment.

NewVoiceMedia Search American brands lose around $ 75 billion a year due to poor customer service. Proactive customer support is about identifying and resolving customer issues before they become problems. Responsive customer support requires that a customer with a question finds a contact page, call, or email, and waits for a response. With proactive customer support, you anticipate customer issues and resolve them before they arise – via FAQs, forums, knowledge base articles, and e-learning platforms – and provide additional experiences for increase customer loyalty.

Why customer support is important for the customer experience

Customer support, customer success, customer experience – are they just different sides of the same coin?

A company’s relationship with its customers goes far beyond just getting better surveys or more participation in events. Understanding the customer experience is all about learning what customers are going through from the moment they buy, and then working to make the customer experience as successful and seamless as possible.

It makes sense. Satisfied customers generate more revenue and ultimately more business growth and sustainability. But the same goes for product development, marketing, user experience, sales, and many other resources in your organization. So why prioritize the customer experience – or customer support, for that matter?

  • Customer support generates revenue. GrooveHQ Reports that 84% of organizations that strive to improve customer support report increased revenue. It can be difficult to show a direct correlation between customer support and revenue, but tracking customer experience metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Social Sentiment by Revenue report can help show the value of your investment in customer support.
  • Customer experience drives growth. A great customer experience generates referrals. According to Qualtrics, 94% of U.S. customers will recommend a business whose experience they recommend as very good. It’s good to budget for ad campaigns, but referrals trump multichannel ads every time. Great customer experience means customers tell future customers how great your product or service is and what a difference it makes for their business.
  • Customer success drives retention. Focusing on customer success – making sure customers see the value of their investment – reduces churn rate and helps drive annual recurring revenue growth. You cannot be successful without it. According to Oracle, a third of customers will leave a brand after just one disappointing interaction. Sometimes unhappy customers complain, but most leave. It is better to focus on customer success early on than to try to win back customers later.

Depending on the size and structure of your organization, the employees who interact with customers may belong to different teams. No matter how you structure your customer experience team, whether it’s three teams, one team, or even one person, when you put your customer first, it is easy to see the benefits.

Related article: Customer Service Requires a Bold New Approach

5 ways to get started with proactive support

If your support team has traditionally waited for customers to call them with issues, it can seem difficult to start with a proactive approach. The proactive customer experience starts with empathy – understanding a customer and what they are going through all the time.

There are easy ways to get started, from doing surveys to admitting (and resolving) issues when they arise. Here are five ways to add proactive support to your customer experience strategy.

  • Send surveys. Do you know what customers want, or are you just thinking about doing it? More importantly, do you know what your most valuable customers want? There are many ways to collect customer feedback, from NPS and CSAT surveys to simple post-trade questionnaires. Whichever direction you choose, make sure that you ask questions that help you improve and that you are open to the feedback you are going to receive.
  • Monitor customer activity across all platforms. Have you already read the article “She divorced me because I left the dishes by the sink? ”Spoiler alert: it wasn’t about the dishes. Support can be the same – the support case is often the last straw or, if the situation is bad enough, may never even be filed. Make sure you pay attention to what your customers say on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. This way you can spot situations that need to be corrected before writing an article about losing an account because the password reset process did not work.
  • Create a knowledge base or FAQ. Creating a knowledge base or FAQ is a great way for customers to resolve their own issue without contacting your support team. It’s proactive because you anticipate issues and provide customers with the answers they need before they even arise. Knowledge bases are available 24/7, making them extremely convenient for customers. Don’t know which questions are the most popular? Ask your support team or digital marketing team what search terms are bringing people to your website!
  • Invest in online learning. We all know that training is important to the success of clients. It helps customers feel more confident and see more value from their purchase. Investing in an online learning platform, whether it includes longer courses or quick tips and tricks, is a great way to develop a knowledge base or FAQ. Customers can easily absorb and access information through an e-learning platform, and the platform is available around the clock so that videos can be revisited multiple times.
  • Be honest when you are wrong. It is important to treat customers like humans. And that means being polite – saying please and thank you, and apologizing when things go wrong. Things will go badly. It’s best to admit the problem, apologize upfront, and offer a solution before customers find out. This proactive approach shows that you are committed to building an ongoing and successful relationship with customers.

Putting your customers first means changing the way you run your business, train your team, and manage support. But by adding proactive support techniques to your overall customer experience plan, you won’t just keep your customers happy, you will help turn your customers into brand advocates and ultimately increase satisfaction. , loyalty and income.

Melissa Henley is Director of Customer Experience at Laserfiche, an enterprise software company serving the public and private sectors for over 30 years. As a marketer, customers are at the heart of everything Melissa does, and her passion is connecting people to content that can have a truly positive impact on their lives.

Joseph P. Harris