When it comes to customer service, most businesses rely on the conventional reactive approach since it is inexpensive and predefined. Customers are not the same as they were a couple of decades ago, they are more sensitive and demanding now, so the ways in which customer support is delivered also needs modification. Proactive customer service complies with the contemporary distinctive customers’ needs and helps in branding and customer retention significantly. However, to apply this approach accurately you need to understand its fundamentals. Following are the essentials of proactive customer service.
If you want to create a lasting relationship with your customers, start listening to them. Whether they are angry, lost or just chatty, be a good listener. Interrupting the conversation or presenting counter arguments is not likely to do any good to your business. It gets really puzzling and irritating to handle complaining customers at times but you should be patient enough to listen to everything they say. Make sure that you never reply to them in a harsh or rude tone, empathize with them to strengthen your image as a business that truly cares for its customers.
Keeping your customers well-informed and updated about an issue is one of the best practices of customer service. If your business website is likely to be temporarily unavailable due to maintenance, inform your users beforehand. Similarly if there are some technical problems and you will not be able to maintain quality service for few hours or a day, make it known to your customers in advance. Keeping the customers posted about an impending issue would strengthen your image as a professional organization.
Give your customers the notion that you have given them all the power, they can ask anything they want, about the company/products/services. Before a product launch inform them that you are introducing something new solely for their comfort. For quality assurance and premium customer support you need to take the opinion of customers about a product/service they have purchased/subscribed to. Before they call you for an issue, contact them to ask if there is anything you can help with. Ask them if the product/service they have purchased is working well for them, reaching out to the customers before them will make them develop an association with your brand.
Another requisite of proactive customer service is developing a strong personal relationship with your customers. Remember their names and greet them warmly every time they visit. Make them feel like family. Offer them solutions; make recommendations to give a gesture that you are more interested in their well-being rather than selling a product/service. Collect useful information about your customers like their date of births, interests and surprise them with greeting cards or gifts.
Encourage your customers to give you feedback, devise easy and simple ways of seeking suggestions from them. Customer feedback can help you with improving your services and tailoring products according to their desired requirements. This can turn out to be exceedingly prolific for your long term goals towards productivity and customer retention. Moreover, identifying problems and offering solutions beforehand would also earn you an edge. Customers prefer a brand that offers them personalized products/services and cater to their complaints without delay or conventional procedures.
Gratifying customer service means you go the extra mile caring for your “valuable customers.” The most compelling way to make your customers happy is offering discounts, membership or loyalty cards and frequent sales. The more you will reward your customers the more they will stay loyal to your brand and are likely to recommend it to their loved ones, friends and acquaintances. Thus, customer reward strategy will win you an added advantage. Customers stick to a brand that exceeds their expectations by providing them more than they yearn for.
Social media platforms and forums are great communication portals where you can stay in touch with your existing and prospective customers. Letting customers share their views and concerns about your products/services will project you as a brand that can take criticism in a positive way and use it to enhance quality customer experience. Interesting topics for forum and enticing posts for social media pages would bring you more traffic as well, hence boosting your image and getting you recognition across the globe.
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