However, good customer service isn’t only about reacting to problems – it’s about being able to address issues before your customers are even aware of them. In other words, you need to be proactive, rather than reactive, when you’re dealing with customers.
It’s not always easy, but if you know what you need to pay attention to, it can be done. To give you some guidance, here are our top 4 tips on how to be more proactive in customer service.
1) Take advantage of customer feedbackYou might have noticed that companies with the best customer service team often welcome customer feedback in several different forms. They encourage open customer reviews on their website, regularly conduct surveys, and respond to customer complaints and issues promptly.
But more importantly, they don’t just collect customer feedback for the sake of it – they use this information to improve their services. This has two main benefits. They are improving the quality of the service they provide and show their customers that they value their opinion at the same time, which can improve customer confidence and loyalty.
If you're looking for some ideas on how you can use customer feedback to improve your performance, People Pulse has some great tips.
2) Be honest and upfrontEveryone makes mistakes – and big companies and businesses are not an exception. Most companies live in the fear that these mistakes might be spotted by their customers, and do everything in their power to disguise them.
However, being honest about mistakes is actually far more beneficial. Although your customers might be frustrated at first, they will appreciate your honesty – and it’s always better if they hear about it from you rather than somewhere else.
3) Go the extra mileWith today’s advanced technology and our rapidly changing world, customers have several platforms where they can express their disappointment or their satisfaction with a particular company. There are social media sites, review sites, and different platforms where your product might be selling, such as Amazon. In order to provide excellent customer service, you need to keep an eye on your reputation and make sure that you respond to both positive and negative comments on all of these platforms.
Positive comments are always easier to deal with, and you can simply respond with a small note or gesture of gratitude. However, negative feedback is just as important. For these ones, you need to offer a brief apology and explain what you are going to do to resolve the problem. Kerry Rego Consulting has some useful tips on how to do this.
In such a competitive world, customer service is about going that extra mile to prove to your customers that you value them, and the fact that you’re not ignoring negative comments and you respond quickly is guaranteed to win you some extra points.
4) Improve your contentEvery good company website has content that answers some of the most common questions customers are likely to have. If you don’t have this on your website yet, it’s time to get started.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a list of problems that your customers might have and provide answers to address these issues. These questions and answers are usually listed on a separate FAQ page or different help tabs across the website, and they go a long way to help your customers and help you to retain them.
If you need some more tips on dealing with customers and understanding customer needs and expectations, click here to find out how Activia's Customer Service courses might help you.
Do you have any other tips on how to be proactive in customer service? As always, make sure to let us know in the comment section below.