Building out proactive customer service is key to creating stronger customer relationships that ultimately increase long-term value. Every channel has the opportunity to employ proactive service strategies when brands use the right tools, training, and automation to execute them.
Here, we’ll delve into some top examples of proactive customer service across different channels, where customer service teams can engage in proactive conversations with customers. By exploring these examples, we can better understand the proactive solutions that can be implemented to enhance customer service experiences.
Key Proactive Customer Service Strategies by Channel
Gladly’s 2022 Customer Expectations Report found that 42% of customers ranked reaching agents on their preferred channel as the most important attribute of their experiences. While it’s important to be available across as many channels as possible, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to implementing proactive customer service strategies. Rather, tactics need to be tailored individually to SMS, email, phone, and so on.
Despite all of the new channels customers are starting to use, voice and IVR are still the most popular. In the last 12 months, 64% of respondents have used phone service, a number that jumps even higher for older generations.
For that reason, phone and IVR should still be a top priority when developing a proactive customer service strategy. There are also refreshing phone strategies to implement, such as Proactive Voice, which automates personalized calls to customers regarding urgent matters — like updated delivery times — and even leaves a voice message if they don’t pick up.
A growing channel among young shoppers especially, SMS offers proactive opportunities to stay engaged with customers and make them feel taken care of throughout the experience.
SMS is an ideal channel for proactive service because shoppers are increasingly exposed to it. During the checkout process, brands now allow customers to opt-in to SMS updates, putting the power in the customers’ hands to receive text-based updates directly. These personalized SMS messages provide updates to track and manage product orders, or let loyal shoppers know that their store pickup window is ending soon.
Proactive SMS updates can be used even more granularly. Here are a few more ways that brands can explore SMS for proactive service:
- To reach out to customers on their birthday
- To notify them that a product warranty on a past purchase is nearing its expiration
- To alert them to upcoming sales or discounts on items they’ve purchased or browsed
Proactive email is a key way to share information in a non-invasive way. As people generally take longer to view and respond to email than SMS, phone, or even chat, email is best used for sending less immediate reminders or providing more content-heavy updates.
Some proactive customer service email strategies include:
- Alerting customers to problems with products, like a recall
- Reminding customers to complete pending processes, like a scheduled delivery time
- Notifying users when the end of a trial period is approaching
- Alerting customers when a product they ordered goes out of stock, or when a waitlisted product becomes available
More and more, ecommerce brands are implementing chatbots on their web pages to answer common questions and provide shopping assistance. But live chat support has huge proactive potential too, whether through increasing your chances of closing a sale with personalized messages or by routing chat conversations to the ideal service agent to complete a transaction or task.
One effective chat strategy is to nudge customers to return to their shopping cart to decrease abandonment. A friendly reminder of what they were browsing for or similar product recommendations shows you know their preferences while ensuring you close the sale. Another strategy is to proactively share important product details over chat, like sizing or if the product is low in stock, while the customer is actively browsing the page.
Gladly’s Proactive Chat allows support teams to create specific chat messages for every page on a site, each with its own set of triggers — like the URL the customer is on, or how long they spend on that page.
Allow Customers to Switch from Chat to Live Support
According to Gladly’s 2022 Customer Expectations Report, 57% of consumers want to be able to easily transition from a chatbot to a live customer service agent when necessary. When you proactively trigger an automated conversation over chat, make sure communication can flow naturally into a human interaction without interrupting the experience.
No matter which channels you focus your resources on, you’ll need a platform that makes these proactive customer service strategies as manageable and effective as possible. With Gladly, ecommerce brands have access to dynamic support that turns agents into Support Heroes with the ability to drive loyalty across all areas. By forgoing tickets in favor of a conversation-driven method, customers appreciate a company’s radically personal approach and form better relationships with brands.
Brands are switching from Zendesk's ticket-based platform to Gladly.