A customer experience that merely meets baseline expectations rather than actively delights shoppers will inevitably fail. Our Customer Expectations Report found 66% of customers prefer brands that know them enough to recommend products or experiences they like, proving the need for a more hands-on level of service. This is one distinction of proactive customer service vs. reactive customer service — anticipating customer needs instead of merely reacting to them.
How can you be sure that you’re living up to customer expectations by being as proactive as you can be? Let’s start by understanding the difference between proactive vs. reactive approaches. Then, a quiz-style test will measure your understanding of what proactive or reactive responses look like in real time.
Defining Proactive vs. Reactive Customer Service
Proactive customer service
- Anticipates common customer needs and customer service complaints
- Works with customers on their preferred channels rather than just traditional channels like phone and email
- Engages customers after the initial interaction or sale to continue an open conversation and foster stronger relationships
- Recommends products or services based on shopping history and behavior
Reactive customer service
- Responds to customer requests and complaints as they come in
- Works on a predetermined set of channels based on current support capabilities
- Requires customers to seek out the proper contact information to get in touch with an agent
- Leaves cross-selling and upselling opportunities on the table by not going the extra mile for a customer’s needs or interests
In common customer service situations, your agents respond either in proactive ways or reactive ways, depending on how you trained them for success. That’s why we’ve put together this critical proactive vs. reactive customer service comparison quiz to help you visualize how you’re currently approaching your customer service and how you could be doing better. Through this assessment, you can also gauge whether you should invest more in customer service technology to be more proactive — leaning on your agents’ strengths and affinities for their roles to improve your brand.
Customer Support Hero Resources to Empower Your Team
Quiz — Comparing Proactive vs. Reactive Customer Service Responses
Proactive service is almost always the best way to solve support center obstacles. Take this quiz to find out if your team could be doing more to anticipate customer needs.
A customer needs assistance while navigating/completing their shopping journey. Did you:
a. Wait for them to reach out with a question over your available channels?
b. Message them with an automated chatbot or live agent to see if they need help?
Gladly pro tip: Our Sidekick chatbot easily embeds into your webpages to provide proactive service at every turn of the shopping experience. This will help customers quickly overcome barriers to purchasing and increase the likelihood of completing sales.
A customer returns to your website with additional questions or interest in other products/services. Did you:
a. Let them browse your pages to eventually find the answer they were looking for?
b. Welcome them back with personal details taken from your last interaction, asking them how you can help them today?
Gladly pro tip: Our customer details tool gathers information on each shopper that crosses your path, letting you incorporate personal touches into all facets of the customer experience.
A customer is curious about additional products and/or services in your catalog. Did you:
a. Wait for them to reach out with questions or ask for products that match their taste?
b. Recommend complementary or additional products you knew they’d love based on their previous shopping experiences?
Gladly pro tip: Proactive service is the basis of upselling and cross-selling customers — selling to them when they’re most likely to buy. It’s one of a few ways proactive service provides major revenue opportunities.
Multiple customers have come to your support center with similar questions about your brand, products, or services. Did you:
a. Respond to each question as they came in to find an individual solution per shopper?
b. Recognize the repeated issue and make it an automated response for your agents or a chatbot to implement in real time?
Gladly pro tip: Gladly Answers gathers information from repeat customer requests and complaints to automatically generate a reusable response. Agents can then reference common issues and have the solution ready to deploy.
A customer began shopping but abandoned their cart. Did you:
a. Assume they’re no longer interested in the products or services they explored?
b. Follow up on the appropriate channels to try to bring the shopper back to the experience and complete the sale?
Gladly pro tip: Preventing cart abandonment is a major aspect of driving revenue and ensuring all possible sales go through. Proactive service brings customers back into focus and helps them complete their purchases.
Analyzing Your Quiz Answers
If you selected “A” on three or more of these questions, your support center is reactive, waiting for problems to come up rather than seeking solutions in advance.
If you selected “B” on three or more, you’re far more likely to provide the quality customer experience that your shoppers expect through proactive service.
In either case, Gladly equips you to consistently make proactive choices by infusing your support center with tools that optimize your response to common customer needs. For more on how our solutions can revolutionize your approach to service, try a demo.
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