In many customer centers, a lot of time is spent answering the same questions and handling the same challenges from customers. But it doesn't have to be that way. Instead of responding to and helping customers when they contact you, as a Customer Service Manager you can instead focus on creating a more proactive customer service in your customer center.
You can provide a proactive customer service when you know in advance what information the customer will require. It can be either before, during or after a purchase of your various products or services.
This means that you can provide the customer with the necessary information and help before the need actually arises. This will give the customer a better experience, as the customer does not need to contact your customer center at all. At the same time, this results in fewer enquiries to the customer centre and provides a better opportunity to plan operations.
3 methods for identifying missing information
You probably know all about what the enquiries to your customer center are about, and you can also divide them into different areas. If you take a moment, you can quickly think of at least 5 types of enquiries your customer center will usually receive from your customers both before and after a purchase.
But what does your customer center do to overcome the challenges and handle questions or complaints proactively, so that customers no longer need to contact your customer center?
The solution is information in a great many cases. And a LOT of it.
To ensure that the information is relevant to the customers, they must of course start with, and reply to, what your customers are looking for. There are various methods of acquiring that knowledge.
Method 1# – Use the knowledge of the agents
The agents in the customer center are the obvious first choice for acquiring knowledge. They have daily contact with customers and know their questions and challenges. The knowledge is worth more than gold to you who want's to create proactive customer service.
Method 2# – Ask the customers
The next thing you can do is to do surveys and interview some customers and, for example, find out:
– What channels do they use to get answers to their enquiries.
– What kind of information they're looking for.
– Where does the company have information gaps?
– Where is the information hard to understand.
– Where is the information incomplete.
With the help of customers, you can become really aware of your current level of information and where there is room for improvement.
Method 3# – Use Data
Most ticket systems generate a lot of data about customer calls received via email, chat and Facebook. When you dive into the statistics, you have the opportunity to identify areas that could use an information boost.
For example, you can draw data on:
— Which areas generate the most enquiries.
— What is the time spent on the different types of requests.
— Which enquiries take the longest time to resolve.
With more and better information on the company’s website, your customer center can take better care of customers and help them proactively, so that they experience a fantastic online customer service. In addition, the higher level of information naturally also releases a lot of resources within the customer center.
Pick the low-hanging fruit
A study of the Dane's experience of customer service shows that Danes attach great importance to finding the right information on the company’s website. This means that the contact universe must be easy to navigate, it must be easy to find the right forms and they must be user-friendly.
Another one of the low-hanging fruits we often recommend our customers pick is the optimisation of the FAQ in the self-service solution. Your customers want to find answers to their questions or challenges and help themselves. Their time is the most precious thing they have, and they would prefer not to have to contact your customer center and wait for a reply.
Facebook is also a contact channel you can use proactively to help your customers. For example, if your customers already use your Facebook page to get answers to their questions, you can integrate the Contact Universe here, which contains a self-service solution with FAQ. It works in the same way as on the website, and customers can expect the same professional answers and contact options.
The chat feature is a third contact channel you can use proactively. With the chat, agents can encourage dialogue between the customer and themselves and ask if the customer needs help, for example, for specific product pages. This will often be the strategy you choose for sales when you want to increase your conversion.
Proactive customer service is the way forward
If you already have a customer service system, it’s important to get a head start and provide the right information on the channels where your customers search for it, so you can give your customers the proactive customer service they deserve.
There is no doubt that this is the path of development. Levels of customer service are constantly being raised. This means that customers also set the bar higher and expect more from the companies they choose to use.
If you don't already have a customer service system that can help you set the bar high for your online customer service, you can always get in touch with us. We are happy to provide you with a demo showing how many options there are for actually giving your customers a proactive customer service.
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