Is Your Business Ready for the Next Generation of Customer Service?
It has been proven, way back in 2011, that in field service, almost 89% of your customers are most likely to stop buying from you and go after one of your competitors, if you don’t take service to your customers seriously enough!
That’s right! The risk is pretty high! But not if you know what to do about it.
Now, you might be thinking, “Of course we take service seriously, that’s our business!”, and yes, you might be providing effective services to your customers when they need them. But do you care about your customers enough to help PREVENT their possible issues?
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Do you take your customer service seriously enough to be proactive?
The answer to that question, should ideally be yes, and you should be at least half way there in the next few years, considering what customers expect from their service providers these days. It is when you are doubtful about it, that you run the risk that I mentioned before.
This problem arises more, usually when companies wait until something happens with a customer’s asset to provide a service fix. This kind of reactive customer support is more of the norm for a lot of companies in field service. This is probably because of a number of reasons like a lack of knowledge, lack of resources etc.
However, as we had discussed earlier on one of our previous blogs, customers these days expect field service companies to be on top of the latest technologies and deliver more than what they actually demand. Read more about it: Changing Customer Perceptions: How To Take Advantage
Whatever caters to their convenience better, is what they are going to use.
Hence, if a field service company is able to anticipate possible problems with their assets well in advance, and provide service without having them request for it, then a customer is not going to look further than that. And that is why proactive customer service is your best friend.
According to a report by Enkata, taking an initiative in your customer service or support could increase your customer retention rates by about 3 to 5%.
Why should you go for proactive customer service?
Apart from the fact that it increases customer retention rates, it also helps to reduce the number of calls or enquiries you get from your customers, as you can take care of their issues before they even arise.
Besides that, you get a chance to create a positive impact in the minds of the customers, before their problem arises. This puts you in a good picture, when they talk about you to others.
In case you are wondering what kind of an image your customers would have of you, if you acted proactively, here are some interesting findings:
- According to InContact, about 87% of the adults surveyed were happy to be contacted by their service providers proactively, regarding their issues.
- 75% of the respondents of the survey, said that they experienced a positive change in the perception of a company that called them proactively and gave them a pleasant surprise or a positive call experience, out of which 62% have taken action as a result.
- About 65% of respondents said they were open to being contacted about fraudulent activity on one of their accounts
- A major share (53%) was open to setting reminders and appointments and another 51% of them were open to being contacted for questions regarding an order placed by them
Benefits of “proactiveness” to your business
Here’s an interesting fact.
Anglian Water, a leading supplier of water and water recycling services, sends more than 200,000 emails and messages to their customers every year, as notifications about outages or other problems in their particular areas. This practice helps them reduce customer calls by a large margin and they have reported to be saving somewhere between £100,000 and £200,000 worth of call center costs every year!
This is a clear example of how effective it can be for your business, to be proactive. As I mentioned before it actually gives you a chance to create a good impression in the minds of customers by meeting and even exceeding their expectations before they actually demand it. It helps to nurture and strengthen customer relationships, by which you can improve your business through better services as well as better advocacy or sheer “word of mouth”.
They say, ‘a satisfied customer tells 3 friends, and an angry customer tells 3000.’ If you start being proactive, address the issues of even your unhappy customers and turn them around to being your brand advocates instead, imagine how contagious it can get!
Protect yourself from escalation
Apart from creating new brand advocates and improving the value of your business, being proactive can also help you protect yourself against escalation. It is always better to identify any kind of negativity surrounding your business, and warn your customers beforehand, so as to avoid a social crisis. According to a research by Altimeter, poor experiences was the major cause of customer complaints online.
To sum it all up, being proactive should be the way forward for you as the competition in the industry is getting tighter and customer expectations are not getting any smaller! It is going to be a matter of survival for you in no time.
Take the necessary steps right away and make the shift from reactive customer service to proactive customer service.
To learn a few basic steps and possible ways for you to begin with, stay tuned for our next blog.