What is proactive support?
Definition: Proactive support is a customer service strategy that identifies and addresses potential issues before they arise or become serious enough to impact customers negatively.
It incorporates a business's support strategy, tools, and processes to improve customer experience without them needing to contact support.
Examples of proactive customer support
- Amazon offers personalized product recommendations based on the customers’ purchase and viewing history and notifies them of any delivery delays in advance.
- Slack’s Slackbot recognizes a customer's actions and offers various ways to make those actions easier, like connecting certain apps a customer uses. It also introduces customers to new features when they are implemented.
- HubSpot’s chatbot adapts its approach to customers based on which page on their website a customer is offering to answer pre-programmed questions that are commonly asked.
- Apple helps customers use their products in new ways that benefit them through its newsletter.
- Hootsuite offers software that monitors social media channels for customer feedback and helps companies address customer concerns before they become big problems.
How to deliver proactive customer support
Proactive support isn’t only about solving customer issues before they happen. It’s also about creating a better customer experience by understanding customers and supporting them with their needs.
Businesses can achieve these goals by utilizing different approaches:
- Customers can be reluctant to communicate issues once they become too severe. By surveying and reaching out to customers when support notices different behaviors or after some time passes, they can detect problems early on and take appropriate steps to fix them.
- After identifying customers' common questions, creating a knowledge base with answers allows customers to solve their problems with a simple search instead of contacting support. They can even read about potential issues that can arise in the future and be prepared.
- After an issue arises or after making a mistake, being open about it and admitting fault lets customers know a business is aware of the issue and is working on the solution, preventing unnecessary support inquiries and building trust.
- By doing intense internal testing before every feature release, the team can find issues that customers can run into in advance, after which support can warn customers of a potential issue they may experience.
- Programming chatbots to recognize user behavior on the website or product can help customers navigate them better and achieve their goals with minimal confusion.
- Monitoring all social media channels for customers mentioning the business allows them to address any negative experience or issue a customer had and wanted to express but didn’t go to support about.
- By tracking customer interests, a business can deliver recommendations of products to try or content to read that will enhance their experience. These recommendations can be sent through the product itself or a custom email list to customer groups with similar interests.
- Automating processes that customers repeatedly do, like automated subscriptions or performing updates to the software, reduces their effort and minimizes the chances for new issues.