What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (2023)

I have a confession to make.

I’m a notorious window shopper. I love browsing through products, and my decision process is usually very long.

But—

As soon as a shopping assistant asks if they can help me, I know that I’m done for.

After chatting with them, I feel obliged to buy something out of sheer gratitude. And this is the true power of proactive customer service.

It makes customers spend more and thank you for it. On top of that, proactive sales and service techniques work online too.

In this article, we’ll unlock the hidden potential of proactive customer service and find out:

  • What makes customer service proactive (and not reactive)
  • What are the biggest benefits of being proactive with your customers
  • How companies use proactive customer service to increase customer satisfaction

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If you are interested in improving your customer service strategy, you may also take a look at:

  • Customer Satisfaction: All You Need to Know in 2021 [+Tips]

Now, let’s start with the proactive service definition.

What is the proactive approach to customer service?

Proactive customer service means anticipating customer expectations and making the first move. Instead of waiting for the customers to reach out, agents take initiative on their own. This approach increases the quality of customer experiences and maximizes engagement.

In simple words, it is all about fixing problems even before customers know that they have them.

Restaurants are a type of business that offers proactive customer service by default. The waiter approaches you, asks about your order, and helps you decide what to choose.

(Video) Proactive Customer Service Rapport Building

It may all sound straightforward. But surely this is not the best option for all industries, is it? People hate being nagged about products or services!

Actually, 87% of US consumers want to be contacted proactively by companies.

What’s worth noting is that this type of service is being adopted by all sorts of businesses. Thanks to technology, even ecommerce stores use the proactive approach now.

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (1)

When online shoppers browse through products, a customer support agent can monitor their behavior and offer them assistance. When they are struggling with something, someone from the support team can start a chat and write them a message even before they ask for help.

The easiest way to understand this approach is to compare it with reactive customer service.

Proactive vs reactive customer service: comparison

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (2)

Proactive customer service:

  • Is a part of the customer-centric approach
  • Delivered through real-time support channels such as live chat
  • Increases customer satisfaction by offering a more personal approach
  • Helps to identify customer pain points
  • Allows agents to resolve issues faster
  • Reduces customer churn

Reactive customer service:

  • Traditional customer support that focuses only on customer complaints
  • Delivered through channels such as email or phone
  • Is frequently outsourced to external call centers
  • Doesn’t focus on customers’ needs if they aren’t explicitly voiced
  • Deals with customer issues rather than customer journey
  • Solves problems but doesn’t gather extra feedback

Clearly, there are many advantages to proactive service.

As one of the customer experience experts puts it:

Shifting from reactive to proactive conversations is a game-changer, delivering nearly effortless experiences, reducing cost, and increasing customer lifetime value.

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (3)

John Quaglietta

Director Analyst at Gartner

If you wonder how being proactive with customer service can help your company, here are some of the obvious pros.

Benefits of proactive customer service include:

  • Building customer loyalty
  • Better quality of interactions
  • More customer feedback
  • Fewer customer calls

So—

(Video) Two Examples Of Proactive Social Customer Support

Are there any downsides?

Well, offering proactive customer support is a skill. It is not something that most people are born with. You will probably need regular customer service training sessions to hone those skills.

It is very important not to overdo it. We might think that we are being non-intrusive and polite, but the customer might feel cornered or even forced to make a purchase. Using customers' emotions and being too pushy is an easy way to lose them instead of making a sale.

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (4)

Maciej Przekop

Customer Experience Specialist at Tidio

Implementing the proactive customer service approach in your company can be difficult but let’s take a look at some inspiring examples.

Proactive customer service examples

How would you approach customer service in a proactive rather than reactive way?

This video is a great example of proactive customer service vs. reactive customer service:

The most important thing is to use active listening to stay committed to the conversation. The goal is to make the customer talk about his needs. Ask follow-up questions that they can answer in a straightforward manner. Take initiative, use your problem-solving skills, show empathy, and offer solutions to their problems.

But how to do it online?

Here are some easy steps and examples of proactive companies that use these techniques.

1. Engage website visitors

Good customer service starts with a nice welcome message. You should prepare a friendly greeting that also shows what options the customer has. Starting a conversation when someone doesn’t want it can drive them away.

A good compromise is an automated live chat message with buttons. You make the initial move and wait for their response. If they need it, they know how to reach out to you.

Chicago Music Exchange is a great example of a company that employs proactive assistancewithout being too pushy.

(Video) Proactive Customer Service Techniques

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (5)

Customers visiting the site get the message right away and know that they can use the widget if they need to. They can also immediately start a conversation with a sales representative.

You can engage customers in very creative ways. See how Pooch Bandana uses automated messages in ways that match its brand identity.

2. Ask for feedback and collect information about your customers

Knowledge is power, and every successful business takes this seemingly obvious truth very seriously. Happy customers mean higher retention rates, and you cannot make someone happy if you don’t understand them.

Only 1 in 26 customers complains—the rest simply stops doing business with your company. To better understand your customer base, ask questions. Pay attention to what visitors do and how they behave. Send out surveys to find out their pain points. You can also use surveys to see if your website attracts the right people.

Nancy Anderson sends you a survey right off the bat. You enter her website, and you can immediately take a short test to see if her offer is for you or not.

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (6)

Instead of searching for information on a website, you can answer a few simple questions. Potential customers are immediately engaged in a conversation. The best part? It is a chatbot, so the whole process is fully automated.

If you want to have your own AI assistant, you can create your own chatbot from scratch. It is like having an extra agent in your customer service team.

3. Offer self-service tools such as a knowledge base

OK. This one sounds pretty weird. Doesn’t being proactive imply being active? We’re supposed to help customers, not refer them to the manual, right?

Sometimes the best thing you can do for a customer is to help them help themselves. Reactive customer service involves answering customer questions. But proactive customer care can be reduced to the bare minimum. Making the first move is what counts. That move can be showing users where they can find answers to their questions on their own.

Here is a good example of a FAQ bot powered by Tidio that comes from our very own website.

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (7)

The topics you can ask the chatbot are based on the most common customer problems that our users inquire about.

Big companies with thousands of customers get far too many questions to answer every single one personally. We are a chatbot company, and it is quite natural that we decided to make one for ourselves. It gives us more time to handle only the most difficult and unusual problems.

Read more about chatbots:

  • Chatbots for Business: 10 Reasons Why You Need Them
  • Best Free Chatbot Platforms Compared
  • Chatbot Design: Best Practices

4. Communicate via newsletters

As a great man once said, there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

It might seem that customers don’t like to be bothered. But one thing they hate even more is being ignored and kept out of the loop. Need an excuse to get in touch with your customers? Apparently, about 20% of customers think that informing them about new features of a product or service is the best reason for proactive service.

Capture One is an example of a very proactive company. They send regular newsletters about every update and special offer.

(Video) How To Be Proactive Building Relationships With Customers - Reactive versus Proactive Examples

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (8)

Whenever your product changes, it’s a good idea to let your customers know and gather their feedback.

Starting your own newsletter is extremely easy, and you can do it right away for free. You can find some amazing newsletter and email marketing templates for different occasions here.

5. Give your customers a little push in the right direction

Running from store to store is a tiresome business. But switching between different browser windows isn’t. That’s why online shoppers are quite used to comparing prices. This is especially true with Gen Z customers. According to our customer experience study, almost 45% of young shoppers cross-reference prices to find the best deal.

When customers are hesitant, you should be proactive and take matters into your own hands. A discount code or a product recommendation may just do the trick. Here is an example of a proactive discount offer from One of a Kind—a streetwear and sneaker retail shop.

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (9)

When a customer knows what they are looking for, it is just a matter of a small incentive to win them over. If they don’t know what to buy, you can also start chatting with them and recommend some products. Discounts are great to get new customers, but to get loyal customers you should approach them personally.

Sometimes, all it takes is asking customers some additional questions about what they are looking for.

Our potential users are very often complete newbies when it comes to the knowledge of our product. That is why they won't be able to ask the right questions. We sometimes 'ask' the questions for them and it turns out that our solution is exactly what they are after.

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (10)

Maciej Przekop

Customer Experience Specialist at Tidio

6. Interact with customers through 3rd party platforms & social media

Your business should be where your customers are. If they are sitting on Facebook, then you should take care of your Facebook business page. If they watch YouTube 3 hours per day, record some video tutorials. If they are tweeting, assign someone to respond to them on Twitter.

Amazon is among the top three biggest companies in the world right now, but they have a dedicated team that handles proactive customer monitoring on Twitter. And you can see that they personalize their comments and make them feel like genuine conversations.

What Is Proactive Customer Service? [6 Best Examples] (11)

Being active on forums, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media is essential. These channels also offer a natural setting to interact with your customers and be proactive.

Key Takeaway

If you want to compete with successful businesses, then you should implement a proactive customer service approach in your business. It is probably high time to introduce proactive help solutions such as interactive knowledge bases and chatbots that solve your customers’ issues.

Why is proactive customer service important? Because it helps you get more customers, saves their time, and increases customer retention.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to focus on quality self-help resources or direct contact. Both ways require using the right customer service software. If you are interested in an all-in-one solution, you can start with Tidio.

(Video) ITOM Talks Session #7 - ITOM & CSM Better Together (Proactive Customer Service)

FAQs

What is an example of proactive customer service? ›

Examples of proactive support include: Immediately alerting customers of mistakes or issues, like shipping delays and service interruptions. Introducing customers to new products or services they may enjoy. Looking for ways to improve a customer's experience, such as upgrading someone's airline seat.

What are 6 customer service examples? ›

6 Examples of Great Customer Service
  • Customers usually know great customer service when they experience it. ...
  • Be Flexible. ...
  • Empower Employees to Solve Problems. ...
  • Root Your Team in Kindness. ...
  • Make Customer Service Your Priority. ...
  • Give the Customer Service You Expect. ...
  • Tips for Great Customer Service.
30 Sept 2022

What is proactive explain with example? ›

/ˌprəʊˈæk.tɪv/ taking action by causing change and not only reacting to change when it happens: Companies are going to have to be more proactive about environmental management. a proactive approach/role.

Which best describes proactive customer service? ›

Proactive customer service means anticipating customer needs and actively reaching out with a solution, whether that's by communicating a potential problem that's cropped up, or allowing customers to self-service their issue.

What are 5 examples of being proactive? ›

List of Examples of being Proactive
  • Turning Up to Work Early. ...
  • Doing Extracurricular Work to Increase Chances of Getting into College. ...
  • Asking Your Professor for Advice on How to Complete An Assignment. ...
  • Writing Daily To-Do Lists. ...
  • Researching About a Company Before a Job Interview. ...
  • Proactive Policing.
20 Oct 2021

What are the 6 principles of customer service? ›

Here are the Six Principles of Customer Service
  • 1) Response Time. Out of all the principles that come with customer service, this one should seem the most fundamental. ...
  • 2) Context, Perspective, Empathy. We've all been there. ...
  • 3) No Room for Interpretation. ...
  • 4) Action. ...
  • 5) Lack of Friction. ...
  • 6) Accountability.
12 Jun 2017

What are the 6 steps of customer service? ›

It's easy to understand but it can be effective in keeping us on track so we consistently deliver what our customers want from us.
  • Connect with your customer. This is critical. ...
  • Discover what they want. ...
  • Know what you can do. ...
  • Do it. ...
  • Follow-up. ...
  • Thank them.
16 Apr 2019

What are the 6 main customer needs? ›

7 main types of customer needs
  • Friendliness.
  • Empathy.
  • Fairness.
  • Control.
  • Alternatives.
  • Information.
  • Time.
18 Sept 2020

How can I be proactive at work examples? ›

Here are 16 examples of being proactive at work:
  1. Complete Your Assigned Tasks Early. ...
  2. Perform Unassigned Tasks. ...
  3. Request Additional Responsibilities. ...
  4. Help Others Complete Their Assigned Tasks. ...
  5. Share Your Knowledge with Others. ...
  6. Respond to Emails and Memos Promptly. ...
  7. Create Lists and Prioritize Your Tasks.

What are some other examples of proactive statements? ›

- Proactive people can say, “I am the force. I am the captain of my life. I can choose my attitude. I'm responsible for my own happiness or unhappiness.

What are 4 characteristics of proactive people? ›

The following actions and qualities are inherently valuable for proactive leaders:
  • They think long term. ...
  • They inspire others. ...
  • They are great listeners and communicators. ...
  • They are highly organized. ...
  • They have great problem solving skills. ...
  • They seek advice and help when required.
5 Nov 2014

What are proactive skills? ›

A proactive mindset is a person's ability to anticipate events so that he/she can take control of a situation and prepare for the situation ahead of time. Being proactive at work means always thinking about the future, planning and preparing for what lies ahead.

What is being proactive in 7 Habits? ›

Habit 1: Be Proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. Proactive people recognize that they are “response-able.” They don't blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior.

What are proactive activities? ›

Being proactive means anticipating what might happen, planning ahead, preparing in advance and acting ahead instead of simply reacting to circumstances.

What are the 5 good customer service? ›

Principles of good customer service
  • know what your customers consider to be good customer service.
  • take the time to find out customers' expectations.
  • follow up on both positive and negative feedback you receive.
  • ensure that you consider customer service in all aspects of your business.
11 May 2022

What are the 5 examples of services? ›

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the following industries are part of the service sector:
  • Recreation.
  • Arts and entertainment.
  • Social assistance.
  • Health care.
  • Waste management.
  • Professional and technical services.
  • Scientific services.
  • Transportation.

What are 10 services examples? ›

Service business examples
  • Athletic training business. Athletic trainers help individuals reach their fitness goals. ...
  • Housekeeping. ...
  • Business consulting. ...
  • Maintenance service. ...
  • Graphic design. ...
  • Financial advising. ...
  • Academic tutoring. ...
  • Auto mechanic shop.

What are the 7 qualities of good customer service? ›

7 Must-Have Qualities of a Stellar Customer Service Rep
  • Problem-Solving Skills. The number one skill you need to excel in for good customer service is problem-solving. ...
  • Clear Communication. ...
  • Friendly Attitude. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Business Acumen. ...
  • Product/Service Knowledge. ...
  • Strong Time Management.

What are the 7 principles of customer service? ›

The 7 Principles of Great Customer Service
  • #1. Eliminate dumb contacts. ...
  • #2. Engaging self-service. ...
  • #3. Being proactive. ...
  • #4. Make it easy to contact your company. ...
  • #5. Own the actions across the company. ...
  • #6. Listen and act. ...
  • #7. Create great customer service experiences.
2 Dec 2011

What are the 7 steps of customer service? ›

7 Steps to Developing a Customer Service Strategy
  • Create a Customer Service Vision. ...
  • Assess Customer Needs. ...
  • Hire the Right Employees. ...
  • Set Goals for Customer Service. ...
  • Train on Service Skills. ...
  • Hold People Accountable. ...
  • Reward and Recognize Good Service.
5 May 2020

How can you improve customer focus 6 tips and strategies? ›

How to improve your customer focus strategy
  1. Encourage collaboration.
  2. Make your customers feel heard.
  3. Meet your customers where they are.
  4. Use feedback to get better.
  5. Combine data with empathy.
  6. Leverage AI.
  7. Support the teams that support customers.
25 Feb 2020

What are the 5 main customer expectations? ›

With this in mind, here are five key considerations that will not only help you meet these customer expectations, but ultimately exceed them:
  • Convenient and reliable delivery. ...
  • Accurate descriptions. ...
  • Having the listing in stock. ...
  • Outstanding customer service. ...
  • After-sales support.

What are the 5 essential customer service elements? ›

5 key elements of excellent customer service
  • Patience. Whether you are dealing with distressed customers or perhaps customers who are letting out their anger, it is important not to fold under the pressure. ...
  • Engage. Show an interest in your customers by engaging with them. ...
  • Knowledge. ...
  • Honesty. ...
  • Respect.

What 5 actions can be taken on the job to show you are being proactive and taking initiative? ›

10 ways to take the initiative at work
  • Voice your ideas.
  • Be curious and learn about the work going on around you.
  • Find a new opportunity for improvement within your workplace.
  • Address any problems you notice.
  • Step in when someone needs help, and ask about team progress.
  • Offer help when training new employees.
13 Jan 2022

What is a proactive experience? ›

Offering a proactive customer experience means being able to identify issues and take action before they come to fruition. It's a level of understanding the customer experience as a whole, in order to deliver a seamless journey and deter complaints or unsatisfactory experiences.

What proactive means to you? ›

If you are proactive, you make things happen, instead of waiting for them to happen to you. Active means "doing something." The prefix pro- means "before." So if you are proactive, you are ready before something happens. The opposite is being reactive, or waiting for things to unfold before responding.

How can you be proactive in a team? ›

10 Proactive Ways to Build Engagement From Your Team
  1. Build awareness of expectations. ...
  2. Understand individual motivators. ...
  3. Capitalize on the strengths of each team member. ...
  4. Help team members develop a plan for their future. ...
  5. Make new skill development an ongoing priority. ...
  6. Get people unstuck and back on track.

What are your strengths proactive? ›

Proactive people think deeply and never stop taking initiatives. Being proactive at work not only boosts your confidence, but also your professional career. Proactive employees often have effective planning skills, communication skills and a good sense of humor.

How do you say you are proactive in an interview? ›

Also, I am a very proactive type of person. I never wait for things to go wrong. I make sure that I identify any possible issues before they happen, and introduce changes and processes to ensure that they do not occur.

How can I be proactive as a leader? ›

Traits That Every Proactive Leader Must Have
  1. They think long term and focus on the bigger picture.
  2. They inspire others to be better.
  3. They are highly organized.
  4. They are great listeners and communicate well.
  5. They know when to ask for help and advice.
  6. They have excellent problem-solving skills.
  7. They take criticism well.
16 Jan 2021

Why be proactive is important? ›

Being proactive allows you to dictate your particular position and supplies a sense of control over whatever situation you may be facing. Essentially, your proactivity will enable you to be more prepared. When you are proactive you are able to think and act ahead before your circumstances change.

What is an example of a proactive people at work? ›

For example, a proactive employee often anticipates the needs of their team before others do, and they work toward meeting those needs. Rather than wait for instructions from their supervisor, the employee may take the first step to discuss matters with them.

What are three good customer service examples? ›

What are some examples good customer service?
  • The store owner who remembers — and appreciates — repeat customers. ...
  • The online merchant that sends personalized video message to each new customer. ...
  • The online store that proactively addresses shipping issues. ...
  • The associate who comes up with the perfect greeting.
26 Jul 2021

What are 3 characteristics of a proactive person? ›

The following actions and qualities are inherently valuable for proactive leaders:
  • They think long term. ...
  • They inspire others. ...
  • They are great listeners and communicators. ...
  • They are highly organized. ...
  • They have great problem solving skills. ...
  • They seek advice and help when required.
5 Nov 2014

What is being proactive at work? ›

A proactive employee is a person who anticipates future issues and always strives to make things happen with a specific goal in mind. Unlike a reactive employee who worries or reacts to situations they have little or no control over, a proactive employee would focus on what they can control.

What is an example of a proactive and reactive? ›

Let's go back to the example of the two swimmers on the choppy seas. The difference between them is that the proactive swimmer anticipates that there will be waves, whereas the reactive one is painfully surprised by each wave. The difference is one of perspective.

What are the 5 most important things in customer service? ›

Here are the top customer service skills your representatives need, according to data.
  1. Persuasive Speaking Skills. Think of the most persuasive speaker in your organisation. ...
  2. Empathy. ...
  3. Adaptability. ...
  4. Ability to Use Positive Language. ...
  5. Clear Communication Skills. ...
  6. Self-Control. ...
  7. Taking Responsibility. ...
  8. Patience.

Why is it important to be proactive at work? ›

Proactive employees can lead to higher productivity and efficiency. Research shows that, “Proactivity drives performance and innovation of teams and organizations and boosts individuals' well-being and careers.” “When individuals are proactive, they use their initiative at work to bring about a better future.”

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