While everybody knows that customer service works two ways – inbound and outbound – a lot of time and effort is expended on the inbound, while outbound technologies and processes have changed very little in decades (unless you count the rise of the hated robo-calling).
It shouldn’t be this way, according to many customer service experts, who say that many companies are too passive when it comes to their customer relationships, hoping their customers will initiate contacts.
“There is nothing more frustrating for consumers than having to contact a company or business about something they should have been notified about proactively,” wrote SoundBite Communications’ (News - Alert) Jim Milton.
Milton says issues such as product recalls, warranty issues, late payments that will result in fees, and basic questions about products and services are just a few examples about which companies should be reaching out to their customers.
“Adding insult to injury, when consumers call a company’s 800 number, they are often put into a long call queue, having to navigate endless and seemingly circular menu prompts, frequently arriving back at the beginning,” wrote Milton, who says e-mail communications often aren’t much better, as many companies take several days to respond to e-mails.
Too many companies shrug it off as part of doing business, often forgetting how competitive today’s marketplace is and failing to note that even one isolated incident of bad customer service can poison a consumer’s view of a company.
Image via Shutterstock
Even more important is to remember that an unhappy customer can share his or her experience with a few hundred friends via social media.
Milton says smart companies are engaging in proactive customer care that can deliver a number of benefits using a comprehensive, next-generation automation approach without compromising on service. This involves building a program that notifies customers, on their preferred communications channels, whenever a situation arises that they need to be aware of.
This can be accomplished via small point solutions, or by comprehensive cloud-based contact center solutions.
Proactive customer care can help build loyalty, provide competitive differentiation and create new revenue streams for companies, according to Milton.
Edited by Braden Becker