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Build loyalty through proactive customer experience

When you want to create and maintain more loyalty and better customer experiences, your customer service is essential to providing streamlined and personalized service. One way to do that is to make a switch from reactive customer contact to proactive customer approach. What does that mean and how do you do that?

From reactive customer contact

Most customer services have traditionally been mainly reactive. They solve problems and only meet customer needs after the customer has expressed them. As a result, you run the risk that customers are already dissatisfied before they contact you. For example because they had to put in a lot of effort to get their problem resolved and/or had to wait a long time. This has consequences for the customer experience, perception and loyalty.


Towards a proactive customer approach

In recent years this has been changing. Customer services and organizations are increasingly aware of the needs and wishes of customers through all the data that is collected, and can better anticipate them. Which makes this the basis of the proactive customer approach. No more waiting for questions or problems to arise, but preventing them. And also anticipating customer needs, even before customers are aware of them.

Important elements

The proactive customer approach consists of a number of key elements: personalization, predictive analytics, proactive support and learning from feedback and continuous improvement.


What does that look like in practice?

Create personalized customer experiences with data

Personalization is the key to a proactive customer experience. By collecting and analyzing customer data, you gain insight into the needs and wishes of customers. This makes it easier to create personalized customer experiences that increase customer satisfaction. Think of adjusting or suppressing marketing messages based on outstanding customer questions or complaints. Or sending a reminder for a product that someone has bought in the past, but whose lifespan is now approaching its end.

Use predictive analytics to predict customer needs

Advanced analytics, such as machine learning and AI, help you predict customer behavior and preferences. This enables you to respond proactively to customer needs and wishes and to surprise customers with new products or services. In many cases, this data can also be used anonymously.

Provide proactive support

With proactive support, you actively solve problems before customers even know they are there. This can be done, for example, through proactive communication, offering solutions before the customer asks for it and providing relevant information before customers ask for it. Think for example of FAQs, help sections and a knowledge base.

Learn from feedback and keep improving

When providing proactive customer service, it's important to keep improving processes and strategies by gathering customer feedback. This is possible, for example, with an omnichannel contact platform . This makes it easy to collect feedback from different channels and use that information to improve your customer service.

Benefits proactive customer approach

The use of a proactive customer approach provides various benefits, such as:

  • Improves several key customer service KPIs. Think of NPS/customer satisfaction, CX/customer experience and customer lifetime value. (See also this Gartner article)
  • Reduces interactions and pressure on customer service and agents by proactively resolving questions and issues
  • Reduces costs due to shorter wait and calling time and less tickets
  • Increases conversion and sales because customer service can respond more quickly to problems during these processes


Build step by step

Switching to a proactive customer experience does not have to be done in one go. You can build this up in small steps. See which journey you want to improve first, which data is needed for this and whether it is easily available and which quick wins you can realize. You can often reuse existing tooling and data for this. When the first step has successfully been made, you can then define and pick up the next one. This also makes any necessary investments for new tooling, for example, manageable.


Customer first approach

Proactive customer approach is therefore mainly about understanding and insight. Knowing and understanding what is going on with (potential) customers and responding accordingly. It is therefore easy to combine with the customer first approach . In this way you create a 5* experience that customers expect from organizations nowadays, so they remain customers longer and which brings customer service and marketing even closer together.

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