Many organizations, especially because of the pandemic, have focused their time and energy on delivering experiences that are reactive to customer needs, behaviors, and desires. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough. As we move from the age of the customer to the new Expectation Economy, you need to unlock the potential of blending together brand, customer, and employee experiences into a Total Experience. The key to unlocking that powerful combination in 2022 is a proactive customer experience strategy.
Recent statistics overwhelmingly support the fact that proactive customer experiences provide a definitive competitive advantage. For example:
- 92% of consumers reported that the experience of being contacted proactively by the company changed their perception of the brand in a positive way. (HelpLama)
- 70% of consumers have a more favorable view of brands that offer proactive customer service notifications. (Microsoft)
- 72% of Americans report they greatly appreciate proactive resources and/or support from businesses. (Salesforce)
Now more than ever, consumers expect not only proactive customer service, but a proactive customer experience. A proactive customer experience is defined as anticipating potential customer behaviors and serving their desires before they request them. Gaining an understanding of these increased expectations is crucial to maintaining your position at the front of the pack. Just like any other business strategy, however, designing proactive customer experiences requires understanding the concept fully.
What is a proactive customer experience, and why does it matter?
These types of experiences require a much deeper customer understanding that identifies and acts on issues before they become problems. At the same time, proactive customer experiences deliver on customer expectations in advance, far beyond customer support. Instead of a find-and-fix mentality, touchpoints are “white glove” and personalized to each customer’s unique preferences and situation.
Here are some of the primary differences between a Proactive Customer Experience, and one that is merely reactive:
- The business initiates most touchpoints.
- Recommendations are made before the need is expressed.
- The brand provides a recognized, credible knowledge hub.
- Potential problems are identified before they become an issue.
- Customer service provides a major contribution to the Total Experience.
- The customer is usually the first to engage.
- Product & service information is only provided upon request.
- Customers must ask questions and needs are not anticipated.
- Problems are addressed only after the customer reports them.
- Customer service is a requirement, not a brand advantage.