Predicting your customers’ needs and reaching out to them before they get in touch with you is, of course, a great idea. Not only does this put you in the driving seat as to the nature and timing of the outreach, but it also generates an outstanding customer experience and can be a major contributor to brand loyalty over the longer term.
The temptation is to use the least expensive channels for proactively contacting your customers. This will invariably be unassisted, automated means of communication such as email, SMS, social media or other messaging channels. Typically, these proactive messages would contain some call to action which directs your customers to your website to perform a task.
You may have the best and most user-friendly website in the world, but research shows that a large proportion of your customers will try to reach your contact centre either by phone or via the same channel they have been contacted on as soon as they receive your message, causing congestion in your inbound channels and resulting in delays, confusion and an overall negative customer experience.
Sometimes, these conversations lead to convoluted email or messaging exchanges, contributing not only to customer frustration but also escalating the cost to your organisation.
“Two-thirds of customers contact customer service after receiving proactive outreach from a brand, often using costly assisted channels because they needed additional information or confirmation, according to Gartner, Inc. This flawed approach to proactive customer service can create customer confusion and unanswered questions that erode the benefits of a proactive strategy.”
Gartner Research – 2022.
The correct approach would be to combine any low-cost, unmanned proactive customer outreach activity with personalised outbound calling campaigns that reinforce the message that your organisation cares about each one of its customers individually, enhancing the customer experience further and relieving the pressure from the unpredictable inbound channels.