Proactive Customer Service
The proactive customer service definition is different from that of traditional customer service. With a proactive approach, employees aren’t waiting for someone to call with a problem. Companies aren’t ignoring customers until they cancel their subscription. If there’s a default with a product or a flaw in services, the company addresses it immediately, so there’s no confusion about a company’s priorities.
The expectations of consumers today have risen dramatically. If a customer service team member is only able to answer a question when a customer calls in, it’s unlikely to leave them with a lasting impression. On the other hand, if a customer service member calls a customer with a solution to their problem before they even have it, that customer has every reason to feel valued by the company they chose to work with.
Proactive meaning and examples will vary for different companies, but its core principles remain the same regardless of the entity in question. See how a proactive service management style can make the difference between satisfaction and severance.
Proactive Customer Service Examples vs. Reactive Service
Imagine someone calls a customer service team member and asks the employee if they can order pizza for them. This team member is at first a bit confused because they don’t work for a pizza delivery service — they work for a shoe company. But instead of telling the caller what should be an obvious fact, they instead remember that the caller on the other line asked for help — help that they were perfectly capable of providing.
This story was an actual anecdote told by the founder of Zappos, and it’s a memorable one if you’re looking for examples of proactive customer service. CEO Tony Hsieh knew that his company stood for customer satisfaction, and he was not at all surprised when the employee went out of their way to satisfy his pizza craving.
Everyone who’s ever dealt with a company has their own experiences with proactive and reactive examples. When a person has to explain the same story to three different people at a company, this is an example of reactive customer service. The employees are only able to engage with the customer based on their feedback, and they’re actively making more work for the customer by forcing the customer to repeat the problem.
Now consider the case of a customer who rented a movie from Amazon for less than $3. After experiencing problems with the downloading platform, an Amazon employee took note of the hold-up. Rather than waiting for the customer to reach out and ask for their money back, the employee just went ahead and refunded the money on their own. Proactive customer service examples don’t have to be sensational. They can be as simple as one person paying attention to another.