By Paul Selby
Image source: Pixabay.com
Among the trends predicted for customer service in 2017, a more proactive approach to service made the list. Depending upon the products and services a company offers, the ability to deliver proactive service might vary–but nevertheless, it is possible and has gotten easier.
Businesses offering Internet of Things (IoT) connected products and services would appear to have it easy. That same connectivity can monitor the current status and ongoing health of their connected products and services. As a result, they can receive an early warning if a product or service is heading towards a problem or has stopped operating, alert the customer, and begin working on a solution even before the customer is aware of the issue.
But even a company offering IoT products and services will experience mundane problems common to every company. An instruction manual is missing a step. A product fails under certain usage conditions. A widespread shipping or billing issue occurs. Despite having a seemingly simple solution, problems like these can quickly become overwhelming if every affected customer picks up the phone for help.
The thing is, you don’t need to wait for customers to contact you for issues that have been solved. The key is in identifying these trends as they are developing, ensuring the appropriate customers can be targeted, determining the appropriate response, and alerting the customer.
Know Your Customers
A fundamental requirement to providing proactive service is to know your customers. Regardless if they purchase directly from you, you have a third-party sales channel, or customers register their products and services, you must be diligent in collecting some key customer details.
Why? Minimally, you must understand what products and services they own and use, any special usage conditions that might cause breakage, and of course how to contact them. There may be other qualities worth identifying. The more you know about your customer, the greater your opportunity of segmenting your customers into like customer groups. This will become important later, so continue reading.
Analyze Reactive Service for Proactive Opportunities
If one customer is having a problem with your product or service, chances are they’re not alone. Reactive service requests become the source material for proactive service efforts. Examine your trending case topics. What topics have a high volume or are on the rise?
At the same time, examine the profile of customers that have been affected. What are their characteristics that caused them to experience it–or is it a situation where all customers might encounter it? This detail will be necessary to help zero-in on the right customers to notify.
As you dig into the details, also be sure to weigh the following:
- Severity – what is the impact to the customer? Is it a minor annoyance or a major issue?
- Likelihood – what are the chances of customers encountering the issue? Might all customers experience it or just a subset?
- Characteristics – is there anything unique to the customer or their use that causes them to be affected; and if so, what? (Also important: is there anything beyond the customer Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community