We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers. Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain. Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them.
But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive. We think we give great customer service because we answer questions…when asked. Or we resolve issues…when the customer complains. Or we address a need…when the customer presents the need.
That’s not truly great customer service; that’s basic, fair-to-good customer service.
To be great, be proactive. But how?
Here are some questions to ask yourself (or the customer) to ensure you’re being proactive:
- Ask the customer “How was your experience?” Then act on the information provided by sharing key takeaways with others in your organization or by addressing the customer’s experience.
- Ask yourself “What is their next step in the process?” Then make sure they understand that next step.
- Ask yourself “What else do they need to accomplish their goal?” Then share your knowledge with them.
- Ask the customer “What are you hoping to accomplish?” or “What’s your goal?” Then chart a plan to get them there.
- If you cannot meet their need as requested, ask yourself “What’s an alternative solution?” Then offer the other option.
To be proactive with a customer, you don’t have to be the best in the world at empathizing with other people or reading their minds. Sometimes you just have to ask the customer (or ask yourself) the right question, and then take action based on the response.
To be great at customer service, be proactive – Ask and Act.