Building Customer Relationship through Proactive Communication
Communicating with your customer is the most integral part of any business. The work you do for your client does not get recognized unless they are made aware of it. And to make them aware, you will need to communicate with him or rather interact with him.
Here at Bobcares, we focus on two types of communication: Reactive Communication and Proactive Communication. Now the question is “What is the difference between the two?”
90% of the communication in most of the support service organizations, comprise of reactive communication, where the customer initiates the communication and the technical support personnel responds to the query or solves the customer’s issue and then provides him with an update about it. This is indeed required, and it forms the core of our business process. However, with our experience in the industry, we have realized that for a business to succeed in a long-term aspect, reactive communication alone is never effective.
When it comes to delighting the customers, we use proactive communication along with reactive communication. Being proactive means planning in advance. By being proactive, we are able to foresee a bad situation and take the steps needed to prevent it from happening, rather than waiting to respond to it after it happens.
In our industry, the most common mode for communication is via email, closely followed by chat and phone. At Bobcares, we provide superior support to our customers via all these modes. We have efficient support engineers to handle any customer issue that comes across via tickets and emails. We also handle queries that come over chat. We have a CSR team at US and through them, we provide excellent phone support service to our customers.
How exactly we do Proactive Communication?
There are a lot of factors that are to be taken into concern.
Mode: We usually communicate with customers via email, chat and phone. In majority of cases, we choose the email mode for proactive communication, lest we do not interrupt the customer during his busy hours. We also take up opportunities to call them over phone in cases when we know that they are ready for a talk. We also do conduct chat sessions with the customer. Email conversations has an advantage over the others. Here, we don’t miss out any points, as we tend to get more time.
Preparation: Whatever mode is chosen, you should be well prepared regarding what you are going to communicate with your customer. It could be anything. But you need to make sure that you have answers for the customer’s queries. Do not let the customer feel that his valuable time is lost.
Topic: The usual areas that are covered in proactive communication are:-
- Marketing, where we introduce a new service or a plan to our customer, and make him understand how it would benefit his business
- Introducing new technologies or systems that can be implemented in the customer’s business to improve his business processes and streamline his systems
- Suggestions for improvement in quality or efficiency
- Major issues or trends that we have noticed in the customer’s business, along with possible ways to manage them.
Communication: When it comes to chat and phone communication, you always need to ensure that the customer is willing to talk before starting off the conversation. If he is busy or not interested, politely end the conversation. Again in email communication, if the customer does not respond after one or two follow-ups, it is not advisable to keep pestering him. We should be able to understand that the customer is not interested for the time being and give him some time. You could always follow up at a later time.
Conclusion: The results of the communication may not be fruitful at all times. However, ensure that you always end it on a positive note. If the customer is not interested in your service, accept that and end your communication with a thank you note for his time and patience. Always take care not to argue with the customer, lest you lose the benefit of the entire conversation. You may have points to prove your point, but if the customer isn’t willing to accept it, stick to the fact that the customer is always ‘right’.
Who should do the Proactive Communication?
In many organizations, it is a common trend that only the top management communicates with the customers and then passes on relevant information to the employees.
On the contrary, at Bobcares, each and every employee needs to converse with his customer. This is given utmost importance and one of the values upheld by us is: ‘Communicate with customers everyday’. This is because, it is the employee who works for the customer who knows his systems the best and the one who would be able to provide him with the most suitable suggestions for improvement. The top management of course guides him when required. However, it is important to choose the medium that is comfortable for the employee as well as the customer.
What are the benefits of communicating pro-actively?
- Business improves when we are able to convince the customers to buy our plans, rather than waiting for them to come to us and get targeted by our competitors.
- Suggesting improvements in the customer’s business processes or systems creates a loyalty among them towards Bobcares.
- If we can notice any major issues in quality and suggest out action plans to improve it before the customer points it out, he would indeed be impressed and feel much more confident about our support.
- We can get feedback, both positive and negative, from our customers which in turn would aid us in analyzing our strengths and weaknesses and to improve our work for them.
- It helps in building a strong rapport among the employees and the customers, which would benefit in solidifying the customer’s relationship with our organization.
Be it a company in any industry, a proactive customer communication program is always a tremendous competitive advantage. In addition to increasing the customer loyalty and retention, it also helps in lowering the costs associated with manual or agent-based outreach.
So, don’t wait until the last minute. Make efforts to stay in touch with your customers consistently with positive news and proactive views and keep delighting them with the most superior services.
About The Author:
Reeshma Mary Mathews, Sr. Software Engineer is the Chief Coach at Bobcares. She joined Bobcares in 2002 and was Team Leader for about three years, before taking up the challenge of maintaining Quality in the services provided by Bobcares. She plays a crucial role in ensuring that the Quality Management System(QMS) in Poornam is in compliance with ISO 9001:2000.