9 Practical Ways to Make Your Customer Service Proactive

businessman touching screen of customer service evaluation form

It only takes one unhappy customer leaving a negative review to damage a company’s reputation and drive away future business. Therefore, it’s imperative that customer service teams immediately resolve any customer complaints before they can snowball and turn into bigger problems for a company.

To find out the best ways to keep customers happy, a panel of
Young Entrepreneur Council members offer their best advice on how leaders can improve their customer service efforts by being proactive rather than reactive.

Rather than just reacting to customer complaints, what’s one important way companies can take a proactive approach to customer service? Why is this needed?

1. Anticipate your customers’ needs


Understanding the client’s business deeply and thinking of their immediate needs ahead of time is essential. One must build a culture focused on adding value and finding solutions to issues beyond the obvious. It would be best if you always walked the walk, fulfilling your promises with conviction. Those are elements of winning customer service that build trust, the key to building true partnerships. —
Bogdan Gecic, Gecic Law

2. Initiate check-ins


We’ve always done client outreach. We have check-ins with existing clients to see how things are going and how we can better serve them, and we ask for feedback. This proactive approach keeps things from escalating and allows us to get feedback in real time. —
Ryann Dowdy, Uncensored Consulting, LLC

3. Ask for specific feedback


Companies should reach out to their customers and ask them for their feedback about a particular product or service. Email is one of the best ways to do so. Rather than waiting for your customers to complain, you should proactively inquire about their experiences. This gives a positive impression to your customers and helps you build lasting relationships. —
Jared Atchison, WPForms

4. Analyze complaints for patterns


It’s important for businesses to study data and look for patterns when it comes to customer complaints, as well as compliments, questions, and other feedback. Most complaints or negative reviews don’t occur in a vacuum; they provide valuable clues that can help you identify areas where you need to improve. If you address these issues, you can cut down on future complaints. —
Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

5. Use your product or service as a customer would


Anticipate problems and customer needs before they are brought to your attention. Don’t just wait around for a complaint to come your way. Navigate your systems yourself and identify any problems you face. Then, fix them preemptively. The smoother you can make the customer experience, the less stress you will have further down the line. —Nick Venditti,

6. Create a follow-up system


Companies can take a proactive approach to customer service by anticipating needs and problems, and then addressing them before the customer has a chance to complain. Mind reading isn’t necessary, thankfully. All it takes is a solid follow-up system after the sale to ensure satisfaction. This builds trust between the customer and the company, which is essential for any long-term relationship. —
Richard Fong, Disability Help

7. Understand your customers


Taking the time to understand your customers is a great way to take a proactive approach to your customer service. If you know key things like who your customers are, how they prefer to communicate, how they use your product, etc., you can take steps to fill any gaps in those areas before a customer asks. —
Diana Goodwin, MarketBox

8. Send out periodic surveys


One important way companies can take a proactive approach to customer service is by running periodic surveys. This helps to gauge customer satisfaction and identify new ideas or feedback that may be helpful. By doing this, companies can stay ahead of potential problems and provide the best possible service to their customers. —
Pratik Chaskar, Spectra

9. Maintain regular points of communication


Maintain regular channels of communication with your customers. The occasional marketing email is fine if it drives significant revenue for your business, but the majority of your touch points should be non-promotional. Think newsletters, product updates, company news bulletins, or even anonymous roundups of recent customer service issues and what you did to address them. —
Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance