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proactive customer engagement: a hand putting an unhappy face into a box.

Is the Pursuit of Efficiency Driving Customer Service Levels to an All-Time Low?

6 min read
Author Business Systems UK
Date Mar 15, 2024
Category Workforce Management

89% of UK contact centres already use some form of self-service, and 64% plan to deploy AI-based chat and voice-bots in 2024.  

Despite the technological surge, the January 2024 UK Customer Satisfaction Index revealed a concerning year-on-year decline in satisfaction amongst consumers, plummeting 2.4 points below the January 2022 level.  

The findings prompt a crucial question: is the pursuit of efficiency driving customer service metrics to an all-time low? Striking the right balance between efficiency gains through self-service and meeting customer needs remains a common challenge for many contact centres. 

Proactive Customer Engagement is the Answer

It is widely accepted that consumers want simple, effortless interactions with businesses that understand them as individuals and value their time. Customers are happy to engage with technology, as long as it makes their life easier. 

All too often, organisations often miss dissatisfied customers until an issue arises, mistaking silence for satisfaction. 

One significant opportunity to improve CX is Proactive Customer Engagement. This entails reaching out to customers before issues arise, using channels like SMS, email, or phone calls. Effective communication must be specific, helpful, timely, and engaging, spanning various modes and channels to connect customer journeys. 

Achieving this involves:

  • Listening for conversation triggers across journeys and systems 
  • Identifying the best conversation path 
  • Orchestrating intelligent conversations 
  • Involving human agents if necessary 
  • Confirming outcomes to customers and systems 

What Proactive Customer Engagement is Not 

Typical automation and self-service are inherently reactive, relying upon customer engagement to prompt a response or service. Proactive Customer Engagement, driven by Conversational AI, reaches out to customers before they realise an issue or need, often making a significant impact. 

Reactive vs. Proactive CX: Proactive customer engagement significantly outnumbers reactive engagement, offering a higher volume of meaningful interactions. (Source: contactengine)

The Value of Proactive Customer Engagement

Proactively contacting customers to prevent issues and opening a consistent, engaging conversation can be a game changer for turbo charging CX. Customer experience and operational cost reductions are not opposing forces; using technology to proactively engage customers can also reduce operational cost and improve an organisation’s ability to manage demand. 

Customer Value: 

  • Protects customers’ time and makes ‘tasks’ easy to complete.
  • Anticipates issues and avoids frustration.
  • Communicates through channels that customers prefer to use, with the ability to switch channels and escalate as necessary.
  • Provides personal and relevant information, treating each customer as an individual.
  • Timely information, when a customer needs it.

Business Outcomes: 

  • Increased efficiency: by proactively addressing potential problems, companies can reduce the number of reactive enquiries and streamline operations. 
  • Cost savings: proactive customer engagement is more cost-effective than reactive communication.
  • Stronger relationships: personalised communication helps build trust and loyalty with customers, reducing churn. 
  • Increased revenue: through relevant, specific products, offers and discounts.
  • Insight: increased understanding of customers through rich data gained by conversational analysis and surveys.

Implementing Proactive Customer Engagement in the Contact Centre

Business Systems helps our clients: 

  • Identify opportunities for proactive customer conversational experiences and generate previously unavailable insight.   
  • Understand the crucial customer data and preferences to personalise communication. 
  • Identify triggers for communication (e.g. warranty claims, appointments)  
  • Tailor communication paths based on customer data (e.g. demographics, past interactions) 
  • Use a combination of automated and human interaction  
  • Gather customer feedback and use it to improve future interactions 

Proactive customer engagement can be a game changing addition to your customer engagement capabilities, enabling intelligent outreach at scale, significantly improving customer experiences, creating revenue opportunities, and fostering lasting relationships. 

Ready to turbo-charge your CX?

Explore our recent webinar highlighting the potential of proactive customer engagement, ROI and implementation strategies.