The Power of Being Proactive

“It’s 10% what happens and 90% how you handle it.” We hear this a lot when it comes to customer service, especially when it’s about warranty claims. While customers react to product issues in various ways – some simply wanting the problem to be fixed, some upset but willing to acknowledge that “things happen,” and some so angry that it seems nothing will make them happy – most would agree that how the issue is handled determines how they feel about it once it’s resolved.

Communication is the key to good customer service. Regardless of how long it takes to resolve an issue, if the process is clear to the customer and they are kept updated on the progress toward completion, they will be satisfied with the result. When things fall through the cracks, when steps are missed or drag on without the customer being notified, the situation often escalates.

While technology cannot (and should not) take the place of human interaction, it can (and should) make sure that nothing falls through the cracks. Software engineered around a defined process should have timers and alerts designed to remind customer service agents when things are about to hit their deadline. By making sure that things are happening as promised, and communicating any delays along the way, the customer feels informed. And, contrary to popular belief, customers aren’t looking for perfection ­ they’re looking for progress.

So make sure your software is built around your processes and it will do half the work for you. When it’s clear what needs to be done next – when you can be proactive instead of reactive – it becomes easy to deliver outstanding customer service. And when we deliver outstanding customer service, we create raving fans that not only come back to us in the future, they tell their friends about us.