Most businesses don’t care about their customers.
In fact, 66% of customers feel they’re treated like numbers.
Businesses respond to their problems only when they arise (and take ages to resolve them), use generic terms instead of calling customers by name, and so much more.
And the customers are sick of it…
This costs you thousands in sales and leads to long-term decline. It’s time to stop that and start using proactive customer engagement.
Turn the tables, reach customers first, and show them you care before a problem arises.
In this post, you’ll discover the whole proactive customer engagement process so you can win and retain more customers.
What Is Proactive Customer Engagement?
Proactive customer engagement is a process of interacting with customers and strengthening your relationship with them.
It’s called proactive because it refers to a business actively finding ways to engage customers.
This can involve:
- Reaching out to customers to ask for feedback
- Offering personalized communication and support
- Proactively addressing any issues or concerns that may arise.
It’s the opposite of reactive customer engagement – responding to customers only when a problem arises.
You might think it’s a golden standard today.
Yet, only 13% of customers have received any sort of proactive customer service.
The Biggest Benefits of Proactive Customer Engagement
Proactive customer engagement can be an excellent way for businesses to:
- Build trust with their customers
- Increase customer loyalty
- Improve customer satisfaction.
It can also help businesses identify and resolve potential issues before they become major problems, improving the overall customer experience.
(and profitability and growth of your business.)
Proactive Customer Engagement Vs. Proactive Customer Service
Proactive customer service is about predicting situations where support is needed.
An example of that is a retail brand calling up a buyer in advance about a delivery delay.
But that’s far from proactive customer engagement…
Proactive engagement is predicting problems in the journey and making sure the journey is easy, enjoyable, and seamless.
It’s not about letting you know about a problem in advance.
Instead, it’s making sure the problem is fixed, or you’re compensated for the inconvenience, and everything is nice and easy.
Designing a Proactive Engagement Framework
An effective proactive engagement framework can help you maximize customer satisfaction, increase your retention, and make your business super-profitable.
Here are the critical steps to making the whole process seamless and effective.
#1: Break Down the Journey
Proactive engagement looks at each stage of the customer journey to provide your customers with the necessary assistance where they need it.
The first step in achieving this is to break down the journey into stages.
For instance, check a customer journey below.
Source: Channel Sight
We’ve broken it down into 5 stages of the customer journey.
(This customer journey can be replicated for almost any business.)
The next step is about identifying customers’ needs at each stage of the customer journey.
Source: Reve Chat
Think about how they feel and how you can provide them with the support they need so they will stay engaged and move to the next stages.
There are specific engagement models you can use in each stage of the journey. These models will help you take the appropriate action to push the customer forward.
#2: Find Moments of Truth
The moments of truth are key moments or touch points where a customer forms an opinion about a brand or business.
There are four basic moments of truth:
- Zeroth moment of truth – people search for information online and make decisions about brands or businesses in that instance.
- The first moment of truth – the point when a consumer sees a product for the first time.
- The second moment of truth – the collection of moments that incorporate customers’ senses.
- The ultimate moment of truth – customers publishing some form of content expressing their use and enjoyment of your product or service.
Let’s look at an example of that so you can better understand how it works.
You want to go to a restaurant, so you look up restaurants near you. You pick one because you assume it’s the best place to go (you formulated an opinion.)
This was the 0th touchpoint.
Then, you get there and see the environment, food, and staff.
You are now in the second moment of truth.
After that, you order food, taste it, and see the staff and how they react. Basically, you collect moments of your experience.
That’s what the third moment of truth feels like.
Finally, you get a coupon saying if you leave a review, you get 10% off your next order. You post it online, grab a coupon, and walk away.
That was the ultimate moment of truth.
That’s how the whole process with key touchpoints can look like.
#3: Find Out How Customers Feel in These Moments
The biggest problem most businesses face is there are no numerical metrics for how customers feel in certain moments of the customer journey.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to measure how customers feel.
The trick is being proactive and asking customers the right questions. Many businesses try to achieve this with a Likert scale.
Source: Question Pro
But this is boring for most customers, and you might not get the answers you need.
A far better option is to use a fun and interactive quiz to help you understand exactly what your customers liked and disliked.
Getting feedback like this should be engaging, fun, and effortless.
Many businesses fail to do so by using the Likert scale or boring surveys, though. This might lead to lazy answers or incorrect ones, destroy the whole proactive engagement framework, and prevent you from building a deep connection with your customers.
#4: Try Different Ways to Engage Customers
Don’t expect customers to tell you what they want.
You might be surprised by this. We’ve just talked about taking feedback from customers and applying it to your proactive customer engagement framework.
And now we’re saying the opposite?
Customers might not know what they want.
So the trick here is to experiment – ask more questions but not to the customer, but to yourself. Get yourself in their shoes and expand the solution.
Try to look at your business objectively and dig deep and think about how you can help customers.
Source: Super Office
Just like the example above.
Most businesses think they’re doing the perfect job, yet their customers think otherwise. It’s time to experiment, find better solutions, and engage your customers.
So let’s look at some tips on how you can achieve this:
Get to Know Your Customers
The first step to engaging your customers is getting to know them and capturing the data.
This can be surface information like demographics.
But also a little more intimate such as psychographics and deeper information.
Either way, one of the best strategies to achieve this is by using decision trees that are turned into fun and interactive quizzes.
Just compare this old-fashioned and boring form.
With a fun and interactive quiz below.
It’s a complete game changer that will help you capture information about your customers so you can tailor your proactive customer engagement strategy to them.
Tailor the Experience
This will separate you from almost every other business.
Tailoring the experience means giving your customers what they want instead of generic stuff they have zero interest in.
This can be as simple as using internal links so readers can learn more.
Or suggesting blog posts they might enjoy reading.
However, if you want to be a true hero, you must start thinking proactively.
Suppose you have dry hair and you want to find a solution to this. You stumble upon some blog with tons of posts about all sorts of hair, and you’re confused.
So you leave…
But what if the tables were turned and the business would be the one finding a solution to your problem for you?
That’s exactly what we did with Beautilogy’s hair analysis.
We’ve created an interactive experience where a customer puts in basic information about yourself like your age, hair type, hair issues, and more.
After that, we’ll analyze the data and email customers the best solution to fix the problems.
(no more endless scrolling for relevant information.)
That way, a customer won’t get confused, and the whole experience will become effortless.
That’s what high-quality, proactive customer engagement looks like in action.
On top of that, you acquire valuable insights into your audience as they go through the quizzes and answer your questions.
You can then use this data to tailor the whole experience to them.
It’s also an excellent way to optimize your funnels and ads in later stages of the customer experience and boost your sales.
Chat With Your Customers On Their Preferred Channels
The critical part of proactive customer engagement is convenience.
And one of the ways to do so is by using communication channels your customers prefer. There’s no best channel to use because the audience varies from business to business.
But you can get inspired by looking at the graphs below.
Also, bear in mind that different age groups may be using different channels.
For instance, most teenagers will probably prefer instant-messaging apps, while older people would rather go with phone communication or emails.
Reward Loyalty & Engagement
If a customer repeats a purchase and has been with you for years, you should definitely praise him or her and let them know you appreciate them.
This is a perfect opportunity to reach out to them and show them you care.
It can be as simple as sending a thank you email.
Or offering a coupon.
You can also ask them what they would like to receive and engage with them. This is a fantastic way to retain customers and increase repeat purchases.
Which is one of the most important things for long-term profitability.
Proactive Outreach & Support
Proactive outreach or proactive communication is a strategy to reach out to existing or potential customers and create or strengthen relationships.
For instance, you can send a customer an abandoned cart email and see what the problem was.
(usually, you can recover the purchase too.)
Also, you can experiment with chatbots and suggest your customers a solution to what they might need or be interested in.
That’s what the Spartan Race did.
And the results?
A 27% increase in retail sales and a 97% customer satisfaction rating over chat.
#5: Measure & Optimize
What you can measure, you can improve.
It’s critical that you measure the whole customer experience and provide your customers with a flawless customer journey.
To do just that, we’ll need to use proactive monitoring.
Proactive customer monitoring is about constantly attempting to identify potential issues before they create major challenges for your business.
There are two ways to go about proactive monitoring:
- Think about what can go wrong – look at major issues of other businesses, get inspired by innovations and problem prevention best practices they use.
- Use customer experience tools – there are tools that will help you prevent, fix, and improve the whole customer experience and its issues.
We’ll leave the first part to you and dive into the second one in the next section.
Top Tools for Proactive Engagement
Not sure where you stand in proactive customer engagement technology?
Or maybe you’d like to find out more about how good your customer experience is and if there are any issues in the customer journey.
Either way, let’s look at some of the best tools for proactive customer engagement.
We’ve divided them into categories of phases of the customer journey, so you can check all of the major touchpoints and create a bulletproof strategy.
This is the first stage where you should find out how aware your audience is.
This includes brand awareness but also awareness of the problem your product is trying to solve. The most important things to track here are reach, impressions, and top of the funnel keywords.
Your goal is to reach target audience through social networks, publishers and search engines. .
Here are the best tools for the awareness stage:
- Google Search Console
- Google Ads
- Facebook Ads
The next step is about how well you’re positioning yourself in the market. The audience knows their problem and wants to solve it. Just not sure what business to choose.
This is your chance to shine, beat your competition, and maximize your brand awareness.
The key things to remember here are your rankings, website user experience, indexation, and making sure your website is not throwing 404 Not Found errors.
Also, you can use various SEO A/B testing tools to find out what attracts more customers.
Here are the best tools for the findability stage:
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- SEM Rush
What potential customers think of your brand matters.
This is especially true when they’re deciding to choose between your and your competitor’s products. You have to check your brand mentions, look at reviews, find out conversations about your brand, and proactively respond to all of that.
Here are the best tools for the reputation stage:
- Google Alerts
- Social Mention
#4: Conversion Stage
Your job here is to make the whole process of buying effortless.
You need to perfect the personalization, give your customers what they truly desire, and find out where there can be potential errors preventing you from making sales.
Most of the tools here are about creating landing pages and checking activity on the site.
(there are also some that will help you boost sales by running giveaways.)
Here are the best tools for the conversion stage:
#5: Advocacy Stage
The customer journey does not end after the purchase.
In fact, retaining customers and driving repeated purchases is one of the most important things for making long-term profits.
In this stage, you’ll need to find out which customers retain the most, where and why users drop off, and look at behaviors tied to long-term retention.
Here are the best tools for the advocacy stage:
- HubSpot CRM
Proactive customer engagement is key to thriving in today’s market
Your customers want to feel important, not just like unimportant numbers. We’ve talked about how to create the whole proactive engagement framework that will help you stand out and attract more customers.
Remember, the key is to give your customer what they want and need, to reach them first. And that requires extensive research, which you most likely can’t afford.
So rather than designing a “perfect” funnel for every micro-segment you start with a core message, see what part of your target audience resonates the most, adjust your messaging and create better engaging journeys as you get more and more data.
And that’s precisely what LeadsHook does—allowing you to test your market quickly and much cheaper, create hyper-personalized quizzes, delivering the best experience, and capturing first-party data.
After that, you can use this data and optimize your ads, landing pages, email sequences, VSLs… the whole funnel!
(and massively increase your chances of making a sale.)
Sign up today for a 14-day free trial and make a huge step towards flawless proactive customer engagement.