Business and Trade

Proactive Vs. Reactive Customer Service – Which Is Better To Win Over Retail Customers?

Since businesses are becoming more customer-centric, contact centers have become a cornerstone of their business operations. Regardless of whether it is retail or e-commerce enterprises, contact center companies have set a benchmark in customer service. As a result, retail and e-commerce brands that cannot provide satisfactory customer experiences have seen poor retention rates. Customers are less likely to stay engaged with such brands and are likely to look for other alternatives that can meet their expectations. This is the key reason outsourcing call center services for the retail industry has gained the popularity it has.

Customer support outsourcing agencies have proven their excellence in BPO services. Their result-driven practices have compelled many retailers and e-commerce companies to rely on them for customer engagements. Two of their most effective practices are proactive and reactive support solutions.

Modern BPO companies for e-commerce businesses are specialized in offering quality support. They use both proactive and reactive approaches to support customers and meet brand requirements. These are two different ways to connect with customers and win their loyalty. However, businesses sometimes interchange these two terms while opting for modern BPO services. We have attempted to clear the confusion here.

What is proactive customer service?

Proactive customer service is a practice where agents reach out to customers before the latter can connect with the former to get their issues resolved. These agents are well-trained to understand customer pain points in advance and provide them with ultimate solutions.

Many modern contact centers utilize advanced tools and technologies to identify the problems customers are facing. They conduct effective customer survey programs to get valuable insights into customer behavior and their demands to determine the areas that require improvement. AI-driven virtual assistants, chatbots, and self-service options contribute a lot to the efficiency and effectiveness of proactive customer support. These customer support practices ensure high customer satisfaction and positive experiences.

What is reactive customer service?

Reactive customer service is a practice where agents address customers’ issues when they reach out to the customer support departments to raise a query or discuss an issue. In this practice, agents have little responsibility until customers connect with the contact centers. But they need to give their best whenever customers face trouble and require prompt and precise responses.

BPO companies for e-commerce businesses are specialized in offering reactive customer support. They have trained professionals to address customer issues and provide appropriate solutions to every problem.

Reactive customer support practice is usually performed across all communication channels. Regardless of whether it is via phone calls, social media, emails, or live chat, agents are always prepared to serve customers and deliver better experiences. They ensure that every customer issue gets resolved in a short time, thereby improving response time and attaining high CSAT scores.

Proactive vs. reactive customer service

Both proactive and reactive customer services take care of customer problems. The former addresses them in advance while the latter waits for customers to interact with agents. Let’s check out the similarities and differences to get a better insight into these customer service approaches.

Similarities between proactive and reactive customer services

Regardless of whether it is proactive or reactive customer service, agents are put in place to help customers with their varied concerns. They work round the clock and ensure that no customer gets disappointed with the service. To add value to their constant support system, they prefer using AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots that resolve customer queries when agents remain unavailable. The best thing about these practices is that they help gain customer trust, boost their satisfaction level, and improve customer experiences by offering prompt solutions. For this reason, businesses outsourcing call center services for the retail industry always opt for these practices.

Differences between proactive and reactive customer services

The definitions described above clearly state the differences between proactive and reactive customer services. Let us, however, discuss them in detail.

Proactive customer service benefits –

  • Since agents predict and address customer concerns effectively, it reduces the total number of incoming calls or chats. This makes a significant contribution to the reduction of customer pain points.
  • With the anticipation of customer problems in a short time before they set up a connection with agents, contact center agents get enough time to spend on other tasks. They invest the extra time in improving their knowledge and satisfying customers by meeting their requirements.
  • Proactive customer service helps brands reduce customer churn rates. It improves brand loyalty and simultaneously increases customer retention rates.
  • Real agents or virtual assistants predict customer problems before they become painful concerns. They use different advanced tools to monitor customer activity and get valuable feedback. This helps businesses make better customer-centric decisions and provide greater results in no time.
  • Being proactive encourages e-commerce customers to recommend the brand to others. As a result, multiple proactive practices of modern contact centers help to win the loyalty of customers.

Proactive customer support agents leverage advanced tools and practices to deliver excellence. Some of their key practices include –

  • Understanding customers by conducting survey programs
  • Gathering feedback across all platforms
  • Empowering employees with effective training programs
  • Creating and updating content for FAQs and knowledge bases
  • Promoting self-service opportunities so that customers can resolve their queries without any human intervention
  • Monitoring customer journeys to understand customer concerns and address their pain points

Reactive customer service benefits –

  • Reactive agents support customers across various channels of communication. Regardless of whether it is over phone calls, social media, or live chat, agents provide seamless interactions to satisfy customers.
  • Retail customers expect agents to deliver prompt and precise responses, regardless of when they connect with them. Hence, these agents seek the help of AI-driven tools to provide instant answers to any questions.
  • Many modern contact centers use AI-powered bots to assist agents whenever they find it difficult to handle any complex query. The bots scroll through the knowledge bases and provide the most suitable answer to the problem.
  • Reactive agents need to interact with customers to identify their concerns and deliver satisfactory experiences. As a result, they get a better understanding of customer demands, their behavior, priorities, and many more.
  • Customer-agent interactions help e-commerce businesses to experience high conversion rates. This is possible as they enjoy the flexibility of using a preferred channel and language to communicate with agents. Seamless interactions and personalized services attract more new prospects and help e-commerce businesses generate greater sales and revenue.

Reactive customer support agents are proficient in delivering top-notch experiences to customers. Some practices that make outsourcing call center services for the retail industry incredibly valuable to retail and e-commerce are –

  • E-commerce contact center agents leverage a centralized knowledge base
  • Retail contact centers provide high-quality agent training and development programs
  • Utilize call monitoring tools to track and analyze customer-agent interactions
  • Monitor and measure contact center KPIs for better performance analysis
  • Contact centers conduct real-time customer surveys to get better customer insights
  • Following up with customers to understand their experiences
  • Gain more positive reviews for enhanced brand loyalty

Which one is better – proactive or reactive?

Both proactive and reactive customer services are a part of efficient customer support solutions. Surprisingly, both of them contribute a lot to seeking customer attention and driving more new prospects. Frankly, it is good to opt for both if you want to augment your customer base. After all, different customers have different demands. And proactive and reactive customer services will help you meet their demands and priorities.

Therefore, instead of selecting between the two, it is better to pay attention to both while outsourcing call center services for the retail industry. If you engage the right contact center company, your BPO partner will always suggest you get both.

How to find the right BPO agency for your e-commerce businesses?

Getting the right BPO partner for your retail e-commerce industry can be pretty challenging. This is because plenty of BPO agencies are emerging every day with an intention to deliver better CX. However, only those with salient features manage to provide outstanding results. Let’s check some of the features you must consider for strengthening customer-business relationships.

  • Comprehensive customer services – Looking for retail BPO companies that offer a plethora of services is crucial. Some important e-commerce customer services are 24X7 answering service, telemarketing and sales, cross-sales and up sales, returns and refunds management, lead generation, and complaints management.
  • Talented professionals – It is important to look for a dedicated team of professionals that can handle numerous customer queries and complex issues.
  • Multichannel preferences – Modern BPO agencies allow customers to choose their preferred communication channels to interact with real or virtual agents.
  • Multilingual support – E-commerce customer support agencies must allow customers to choose their native languages for communication.
  • AI-powered chatbots – An ideal BPO agency should integrate chatbots and other AI-driven applications to streamline customer support operations and increase business efficiency.
  • Self-service options – Effective BPO companies for e-commerce businesses should offer several self-service opportunities. These include FAQs, tutorial videos, knowledge bases, etc., that allow customers to get their issues resolved instantly and effectively.
  • Advanced innovative technologies – Finding a modern BPO partner that leverage the power of innovative technologies like artificial intelligence is pretty important if you desire greater results.

Embrace smart practices and get in touch with one of the top BPO companies for e-commerce businesses. Outsourcing customer services to the right agency is always fruitful and will help your e-commerce business in a massive way!


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