Phone-MoneyThe opportunity to provide a better customer experience is there, but is your company taking advantage of it? This is the first blog post of a three-part series in which we will address how businesses can enrich their customer service strategies, through proactive communications.

Being proactive rather than reactive allows businesses to put the customer first and control a situation, before the situation controls them. As businesses evaluate their customer service strategies, cutting expenses is usually a top priority. The challenge is finding that middle ground where the business can make a manageable investment that also provides a positive, personalized customer service experience.

The most valuable customer service solution that will make any company look like a customer experience genius is: one that leverages customer data proactively and uses analytics to provide a personalized experience.

Taking this approach proves to the customer that the business knows them, understands them and realizes that their time is valuable and they don’t have the time to wait on hold, or repeat the same information over and over again to different company representatives. The investment in proactive, or “outbound” communication technology, is rapidly becoming more popular in many different industries. These industries below have realized how much time and money can actually be saved if they leverage customer data to beat their customers to their concerns:

  • Finance – Financial services institutions use proactive outbound communications to offer billing reminders and for debt collections.
  • Pharmaceutical/Healthcare – Retail pharmacy and pharmaceutical companies remind patients and consumers to refill prescriptions, inform them of medication recalls and dosing updates, as well as to confirm appointments.
  • Travel & Hospitality – Travel companies provide flight information for passengers for flights that are scheduled, as well as travel alerts for when prices have dropped for flights to their favorite locations.

In a recent Forbes article, Emma Byrne says that data scientists are the future of healthcare and that, “better targeting of preventative healthcare messages to the right population at the right time could save $70-100 billion.” That’s a significant chunk of change to save in the long run. As we’ve mentioned, it’s not just the healthcare industry that’s benefiting, here are three ways any business can benefit from outbound communication technology:

  1. The Phones Will Be Quieter Automating outbound communications can decrease the amount of inbound call traffic to a business’s customer service call center. A decrease in calls made to a company lowers overall contact center costs.
  2. Updates and Maintenance From Anywhere– Implementing a hosted or SaaS-based cloud service eliminates the cost of on-premise call center technology and maintenance, as the provider can constantly improve the services/offerings and deliver new features from anywhere.
  3. Use Customer Data Wisely – Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to create multi-channel customer communication strategies that promote greater engagement. With access from anywhere to caller analytics, purchase history and preferences, businesses are able to proactively leverage the data to provide an intelligent and more personalized experience.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it by using existing customer information to proactively and intelligently reach out to customers about things they care about before they come knocking on your door.

Learn more about Proactive Communications in our white paper, Enriching Your Customer Experience with Proactive Customer Communications.