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Strategies for Powerful Customer Service Outreach

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The best customer service includes not only problem solving measures, but also creative strategies targeted toward customers outside of the contact centre queue.

The value of good customer service is well known in the online world, but creating an outstanding customer experience is easier said than done. More businesses are now making customer service a spending priority, as 68 percent of businesses plan to shift towards customer care as a primary investment target, according to a 2014 Call Center Executive Priorities Report. Contact centres are slowly beginning to adapt their practices to reflect the changing customer service needs of a time when phone outreach and email aren’t enough.

Contact centres usually play the role of first responders in crisis situations, but the paradigm of solving customer complaints after the fact is becoming outdated. For the best possible customer service, contact centres are beginning to learn that preventative outreach and strategic methodologies are essential in keeping customers satisfied.

Measuring Satisfaction

With ever-changing customer service expectations, the gold standard that centres have relied on in the past are Key Performance Indicators (KPI), used to quantify the success of customer interaction and satisfaction. These are varied and can include metrics such as:

  • Average call handle time
  • Average resolution time
  • Customer retention
  • Conversion rates

While these metrics only offer a small piece of the puzzle, they can be invaluable for providing hard statistics about the effectiveness of your customer service practices.

Preventative Action

Customer service is often relegated to the status of problem management, but the best customer experiences are created when businesses develop service strategies targeted towards preventative outreach.

Instead of only communicating with customers when they have complaints, reaching out to them can be a powerful factor in improving their perception of your brand. Providing rewards and benefits to loyal customers is often far more influential than solving issues that arise, no matter how efficient your agents are.

Social Support

Social media support can be an effective strategy for customer outreach, but it’s important that it’s done in the right way for best effect.

Planning is an essential part of a social media strategy. The interconnectedness, instant response and the sheer volume of social media users make this a popular option for customer support, but when done poorly, your efforts can backfire. The only thing worse than no social media presence is a dead social media presence — if you’re going to offer support via Facebook, Twitter or other social media networks, be sure that you have agents standing by. The consumers of today are used to quick interactions on social media, and won’t have much patience if you take a week to reply to their queries.

Social media excels in positive customer outreach. As your business is notified when customers mention you on social media with tags, you’re provided instant feedback on customer experiences and can respond to their mentions, whether positive or negative. Negative feedback can be addressed immediately, even when they don’t directly contact your support line.

Multi-Channel Strategies

Extending your customer service into multiple channels is an essential part of providing a comprehensive care experience. Phone communication and live chat support are important, but they’re also commonplace and expected. You won’t impress your customers by providing them with the traditional forms of service; to create a customer care experience that goes above and beyond, you’ll need to adapt your practices to an omni-channel strategy.

This is part of a broad initiative toward increasing customer choice. Letting customers choose their method of interaction will improve the odds of them reaching out and give them a better overall experience, provided you can support them over the channel they choose.

Having said that, offering multiple support channels will only work in your favour if you’re able to provide cross-channel support as well. A customer should be able to initiate a conversation via live chat and seamlessly transition to phone calls, social media or email if they choose. This functionality provides them with a flexible customer care experience and reduces the wait times that tend to occur when outreach is limited to methods that require queues and the dreaded “hold times.”


Customer satisfaction is a constantly evolving trend that requires creativity on the part of contact centre agents. Effective social media support is an important part of providing a multi-channel strategy aimed at providing a personalized experience for your customers.

Above all, customer service agents should be willing to innovate and view customer service as not only a problem solving measure, but also an outreach strategy to improve customer loyalty and provide unexpected benefits.

Interested in learning more about top-tier customer service strategies? Check out our free white paper.

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