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Why Proactive Customer Service is Crucial and How Data Visualization Can Help

In this special guest feature, Robert C. Johnson, CEO of TeamSupport, discusses why proactive customer service powered by data and accompanied by data visualizations is crucial because it increases customer retention rates and overall happiness. It’s no secret in business that happy customers also lead to more referral and growth opportunities. TeamSupport is a cloud-based, B2B software application built to help customer-facing support teams serve clients better through stronger collaboration, superior teamwork, and faster issue resolution. A seasoned executive and entrepreneur who has founded and invested in numerous software and high-tech companies, Robert’s industry experience as a business leader and a customer inspired him to create TeamSupport to give Support Desk teams the tools and best practices to enhance customer loyalty and positively impact product sales.

It’s no secret that data is impacting all areas of business. Because of this, companies are now able to acquire new customers with targeted advertising at a micro level – be it industry-specific display ads or a geo-located media spot – with a much higher success rate than in previous decades.

However, it seems like much of the investment in data and information is focused on the customer acquisition end of the buyer journey and not after they sign the contract. Sure, a business might assign an “account manager” to a company and have a monthly or quarterly check-in call. But what data points are accumulated and stored from these calls? Is a customer happy or just telling you they are as they evaluate your competitors?

To get real, actionable data and find out how a customer truly feels about your business, you need to get a customer service department involved. With this team, given they have a sophisticated software solution focused on businesses, you’ll find an abundance of raw data about your customers. For example, it’s easy to look at data for both an entire company and an individual contact to see simple information including how many tickets they have open, how long it takes for your company to close these tickets, and much more.

 

If your customer service software is focused on the B2B (business-to-business) industry, there’s a good chance some of this information is already visualized and you won’t even need to run a report. Seeing a quick snapshot of key information such as total tickets is crucial because it lets you know in an instant if a company or contact has been communicating with your customer service team frequently. If this is the case, you can then drill down and see what their specific issues are.

In addition, some software solutions can create an automated score based on weighted factors that provide an indicator of how happy or distressed a customer may be with your business. Scales generally range from 0-10 or 0-100 with a higher rating correlating to a more dissatisfied customer. The ability to assign varying weights to each component of the score is critical to ensure the tool is valid for each unique business. For example, a company with a simple product who is trying to improve ticket close times can place a higher weight on number of days open and less emphasis on the total number of tickets.

The reason behind making this information so visible and easy to digest is because it’s often the starting point in a proactive customer service interaction. A company may have an automated report scheduled each month to list, in order, the companies that are the most distressed or had the most tickets submitted over the past 30 days. From here, a customer service lead can look into each company via their customer service software, review exactly what issues they were having, and if needed reach out quickly to see if everything is OK or if the customer would like more assistance. If it’s the latter, the customer service team can then loop in the account manager or even a senior executive if applicable to ensure the customer isn’t at risk of leaving your business.

To summarize, proactive customer service powered by data is crucial because it increases customer retention rates and overall happiness. It’s no secret in business that happy customers also lead to more referral and growth opportunities. Data from customer service software is often the “tip of the spear” in these proactive opportunities, and thanks to customizable visualization elements it’s easy to spot right away when proactive outreach is needed. Being smart with information at the beginning of the customer journey is still very important to business success, but don’t forget to utilize data for proactive outreach with current customers as well.

 

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