Thanks and welcome back to the CRM Products and Technology blog from Consona CRM. My name is Tim Hines and I am the author, moderator, and caretaker of this blog.
In my last post, I talked about the rapidly emerging peer-based support paradigm being adopted by customers and leading companies. This week, it's time to move on to the next evolution of the cycle, proactive support.
As I write this blog, Consona just finished the acquisition of SupportSoft enterprise software group that provides, as part of their many technology solutions, proactive support. I have actually had this blog post finished for some time, but decided to wait for the publish until after the transaction was complete and Consona had a solution to offer for the business opportunity I am about to discuss.
Proactive support is quite simply the act of solving a customer's problem before it is known to them. Or, at least notifying customers about a problem and the potential remediation steps. It's about being proactive. It's about truly delivering a superior customer experience. It's about building loyalty and, dare I say, it's about building brand equity.
I know in my personal life, I appreciate when I get notifications of defects for problems that I may or may not have encountered with a product or service I spend money on. And, I happily accept and participate in every remediation step that comes my way. As part of that process, psychologically, I am just building my loyalty to that brand, because the company is demonstrating to me that it is trying to retain my business.
In most high technology (and telecommunications) companies, you have the opportunity to actually push fixes automatically to customers once they are discovered. For example, let's say that you manufactured or assembled hardware or software (or both), and you discover that there is an issue with a product through a single customer interaction. Proactive support technology would enable you to provide the fix (assuming it's truly not faulty hardware) automatically to the rest of the customers. And, in many cases, that fix can be pushed auto-magic-ally to all customers with little to no knowledge that there is an issue. Although I would suggest telling them that you fixed an issue proactively to build that loyalty.
In other industries, the same principles can apply. Upon recognition of an issue (that is broad-sweeping in nature), isn't it better to proactively alert the customers that there is a problem and give them the steps to resolve or, better yet, take care of it auto-magic-ally without their intervention?
The SupportSoft technologies have a lot more than proactive support, and I hope you contact us to find out more. But in the meantime, if you have an exception to what I have said or want to leave a comment, please feel free. Next time, I will be writing about ways that technology and the customer experience can actually help your brand and drive customer loyalty through not-so-subtle marketing techniques. I promise to be quite bullish on the topic.