Do your customers benefit from proactive contact?
Anticipating better scenarios
In customer engagement, proactive contact is the term for anticipatory service. A common use of proactive contact is to prevent scenarios where the customer would adversely affect the business, which you can do by contacting the customer before the event occurs. For example, you might contact them to remind them of an imminent bill. Let’s take a hypothetical example. ACME, Inc. is a company which sells insurance. Every month, their customer service software automatically emails a reminder to any customer whose contract is due for renewal in the next three months. That’s how proactive contact helps ACME retain customers, protect cashflow, and adjust financial forecasts.
In the customer’s interest
A 2023 industry research study surveyed customers about proactive contact and found that help with managing personal finances ranks highly among the type of proactive contact desired by consumers:
“Most customers would welcome proactive contact from an organisation if it could help them to save money or to notify them about approaching spending limits.” 
This type of proactive contact aims to prevent a customer from experiencing an adverse event – incurring debt, losing access to a service, missing out on preferential rates, etc.
Many banks and credit providers today provide customers with account controls that support healthy saving and spending habits. For example, customers usually have the option to turn on alerts in the mobile app or internet banking account when they’re approaching a spend limit. But not all customers know this feature exists or feel confident in setting it up. So, proactive contact can be used to automate emails educating customers about these self-service features and offering assistance in setting them up.
Keeping customers on course
56% of customers dissatisfied with how information is provided during disruption 
The travel industry is another sector that would benefit from adopting proactive contact. Transport disruption affects customers: they can lose significant amounts of money and be grossly inconvenienced. Proactive contact can mitigate these problems.
An airline operator could notify passengers of flight delays by sending SMS messages, and provide links to information about alternative routes, or reimbursement options. Similarly, a railway operator could email passengers days or even weeks in advance of planned industrial strike action if it affects the passenger’s booked itinerary. In Britain, the Railway Delivery Group spearheads a nationwide improvement plan to create better customer experiences of train travel. Communicating effectively to passengers in advance of disruption is one of their key concerns, which proactive contact can support.
Communications strategies that adopt cost-effective methods of proactive contact to put the customer’s interests first will not only support the customer but also will deliver significant value to the business in the long term. Helping the customer avoid a serious problem can increase customer trust in the brand and improve its reputation. When customers trust a business, they are more likely to use their services again.
Use proactive contact to benefit your customer
1. Prevent debt
- Customers at spending limit of their account: instead of letting the customer go into the red, you reach out in advance to help them manage their account.
2. Resolve loss of one-time service
- Train cancellations: Use SMS to notify customers in advance and offer alternative travel options and a link to claim reimbursement for their ticket.
3. Provide emergency contacts
- Loss of utilities energy supply: Email customers affected by problem to give them details of a phone number and email address they can use to contact your customer care team immediately.
Implementing proactive contact to support your customers’ welfare and wellbeing will not only strengthen your customer relationships, and inspire greater loyalty, it will also increase your efficiency.
Get in touch to arrange a no-obligation call to show you how Syntelate XA can produce smart and effective proactive contact campaigns for your business.
 Consumers Welcome Contact Amidst Rising Cost of Living – Contact-Centres.com, 15 June 2023, Call Centre Management Association (CCMA). Available at: Consumers Welcome Contact Amidst Rising Cost of Living – Contact-Centres.com, accessed 9 November 2023.
 Sheircliff, Richard. A Customer View of the Programme, Smarter Information, Smarter Journeys Programme, 24 January 2023, Rail Delivery Group. Available at: Publications (raildeliverygroup.com), accessed 9 November 2023.