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Why Messaging is Critical for Your Proactive Customer Care Strategy

January 11, 2023

A 2022 Salesforce study1 found that 73% of customers believe companies should understand their needs and expectations, and 62% believe companies should be able to anticipate these needs.

Companies are getting the message, with 54% of customer service leaders telling Gartner2 that shifting from reactive to proactive service was a key focus for them in 2022.

Reactive support is waiting for customers to reach out with a problem before offering them a solution. Proactive support means giving customers what they want before they even have to ask for it. In a best-case scenario, proactive support solves issues before customers even realize that the issues exist.

Here’s how messaging apps can give your team the insights and means to do just that.

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Automatically Capture Vital Customer Insights

AI-powered chatbots integrated into your messaging apps can automatically source vital customer data at the start of each interaction. This data gives your support team the valuable context and insights necessary to provide proactive support.

Customer support chatbots can immediately source the following customer data information:

  • The customer’s physical location (via IP address identification)
  • The device they are on
  • The data and time they contacted you
  • Where the customer was (website, store, app, social media) when they initiated contact with you

Say a customer wants help logging into their account. The chatbot recognizes that they are from Mexico and initiates contact in Spanish. It also identifies that the customer is trying to log in via Google’s Chrome browser on an Android smartphone. Based on that data, the chatbot can instantly serve them with a how-to article that explains (in Spanish) how to log in to their account via their browser and mobile device of choice.

Support tools can also use chatbot conversation data to provide sentiment analysis. This reporting indicates whether the underlying sentiment of a conversation is positive, negative, or neutral.

Sentiment analysis offers your support team clear signals and alerts when customers are frustrated in the early stages — before they have started to consider churning. With this data, your support team can proactively work on retaining that customer by trying to better understand where their frustrations stem from and what they can do to improve those experiences.

Freshworks is one of our many partners that enables you to integrate AI-powered chatbots3 into your WhatsApp business messaging apps. Their tool offers integrated sentiment analysis features4, so you and your team can provide proactive support based on customer chats.

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Obtain Customer Feedback and Data More Effectively

According to a poll from SurveyMonkey5, 85% of consumers say it’s important to be able to share feedback with companies. The poll also found that 61% of customers trust that companies will act on the feedback they are given.

Input isn’t just valuable because customers want to share their thoughts. Feedback helps you gauge how your customers are feeling so your brand has a chance to respond proactively and address issues.

Messaging apps are perfect for gathering instant feedback on a recent purchase or on the quality of the support session provided. You can offer simple “thumbs up/thumbs down” or “sad/neutral/happy emoji” responses to get immediate input after a variety of customer interactions.

Chatbots can also be used to send, receive, and analyze more detailed customer surveys right from your messaging app. Business leaders polled in a recent Forrester study said that open rates for communications sent via Meta Business Messaging solutions were consistently higher compared to email, phone, and SMS6.

Several of our partners, including Landbot, were able to successfully implement chatbots to collect customer feedback via Whatsapp7.

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Offer Personalized Product Recommendations

Customers want personalized offers and are willing to give you the data you need to provide them proactively.

According to Spectrm8, over three-quarters of customers are comfortable sharing their product preferences with a brand securely to receive a more personalized experience.

Messaging apps are the perfect avenue for getting these recommendations in front of your customers. Link your product catalog to your messaging app and use AI chatbots to make recommendations based on:

  • Buying history. Give “frequently bought together” recommendations based on recent purchases and product affinities.
  • Browsing patterns. Send periodic reminders and discounts for products that the customer recently viewed to re-engage them.

Our partners Vizury9 have had great success using conversational AI-powered chatbots via WhatsApp to drive product recommendation and upselling efforts.

Person sitting on couch while reading a message via WhatsApp

Automate Self-service

Self-service is a key part of proactive customer care. If you’ve done the necessary work beforehand to identify and create resources that answer common questions and problems, customers don’t have to reach out to your support team.

According to Zendesk’s 2022 Customer Experience Trends report10, 70% of customers expect “to have a self-service portal or content available to them.” Freshworks’ Deconstructing Delight report11 found that 61% of consumers said they admire companies that use a smart mix of self-service and humans.

But how do you help customers find your brand’s self-service options? Chatbots can guide customers to these resources.

Brands can link their messaging apps to their self-service portals, so their AI chatbots can direct customers to self-service resources—like help desk articles and FAQ pages—based on the words they use in the chat.

Our partners at Zendesk provide great examples of how Whatsapp can seamlessly integrate with intelligent, customer support-centric chatbots12.

Person sitting in field with a bulldog while reading a brand message via WhatsApp

Customers Prefer Interacting With Brands via Messaging Apps

The main tenet of proactive customer service is giving customers what they want—and they want to talk with you via messaging apps. Spectrm’s 2022 report found that a majority of customers prefer messaging over phone calls and emails, and almost three-quarters say their experiences when messaging with a brand have been positive.

What better place to engage your customers and offer them proactive service than WhatsApp? It’s one of the most popular global messaging apps, with billions of active users worldwide.

Learn more about how the WhatsApp Business Platform can drive your company’s mission to offer dynamic, proactive customer service.

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